The idea to cycle to China came to me about 9 years ago when I was at University. I originally thought the idea of a “Round-the-World Triathlon” would be awesome. A fairly stupid idea on reflection, but the idea was there. I quickly realised my likeness to a brick when swimming could be a limiting factor in my grand plan – maybe, so over time I came around to the thought that cycling from Dublin to Beijing would be the way to go – I could cycle over land across continents from the Atlantic to the Pacific and cover about 16,000km. This appealed to me.
Then I got busy…
As time went on exams, life, a job and a Masters got in the way and I’d side-tracked my grand plan. When I hit 27 I realised if I didn’t do this in the coming years, I never would, so I decided to just put a date in place and start planning, albeit quietly. After some time figuring out how feasible the plan was (it turns out it’s very feasible, in fact many people do this sort of trip all the time), I started to slowly tell friends about it and that I’d be leaving some time in 2014. This wasn’t really about telling people about my plan, but more as a “no way back” kinda thing – if I told enough people, and talked about it enough, I couldn’t back down. The stage was set.
Time to get serious…
So I finished my Masters (that sucked – don’t study part time if you can avoid it) and I was reading blogs and websites about equipment, visas, cycle touring and all sorts of stuff. I then realised this was a huge opportunity to do some good while cycling the world – why not raise money for charity? I wanted to raise money for a cause that would see the least amount lost to “administration fees”, so I looked towards local areas of need in Ireland – places I could see the good the money will do and where I know it’s being put to good use.
My girlfriend, Aoibhinn, is a doctor in Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin, and has worked in Temple Street also. I’ve heard first hand about the plight of some children and realised I could make a difference here. In particular in Crumlin in the Oncology ward. So I got in touch with Gerry Cully, manager of the Children’s Medical Research Foundation, and together we put together a plan to raise €50,000 for the hospital. That’s no small feat!
None of the money I raise will go towards any element of my cycle – every cent will go to Crumlin.
Having thought about the potential this endeavor has to do real good in the world, I am now realising it’s less about the difficulty of cycling 16,000km, and more about the cause. Cycling is relatively easy in the grand scheme of things, and I’ll be sure to enjoy myself. With the cuts being made to healthcare in the country, and the delays to the National Children’s Hospital, the potential €50,000 has to do good for so many sick children is immense.
So that’s why I started the blog – not just to document my travels, but to raise awareness for the cause, bring attention to what I’m trying to do, and ultimately raise €50,000 for children with Cancer in Crumlin.
Hey Stephen, how is it going? I am half irish, love your posts!
Let me ask you, maybe I missed that somewhere. Before you went on your trip, did you do some fundraising to help your expenses or did it all come out of your pocket? I saw the table quiz you organized (love table quizzes!)
I am about to finish my PhD, but I see my education as a waste of time as I’ve grown to loathe my area of research, so a trip like that would be great. My first thought, something I have been planning for years is London to London by land and water…
Well, enjoy the rest of your trip, man! I have raised loads of money for crumlin hospital too, during my time at UCD! Toodles!
Hey, I saved up money for the trip myself. No funds raised pay for the expenses. Sorry to hear the PhD isn’t panning out. I nearly started one myself.
If you do want to do a trip like mine hit me up for info when I’m back. Glad to
Cool! Cheers! Have a safe journey!
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