Jamie set to get on her bike for 2wheels2newyork challenge

May 16, 2016

Newry girl Jamie Malone is ready to get on her bike and join intrepid cyclist Darren Rowland for the last leg of his epic 4000 mile charity cycle from San Francisco to New York.  Jamie will take to the saddle for the 800 mile trek from Louisville Kentucky to New York, providing Darren with some well earned company on the road for the final 3 weeks of the cycle.

The Culloville man embarked on the gruelling challenge on 3rd April and, apart from a recent two week break due to the intense heat, he has been fervently pedalling his way across America, all in aid of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT).

Having donned his cycling gear once again last week after a well earned break during which he took in the sights of Arizona and New Mexico and attended the Texas Rose of Tralee Festival in Dallas, Darren made it to the Texas/Arkansas state line on Friday.  He described Dallas as a physical and mental midpoint in his journey, being 2000 miles from his start and finish points as well as marking a route change as he will now travel north easterly, heading for New York.

Inspired by her friend’s determination and commitment to the challenge, Jamie decided back in January that she would join Darren on his journey and she embarked on a tough training schedule with a gym instructor. She readily admits that, although the two wheeled trip is completely out of her comfort zone, having never even owned a bike before, she is “determined to see it through” for the sake of raising money for the renowned KBRT, a cause close to her heart.

“I wanted to do something big this year for charity so this seemed perfect and when Darren said it was for the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, I couldn’t have been happier,” Jamie told The Examiner.

Having known Kevin Bell in her Irish dancing years when they danced together at the Rooney O’Malley school, Jamie said she was stunned when she heard the tragic news of his death in New York in 2013.  “The work that his family have done in his memory is amazing,” added Jamie.

“I also love to travel, having seen most of Europe, lived in the Middle East and Australia, so this challenge just sounded like an adventure to me.

“I am not a cyclist by any means but I purchased a bike in February and began training then. I still find it strange that I’m going online to buy “nice” cycle gear instead of dresses but I’m really excited.

“Training has been tough going but I feel I am getting stronger and hopefully I will be able to keep up with Darren or he will just have to attach a tow rope!”

As part of Jamie’s fundraising drive ahead of her trip to join Darren on the 28th May, she held a hugely successful High Tea party at St. Killian’s GAA club yesterday (Sunday 15th May).  A prosecco reception was followed by  tea and delicious treats and a raffle.

She has also set up a fundraising page to accept all generous donations and has left sponsor cards with shops and businesses in Dublin.

“I’ve found that just by doing that awareness of the trust is being raised as so many did not know it existed,” said Jamie.

“That is our main aim for the KBRT – as well as wanting to raise as much money as possible for them, we also want to raise awareness all over America for those who don’t know about the Trust and the great work it does.”

To donate to Jamie’s 2wheels2newyork challenge visit–s-fundraising-page.html