Intrepid KBRT cyclist reflects on his epic journey

July 4, 2016

The Culloville man who recently completed an epic 4000 mile coast to coast cycle across the US in aid of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT) has reflected on his trip as he enjoys a well earned rest among friends and family in New York.

Posting on the Twowheels Tonewyork Facebook page last week, Darren Rowland recalled the moment he and his cycling partner Jamie Malone crossed the finish line of the mammoth trek in Woodlawn, The Bronx on Saturday 18th June. The pair received a warm welcome from family and friends before making their way to the Rambling House to enjoy a rapturous reception and fundraiser for the KBRT.  En route they passed spot where 23 year old Kevin Bell was tragically knocked down and killed three years ago.

“It’s so surreal now that it’s all over, we’ve taken the last week to rest and reflect on what was an amazing journey across the country,” said Darren.

“We have seen so much and met so many really great people. We will never forget the kindness we were afforded in America by both Irish and American people alike.

“What started out as a holiday trip with a twist for myself turned into an amazing journey to raise funds and awareness for KBRT. Myself and Jamie are extremely proud to be associated with such an amazing trust and to witness at first hand the respect and regard it’s held in by Irish people abroad was extremely humbling for us.”

Darren added that getting to know Kevin’s family and friends in the trust since he decided to take up the challenge in January “has been a delight” and admitted that witnessing the great work done by the trust has opened his eyes to how important the trust is to the so many families all over Ireland that need it.

Paying tribute to Kevin’s parents, the intrepid cyclist added: “Personally I’d like to thank Colin and Eithne Bell and The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust for allowing us to complete such a trip in Kevin’s memory. Myself, knowing Kevin in school, and Jamie Irish dancing with Kevin in their younger years, it was our absolute pleasure.

“What you do in Kevin’s memory and carrying forward his legacy is absolutely amazing, well done everyone involved and keep up the great work!”

Similarily, Darren’s cycling partner, Jamie, also took to social media to reflect on the adventure, describing it as “an experience of a lifetime” that she will never forget.

“The generosity we received from everyone across the States, inviting us into their homes, the craic with every new face and new friends we have made… priceless memories!” she posted.

“Darren organised this whole thing and I’m so thankful to him and happy I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join him for the last leg.  Doing this in Kevin’s memory made it so much more special…. raising awareness to people who didn’t even know the charity existed just highlighted the importance of KBRT and the amazing work they do.

Thank you so much to everyone for all the love and support an encouragement along the way. When days were tough it helped us to keep going! Still can’t believe we made it!!”