A local man has returned from “a trip of a lifetime” after he travelled on the iconic Route 66 by motor bike in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital. Eamonn Gallagher returned to Dundalk last week after spending two weeks in the USA travelling over 3,945km on the famous route.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat this week about the experience, Eamonn said: “It is something that I have always wanted to do. It was a trip of a lifetime and it was all for a good cause.”
Eighty-one people travelled to the states to complete the route, including bikers and a medical team. In total, the group has raised over €300,00 for Temple Street.
As the group prepared to take on the iconic, wild and wonderful challenge, they had to focus on raising funds to support the re-development project of Top Flat, a ward where some of Ireland’s sickest children are cared for.
“I had to organise many fundraising events to raise the funds needed. I held table quizzes and raffles. It was a tough challenge, but I really wanted to help the charity,” said Eamonn.
To prepare for the tough challenge, Eamonn and his group had many group training sessions.
“We had to train, since January we trained once a month. We went group riding across the country, including Dublin and Laois. I was the only person north of Dublin to take part in the Route 66 Motorcycle Challenge,” said Eamonn.
“Route 66 was tough. We were travelling through the Mojave desert the temperature was extremely hot. It wasn’t so bad when we were on the bikes, but when we were off them it was very hot. We all were drinking water constantly so we wouldn’t dehydrate.
“We travelled through Cowboy and Indian territory including, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, Joplin, Missouri, Oklahoma and finishing in Los Angelas.”
Their itineray saw them hit the road at 6.15am and finish at 7.30pm, taking breaks throughout the day.
“I loved every minute of it,”Eamon added. “Everywhere we went, we were welcomed with open arms.”
There seems to be nothing stopping this motorcyclist enthusiast, as Eamonn plans to complete Route 66 in 2014.
“I’ve always loved bikes and I’m already looking forward to going in 2014. I’d encourage anybody who is interested in doing the challenge to contact me,” Eamonn added.
To contact Eamonn, phone 04293-26358.