herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Dubliner halfway in 28,000km cycle

A Dublin man has reached the halfway point of an epic 28,000km cycle from Alaska to Argentina in aid of Trocaire.

Billy Lavelle started his self-funded solo cycle in July last year at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, the most northern point accessible by road in North America.

His destination is Ushuaia in Argentina, the southernmost city in the world.

His solitary quest in the saddle will eventually cover 28,000km through 15 countries: USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

 

GRIZZLY

"My toughest week to date was actually the first 10 days when I cycled 500 miles from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean to Fairbanks, Alaska," he said.

"There are no facilities on this stretch of the Dalton Highway, which features in several series of Ice Road Truckers television programme.

"I had to carry about two weeks worth of food with me and this is very much grizzly bear country where I was hundreds of miles from a town," he said.

Just over a year into his cycle challenge, he has now crossed the half-way mark of his extraordinary journey. He is now cycling through Colombia.

"Leaving Ireland, I knew that the most important attribute that I was going to need for this challenge was mental strength," he said.

"Having visited some of Trocaire's critical development projects in Central America that my cycle is funding, and having spoken with so many courageous and brave people, it has given me the inspiration to carry on," he said.

Billy has raised more than €10,000 for Trocaire so far and hopes to hit his target of €100,000.

People can donate at www.trocaire.org/sponsor-me/billys-big-cycle/billys-big-cycle.

"All the money I raise will go directly to Trocaire's projects in Central America and will improve the lives of some of the poorest communities in these countries.

"All donations are very welcome no matter what the amount, it is all going to a very worthy cause.

"Each donation I get also really helps to keep me motivated to cycle that extra mile every day," he said. He wanted to thank everyone who has donated so far.

Billy is documenting his journey on his blog www.billysbigcycle.com.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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