For most of us, a commute involves a short walk at best or a packed train journey at worst. For Patrick Ronan, who’s due to begin work as a boat boy at Peligoni shortly, getting to his summer job is an adventure of a lifetime. Along with his pal Freddie, Patrick is cycling a whopping 2,330km to Greece, venturing through France, Switzerland, before crossing over a few Greek islands towards The Club. They are raising money for 2 great causes close to their hearts, The Samburu Trust and Shepherd Of The Hills. We spoke to Patrick just before he left to find out more…
What was the key motivation behind this ride?
The first key motivation behind this ride for me and Freddie was mostly the adventure of it. We both wanted to do something challenging this summer holiday and it seemed crazy enough! Secondly, once we came up with the idea, we decided it would be a good idea to raise money for our chosen charities, The Samburu Trust, based in Kenya, and Shepherd Of The Hills based in the Philippines.
How long did you have to train – any highs and lows?
As we were rather spontaneously late in organising this ride, we have only been able to train for our bike ride for a month prior to leaving. One of our biggest highs was when we cycled to Bristol from Cirencester, to go and see my sister, and then back the next day. Our biggest low was hitting the rolling Cotswolds which was a bit of a shock to the system!
Have you done anything like this before?
No but the nearest thing that I have done is to drive around Kenya and Uganda with a friend from school camping on the way, similar to Freddie driving around New Zealand with one of his school mates.
What are you looking forward to about the adventure?
We are both very much so looking forward to getting to Peligoni! We are also looking forward experiencing different things like meeting new people, seeing new sights. The things we are most dreading are getting lost on an angry French man’s land and also going through the alps!
You say you are carrying your lives in 2 bags throughout the trip, what does this entail?
Slippers / After shave / Toenail clippers / Cushtie cushion / Dressing gown / Night shirt / Shampoo and conditioner / Michelin guide to France / Davidoff’s (Joking!) / Sleeping bag / Role mat / Food / Map / Waterproof / Torch, pen knife / First aid / Spare parts / Tent / Spare clothes
What are your thoughts on the growing trend of cycling – will you be getting out and exploring the roads of Zakynthos on your days off?
The one the benefits of the growing trend of cycling is that fact that it is much better for the environment. Why drive to work when you can bicycle! In terms of going for bike rides on my days of at Peligoni! I highly doubt I will want to get back on a bike for a very long time and I can imagine my bottom will thank me for it!
What made you want to work at Peli this summer?
I had three siblings work there who have all had the most fantastic time working there. I absolutely love sailing and it seemed like the best place to do it!
Patrick is cycling for The Samburu Trust
The Samburu Trust is helping those troubled by the drought which has reached the point where it really is a fight for survival now. Those living in the North of Kenya have to walk 5 hours down to water and 5 hours back every two days – everyone and everything is thirsty and there is no grass, including all of their livestock causing them to die in large numbers. The smell is just of carcasses, to many for the hyena and lion to eat. They are also at the front of fighting to prevent poaching, with their highly trained rangers, patrolling night and day to prevent poachers killing endangered animals like Rhinos, Elephants and Lions, all for money. They also work to prevent tribal wars in the region of Laikipia as well as educating the Samburu children. Patrick has had first hand experience of this as he worked for the family that runs the trust and can therefore guarantee the money will be going straight to aiding those in need.
Freddie is cycling for the Shepherd Of The Hills
The Shepherd of the hills is children’s foundation in the Philippines which focuses on children who are in need, abandoned, neglected, dependant, underprivileged and mostly Orphans! Freddie volunteered for 6 weeks at this orphanage, where he laboured alongside the hardworking children during the day and played activities such as Basketball, and Pool with them in the evenings. After living with the children and developing friendships with them, Freddie could appreciate the importance of the support they have received from SOTH. From being taken in after abandonment, they are educated and develop life skills until they are old enough and ready to stand on their own feet.
If you would like to support Patrick and Freddie please you can donate here where donations are divided equally between both The Samburu Trust and Shepherd Of The Hills. You can also follow their journey on their dedicated Facebook page here.