Sean my best mate
I can only thank Sean for asking me to come along on his journey from Nordkapp to Ceuta to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. It’s been a long three years and taken a lot of Sean’s time in planning and organizing routes – although we hit some dirt trails on our way! We also hit some amazing mountain tops – Stelvio being the mountain top I was dreaming of, riding shot gun with Sean. I saw things that will be with me for for a very long time. Reindeers, hidden beaches, eagles, deer, wild boars and parrots are just a few. But the best thing was the company. Sean you are 1 in a million and mean the world to me. Cheers 🍻
Sean my best mate thank you .
Having done the Rome trip and knowing how much I experienced and learnt about myself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do this ride when Sean (albeit drunkenly, and me drunkenly saying yes) suggested we do a bike ride from the most northern point of Europe to Africa.
The first year was, without exaggeration, the most miserable and difficult two weeks of my life. The weather was horrible, no night time and constant discomfort made it a real challenge in every sense of the word. But, for as difficult as it was, it taught me more about myself and the other guys than I could have ever learnt any other way. Although it was difficult, seeing things like groups of reindeer running along side us (the clumsiest animal I have ever seen with my own eyes, but very delicious), the fjords, the mountains, everything, was worth it. And as far as actually getting through the day to day of it, I couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone back home and the people who did back up for us. I don’t think that without their smiles and coffee every 20 miles we could have done it and for that I say a massive thank you to them all, although words don’t properly explain my appreciation for every single one of them.
Last year was a challenge again but for different reasons. The alps, Stelvio, the heat- but a lot more enjoyable and again I saw things that will stay with me forever.
This year has probably been the toughest ride physically, for me at least. I didn’t do much training mainly down to work and to be honest didn’t feel it too much until day 10, the 125 miler. After that it was brutal, the days preceding it were hard because of wind and everything after that was rough so really had to dig deep sometimes, and I’m sure the same can be said for the other guys.
The trip as a whole has been a once in a lifetime experience and like I said has taught me more about myself than I expected.
All said and done, I want to say an enormous thank you to Sean for even coming up with this trip. The amount of planning and organization has been amazing, and although we’ve hit a few dirt roads along the way I’d follow you anywhere, you’re a legend. You always have a solution no matter how rough the situation, and no matter how anyone’s struggling mentally or physically you’re a rock and I’ve appreciated that throughout Rome and this trip especially.
Dave, I don’t even know where to start with you. You’ve been my best mate on all these trips and we’ve had some great times together, seen some amazing things and had a bloody good laugh along the way. You’re an excellent mechanic, and I’m not so I appreciate everything you’ve helped me with along the way because I’m a nightmare! You’re a terrific cyclist who has made me challenge myself more and try keep up with you going up them stupid hills! Your humour and determination has pushed me more and helped me more than I could have done by myself. I’ve come away from this with a great friend and I love ya.
And for the back up. The most important part of a trip like this, we literally couldn’t have done any of this without you. Kathleen, you know I’ve said all this before and I’ll say it again, you’re amazing and your commitment to keeping us happy and spurring us on has been second to none. Like I said, I’m a moody unorganized nightmare and you’ve helped me every single day, whether I’m in a good mood, crap mood, hungry, tired- anything. And as I’ll probably say lots while we’re away now, I love ya- and I mean that. You’re a legend and a rock and I appreciate everything you’ve done more than I can put into words. Kayleigh, you’ve been a legend and a great co pilot to your mum and your help, like I said earlier, has got each and every one of us through this trip.
And the same goes for everyone else who helped us from year one until now, especially year 1. The ride was incredibly difficult and you guys waiting for us every twenty miles with a coffee and a smile got us through, so thanks to each and every one of you.
So thank you to everyone who’s helped, been back up, or even sent a message to say good luck or well done. The cause that we chose to do this for is an incredible one, and although I’ve not had to deal with Alzheimer’s first hand, I’ve seen the terrible impact it can and has had on people close to me, and for that reason alone I would do this all again. Curing Alzheimer’s is far bigger than us, and definitely a lot bigger than me sat moaning about being sat on a bike for 8 hours. To think that we could have a positive impact on someone’s life or help prevent someone going through what I’ve seen people go through is enough for me.