China Cycle ’08 by Sarah Murphy

Darragh and six of his friends set off on their bikes from their apartments in Shenzhen at 5:30am for the first train to Hong Kong at 6:30. They made their way through the crowds, drawing much attention sporting spandex padded bicycle shorts, and as they arrived on HK soil we realized we were one man down. 45 minutes later their fellow cyclist emerged from the interrogation room bemused by accusations of pro-Tibetan activism and questions about his “real reasons” for border crossing that Saturday….somehow the get-up and bicycle didn’t give it away. Needless to say they missed the first train and arrive in HK just before 8am where their chaperone for the day, Dan was waiting for them on his motorbike.

Off they went on a route straight from Google earth, untested unknown they had no idea it was not flat! Temperatures started off kind as they cycled through the suburbs to their hilly destination. After 3 hours they were low in 30 degrees heat and rising with 90% humidity…it was getting difficult. They pushed on deep into the hills of the new territory and encountered a climb that defeated all but 3 out of 7 of them. The hills were so steep they travelled at a speed of 65km per hour coming down!

Darragh assures us that the photo’s don’t do justice to the scenery, it was spectacular in places and worth the effort to get there. They cycled 7 hours and 120Km in total, it was a great day and they all felt great accomplishment uponcompletion.

Later that evening they dragged themselves back to SZ and had a BBQ to raise some more cash, about 40 people came to support and over 600 euro was raised there.

It was difficult to calculate exactly how much they raised as they all encouraged people to donate throught the website but they estimate the total to be between three and four thousand euro. Shenzhen Celts donated $500, and the Shenzhen Dragons donated €100.

All in all it was a great day for a great cause and Darragh is extremely happy that he could chip in to the great work that is going on at home. We are all extremely proud of and grateful to Darragh for the time and effort that was put into this event.

Pictures from the cycle in China have been added to our photo page if you would like to check them out