Charity Cycle: Malin Head to Mizen Head - Game Over!


How prophetic

Well, day 1 of cycle and it's already been eventful. 

The day started great - Malin Head was stunning. We were the only people there aside from a lady selling t-shirts and a guy selling coffee. We chatted to them and told them of our adventure across the country, they said Roisin was by far the youngest person to ever attempt the journey, they were moved by our story and our need to 'give back' to the Irish Heart Foundation. They waved us off to great cheers - we felt like the last of the High Kings and Queens (and princesses) of Ireland as we glided through the majestic headlands, a beauty that grips you tight, and, as we were to find out, rips you up.

About 5 miles in, we were cruising downhill on a wild country road, when Roisin skidded on a patch of loose gravel. It literally could have happened to anyone - regardless of age, mileage, ability - loose gravel is the bike equivalent of black ice. I was about 10 feet in front and heard the almighty crash, bang, wallop, Dom was roaring for me, then the unimaginable - the screams from Roisin that tore me up and will haunt me to my dying days. The kind of sounds every mother on the planet hears and immediately dies a little inside. I abandoned my own bike and sprinted back, the 10 feet felt like 10 miles. A calmness descended on me because I knew her screams meant she was alive. The rest is a blur, Dom sprinted off to get help, I held Roisin on the roadside, her bike wheels still spinning in the gravel. Cars stopped, in fact, every car stopped, a nurse appeared, she comforted us, examined Roisin, a fracture, maybe, shock definitely. Roisin shivered and screamed, and screamed and screamed. I don't know how I did it but I kept calm, I held her tight and told her everything would be alright, and I prayed in my head that it would. 

'No ambulance would get to you', a local old man in a passing car told us, 'come to my house' he suggested. The kindness that poured out from every car was so moving. But Dom reappeared behind the drivers wheel, the kind nurse, Elaine, and her husband got our bikes in the back and waved us off with well wishes - not as celebratory as the send off we'd had an hour before in Malin Head. We ended up in A&E in Derry city a nasty fracture of the humerus bone was diagnosed along with a concussion (helmets save lives folks). According to the nurses humeral fractures are the most painful fracture a human can endure (certainly when you're a pint sized human). Fair play to Roisin, she kept her wits about her in the hospital, when the clueless doctor asked her for the umpteenth time to move her arm, she replied "You are contravening my human rights by continually asking me to do something that you know will hurt me." (she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up). 

Today, Roisin is feeling a bit better, she is still in pain and moving slowly but the smile is back. She will need close monitoring for the next few months so we are heading back to Dublin. 

The family cycle is over, but Dom is more determined than ever to complete, this time in Roisin's honour. After a shower and cup of tea in Dublin he will be heading back to the top of the country to complete the cycle on his own over 4 days. I will be completing it virtually over the next couple of months and Roisin will be eating ice cream and chilling out. 

Now, things have gotten even more personal - Ireland, we've a bone to pick!

A word from Róisín - Always mind yourself!


  1. Wow! Eventful doesn’t do day 1 any justice!
    Hope you are all ok and sending lots of love & hugs ❤️

  2. Sending well wishes to the brave Roisin and her equally brave mamma. And go Dom! X

  3. Screams are nature's way of letting the rest of the world know that something's not quite right. It's a helluva way for a 7 year old to learn one of life's great truths - roads are dangerous places!

  4. A very unfortunate start but I am very glad to hear things are now under control. Best wishes to roisin!

  5. I'm so glad roisin is doing ok she's a trooper and I was only happy to reassure you guys, you were all on our minds since. Elaine

    1. Elaine!! I was trying to track you down to say thank you SO so much. You kept everything calm and Róisín still talks about you! It was a severe proximal humerus fracture but the bones are starting to knit back and she's back to her chatty self. No gallivanting for the next 3 months but she has one hell of a story to tell everyone back at school. Sincerest appreciation from us, you stuck with us and we are forever grateful 🤗


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