A CYCLING club that started over nine years as a result of a casual chat in a pub is going strong and recently presented a cheque for €8,000 to the Aislinn Centre in Ballyragget.
It started as a joke between a few friends on a dark winter’s night at the counter in Tim Barry’s pub in Rathdowney. Fed up talking about the weather and the price of cattle, the conversation had died and just to break the silence some comedian joked “ Let’s cycle to Achill this summer it’ll be good for us” Ten years later the group is still going strong.
Over the past ten years The Easy Riders have raised over €370,000 for Conquer Cancer, Praedar Willie Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Down Syndrome, Autism, Guide Dogs for the Blind, The Make Believers, Drug Rehab, Dyslexia Support among others.
To date hundreds of cyclists have covered thousands of miles and raised funds the many deserving causes thanks to the kindness and generosity of you the sponsors and general public.
This year for their annual cycle the group, made up of 55 cyclists and 25 back up crew chose to cycle to Achill Island in to raise monies for The Aislinn Centre in Ballyraggett, The Laois Dyslexia Support Group and some local causes in Rathdowney.
The group were honoured to have Rathdowney’s very own Olympian Gerry Hayes, who has won four Olympic gold medals to cut the ribbon for the start of the 180-mile cycle. to Achill Island from Rathdowney on the morning of the 4th of August. Gerry won Gold in swimming in the Baton Rouge 1984. Earlier this month The Easy Riders presented two cheques for €2000 and €8000 to Laois Dyslexia and The Aislinn Centre Ballyraggett respectively and two cheques of €1000 each to Rathdowney Community Centre and Rathdowney Playground.