Brendan cycles 100 miles without moving an inch

Brendan cycles 100 miles without moving an inch

BRENDAN Bradley cycled over 100 miles for charity last week but his bike never moved an inch from the foyer at the Downe Hospital.

The auxiliary nurse climbed aboard a stationary bike at 8am last Thursday and nine-and-a-half hours later he had raised almost £1,400 for Marie Curie, clocking up just over 117 miles in the process.

Brendan, who works at the Downe’s medical and coronary ward, is delighted with the support he received from his colleagues, friends and hospital visitors.

Originally from Ballybofey in Co. Donegal, Brendan, who is a keen cyclist and a familiar sight around Dromara near his home in Kinallen, explained he decided to raise money for Marie Curie as the charity has a base in the Downpatrick hospital.

Nine-and-a-half hours in the saddle is long enough for anyone, but Brendan admitted the time did not drag and while his arms were sore leaning over the bike, his legs were fine, despite the huge distance they had pedalled.

“My aim was to hit the 100 mile mark but I exceeded that with over an hour-and-a-half to go,” said Brendan as he entered the final hour of his marathon cycle. “The support from everyone has been excellent and I cannot thank people enough for their generosity.”

Last February, the nurse took part in a six hour cycle to raise money for a youth trip being organised by Ballynahinch Rugby Club where is a coach. Later this month, the nurse will be taking part in the Lap the Lough cycle event around Lough Neagh which covers a distance of almost 100 miles.

But last Thursday his focus was on raising money for Marie Curie and while Brendan had to get his head down to achieve his goal, he revealed he had to put up with a few witty comments from portering staff in particular, with one or two offering them their cooked breakfast as they walked past.

“I had to decline the offer,” Brendan continued. “I have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and cannot thank Marian O’Hare from the catering department who supplied me with water to keep me hydrated and looked after the tea and coffee and baked treats provided by the hospital.

“The charity challenge was everything I expected it to be. The heat was an issue and I am glad someone hooked up a fan to help keep me cool. All the staff have been brilliant, not just through their donations, but their morale support and encouragement.

“People always had a word for me as they stopped to make a donation and the day went quicker as a result. In addition to collection buckets on the table beside me, there were a number of sponsorship sheets placed throughout the hospital.”

Brendan, who was back on the wards again at 1pm last Friday, said all the money he raised will be spent locally by Marie Curie staff.

“My arms hurt as you are reaching down all the time but the legs are not too bad, even though they felt like jelly when you get off for a while. That said, I only took two short breaks since I started,” he said.

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Brendan added: ”The charity cycle has been challenging and harder than being on the road where you can free wheel and get up off the saddle. The time did fly, with my son Callum acting as my runner. Thanks again to everyone for all the support and encouragement, it was great and helped keep me going to raise money for a very worthy cause.”