Cyclists plan pole-to-pole charity cycle for the blind

A TEAM of cyclists plan to travel from the South Pole to the North Pole in less than a week in aid of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

While the cyclists will have to keep a cool head, they are in fact really travelling from the South Pole Inn in Kerry to the North Pole pub in Donegal.

The team of 20 cyclists, including two visually impaired members on tandem bikes, will set off this Sunday to cover over 350km through Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Sligo. They will finish their pedalling in Donegal on Friday, June 4.

The fundraiser is the third organised by Eamonn Linanne in honour of his late father, who was blind.

Last year’s Mizen 2 Malin Cycle raised e17,500 for the charity and the participants in this year’s Pedigree South Pole to North Pole Cycle Challenge will be hoping to beat that target.

Paddy Coyle, regional development manager for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind said the funds are much needed as the organisation is 90% funded from the public.

Maura Doyle is taking part in the challenge for the second time. She said her guide dog Minnie changed her life. “The biggest difference is the independence, I can do things myself, I can get out, and she’s a great companion,” she said.

Sponsors Pedigree yesterday wished the cyclists luck. Marketing director Sophia Nadur said: “The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is a lifeline to visually impaired people, helping them to lead more independent lives.”

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