“The Times they are a Changin” as Bob Dylan sings.
Since mid-March 2020 they certainly have as we’ve gone from a World without limits to a World of restrictions and lock-down. Limits on where you can go, who you see, how far you can travel how much you can exercise….the list goes on.
As a cycling club a World of limitations makes life problematic! We do things in sync. We meet up, cycle together in groups, enjoy coffee breaks together, get fit together, holiday together and open up new friendships together. Yes a World of restrictions is an alien concept to us.
Despite those restrictions May Bank holiday weekend was when the Chain Gang CC bridged those regulations and came together thanks to the modern innovations of social media, smart phone photography and countless other internet technologies.
The aim was to raise funds for the local Kerry University Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. From the onset there was doubts:
- What will the uptake be on this?
- Are we setting ourselves up to ridicule?
- Would we be allowed to do this?
- Would it be worth our while for the amount we could fundraise?
The emphatic response was:
At dawn on Saturday 2 May 2020 6 am Seamie, Dave, John and Ger jumped on their bicycles be it turbo, or in their locality and cycled around their 2 km home radius for one hours, gave the Thumbs Up to the next person and off they went. From 6 am to 9 pm Saturday and Sunday the cycled. From Lisstellick to Blennerville | From Fenit to Ballyard | From Dublin to Limerick | From Australia to USA they cycled. Club members, ex club members, friends, family, children and ex cyclists. On their turbo trainer, racer, city bike, kiddies bike, cargo bike no holes barred.
The selfie photographs came piling in, some professional others amateur and the money? What a humbling experience! This was by no means another Band Aid but in our determined corner of South West Ireland we got our message across. In problematic times the generosity was incredible as the total shot past our initial target of €1000 on to €2000 and then €3000. An amount we didn’t even contemplate.
If you can compere this virus to a war, then the individuals working in hospitals are the soldiers enduring the hellishness of the trenches of Ypres, Somme and Passchendaele. Each day going into the unknown, tense, scared and hoping to see the end to all this in the shortest possible time.
If our small contribution can make their working lives a bit easier and bring a smile to someones face, then it’s mission accomplished.
Respect to the Front Line Workers of the World!