. Camino Cycle 2006 . Cockle shell


Getting started

This undertaking required a massive team efort to get from an idea discussed on quiet bike runs to a fully planned and completed charity run which has delivered a truly unique experience for all the participants and a huge fund-raising boost for the Friends of the Cancer Centre. It is not possible to do justice to all those who helped but we will try and document a few key contributors.

Some members of Phoenix cycling club last did a mammoth charity run 3 years ago in the Applachian Mountains and the success of that endeavour led to discussion of a possible further run, starting the following year. Barney put forward this trip as a possibility and Larry and Seamus worked with him to examine feasibility and timing. Larry's contacts came up with the support vehicle and the a definite plan and timing were announced at the end of 2005. There was a high level of interest and the final group of 14 participants was larger than originally envisioned. Larry, Barney and Paul sorted out and booked all the accommodation for the trip.

Larry and Barney agreed to drive the van, loaded with bicycles, to Rosslare and to go by ferry to Cherburg. They would then drive through france to St John Pied de Port, which was the starting point of the route. The others would take a minibus to Dublin and fly direct to Bayonne on Tuesday 19th September. A bus and train would get them to the start, where they would stay overnight in the somewhat spartan Hotel de Remparts.

The return jounrney by plane went via London, with our drivers going back overland to re-trace their steps to Cherburg and onwards.

Publicity was arranged by Colleen Shaw and Kevin Mulhern from the Friends. We had press launch in mid - June and a further press call two weeks prior to departure.

Larry, Gerry and Colleen from "Friends" did an afternoon guest appearance on the Radio Ulster show of Ralph McClean.

Seamus did a radio interview on Good Morning Ulster from Dublin Airport on the day of departure and he had two more update opportunities on Radio Ulster during the course of the expedition.


Launching the venture - Seamus with Colleen from Friends of the Cancer Centre (centre) and JoanneMcCarthy, a Therapeutic Radiographer from the Cancer Centre.


Seamus after his little spill


Some stiches needed, no great harm done


A perfectly good set of glassess ruined



Packing Suzie N's bike involves removing the go-faster spoiler. Barney does the work, Gerry does the praying, at Larry's place


Jason explains to Gerry that he hopes there will be some time set aside from fund-raising, cycling and praying for a little relaxation on the journey. Gerry expects so.


Larry demonstrates his powers of telepthy by making a car on the street get a puncture while the others watch - of which more anon



Jimmy stocks up at the airport in Bayonne



Stephen and Jimmy re-assemble bikes in St.John


Meanwhile the others do very important tasks like getting sun and rest


The last supper at Hotel Remparts


David amazes Paul and Frankie by announcing that he is "wild tire- "...and falling asleep in mid-sentence at the supper table




We wish to thank Jason Lear from McGaldery Commercials for providing the support van entirely free of charge. He also arranged sponsorship for the insurance costs - details on sponsorship page.




An unexpected setback for Seamus

As part of his preparations for this run, Seamus entered the two-day, 200 mile Bordertrek on the weekend of 24-25 June 2006.

Unfortunately he came off his bike in rain near the start in Enniskillen and managed to smash his helmet and get concussion.

More seriously, he did considerable damge to his thumb, including a fracture and ligament damage. He was advised not to cycle until the bone had healed.

Accordingly he undertook to walk 10 miles each day instead of cycling. He also decided to run a web-site which would be updated (almost) daily.