First Years Cycle the Westport Greenway – March 2014

The First Years travelled to Westport for the weekend of March 7th to 9th. The Hotel Westport was the base for the weekend. The First Years arrived on Friday evening and after a great swim in the pool, supper was served . Then it was time to head to the rooms as there was a big cycle ahead the next day.

Some of the lads were so excited that they found it hard to sleep and the last of the bunch finally got some shut-eye at 2.30am!!! Br. Denis wasn’t too happy. But he got his own back as it seemed like minutes when Br. Denis was knocking on the doors to get everyone up for the Greenway cycle. There were some very sleepy heads.

Breakfast was vast amounts of carbs with the full Irish for everyone. Then to the Bike Hire shop where we were bussed to Achill to collect the bikes for the cycle. Achill was like a hurricane had hit it and it was difficult to stand let alone get on to the bikes, it was so wet and windy. It took over an hour to get everyone kitted with bikes, helmets and high-vis jackets. And eventually we cycled out of Achill and headed off on the Greenway. The intention was to cycle all the way from Achill to Westport along the Greenway. It seemed like a Blizzard hit us at Achill Sound as we tried to negotiate and we were blown around a bit like rag-dolls. Poor Leon Milne was blown into a bog at the side of the pathway and he and his bike ended upside down. Leon was drenched from head to toe.

It took two hours to get twelve kilometers to Mulranny from Achill. At this point, Br. Denis gave people the choice of continuing the cycle or going back on the bus. Over half the Year decided to take the bus back and the hardier cyclists headed off to Newport with the wind (and rain) at their backs. This part of the cycle wasn’t anything as difficult as the first part and the scenery was beautiful.

Some of the lads had to take a taxi from Newport to Westport as a couple of the bikes got broken.

That left the hardiest of the cyclists and led by Br. Denis and Travis Huntly they cycled the last leg from Newport to Westport. They arrived back at the Bike Hire shop tired but very pleased that they were able to cycle the full Greenway path despite the very poor weather. Then it was time to head to the Hotel Westport for a well-earned swim. We got to watch the last half hour of the Ireland v Italy game. Then it was off to mass in Westport.

Most people were in their rooms and asleep by 10.30pm. The previous late night and the exertions of the day meant that everyone was totally exhausted. We were allowed to sleep in on Sunday morning but almost everyone was at breakfast by 9.00am. The bus came at noon and the whole party headed back to Glenstal… and arrived there tired and happy.

Congratulations to the First Years who braved the elements and cycled all the way from Achill to Westport. They were: Alfie Hales, Luke Lynch, Tiernan Ryan, Jake Ryan, Tim Sweeney, Mike Twomey, Ciaran Delargey, Eoghan Fitzgerald, Sean Gilbride, Patrick McCrann, Emmett Aylward, Mark Breslin, Marcus Esmond and Conor Butler. Unfortunately, Adam Brennan and Christopher McEnery the two Prefects were unable to complete the cycle as they had to go back with the bus.

It was a great weekend and everyone enjoyed themselves. The First Year class is now closer as a group and everyone bonded.

Special thanks to Br. Denis, Travis Huntly, Adam Brennan and Christopher McEnery for taking the trip. Thanks also to the Hotel Westport who looked after us so well.

There are photos of the weekend in the Photos Section. The photos were taken by Br. Denis and Mikey Higgins. Jake Ryan used the Go Pro and we will do a short video on the weekend sometime soon.