50 riders get on their High Nellys

FIFTY cyclists turned out to take part in Dundalk’s first ever High Nelly vintage cycling tour to raise money for the Haven Partnership.

FIFTY cyclists turned out to take part in Dundalk’s first ever High Nelly vintage cycling tour to raise money for the Haven Partnership.

The cyclists were joined by Dundalk Fire Station’s vintage Merryweather fire engine on the 30km ride from Dundalk to Carlingford.

The cyclists departed from Aura Leisure Centre on Saturday, August 20 and stopped off at Fitzpatricks in Jenkinstown before finishing at Taffee’s Castle in Carlingford.

According to one of the organisers, Sean Duffy from Newtownbalregan, the cycle was a “great success” and “good craic was had by all”.

“The Merryweather fire engine looked splendid as it was at the head of the peleton of vintage bike riders clanging its bell and giving the column a safe passage through the streets of the town,” said Sean.

“Civil Defence were equally important on the day ensuring safe passage on the now large modern roundabouts and busy roads.”

He added: “Visiting riders from Athboy, Carrickmacross and Carlingford were all having a good time in the new and novel event so much that there is big interest in forming a club or group to cater for them.”

Some of the cyclists including John Castle and Sean Tiernan of Athboy Vintage Bikers got into the spirit of things by wearing flat caps and fancy dress.

Sean said he was delighted with the turnout and that Dundalk has a great tradition of cycling in both competition and lesiure cycling. Rosettes were also presented to the winners of various categories.

The Rosette awards went to Paddy Whyte for Best Presented Old Bike; the Lady Cyclist rosette was awarded to Rose McGeeney for her ‘lady going to market theme’.

The ‘Best Presented Non-standard Bike’ was tandem pair John and Aine Castle of Athboy; ‘Vintage Period Dressed Male’ was Sean O’Hanlon of Bellurgan and ‘Combined Vintage Bike and Outfit’ went to John Tierney of Athboy.

“The finish was a wonderful scene as the riders arrived the Medieval people were getting ready for their week-long stay at Taffee’s Castle,” said Sean.

The ‘Team of Riders Award’ was given to Taaffes Castle Cyclists, Carlingford. The High Nelly bike ride was a charity event to raise funds for the Haven Partnership to send Sean and his friend, John Dooley from Ballymakellet, Ravensdale, to Haiti on a house rebuilding programme in November.