motorbikes · Northern Ireland

I Would Ride 500 Miles But I Won’t Ride 500 More

They said I was mad.  Well that’s not really true, though Mrs W did look at me weirdly in the dark when I proposed the idea at 1am one February night.  That idea being motorbiking to all of Northern Ireland’s physical micro/nano brewery sites in a short designated period (later to be decided at 36 hours).  I love beer and I love riding my bike but the two don’t like each other for obvious reasons.  However this was an acceptable way of combining them both.

So once I got the idea in my head, that was that.  Lots and lots of emails/texts/DMs later, all 24 NI breweries/brewpubs were contacted (there are also contract breweries in NI but they couldn’t be visited for obvious reasons) and a route planned – all for a specific charitable cause which can be found here.

August 15th arrived and I set off at 8.10am on a gorgeously warm and sunny Monday.  I had 36 hours to bike 500 miles and visit 24 breweries.  Let’s do this!

ROUTE 500:
DAY 1: Carrickfergus, Mid Antrim, Ballycastle, Portrush, Derry City, Greysteel, Plumbridge, Donaghmore, Enniskillen.DAY 2: Derrygonnelly, Armagh, Newry, Kilkeel, Ballygowan, Greyabbey, Belfast, Hilden, Derriaghy.

 

1. Hillstown, Ahoghill – MONDAY 8.55am
2. Barrahooley, Martinstown 9.30am
3. Glens of Antrim Brewery, Murlough Bay 10.30am
4. Lacada, Portrush 11.15am
5. Dopey Dick, Derry 12.30pm
6. Walled City, Derry 1.00pm
7. Northbound, Campsie 1.30pm
8. O’Connor Craft Beer, Greysteel 2.15pm
9. Pokertree, Carrickmore 4.15pm
10. Red Hand Brewery/The Brewer’s House, Donaghmore 4.45pm
11. Inishmacsaint, Derrygonnelly TUESDAY 10am
12. Sheelin, Bellanaleck 10.30am
13. Station Works, Newry 12.30pm
14. Mourne Mountains Brewery, Warrenpoint 1.10pm
15. Whitewater, Kilkeel 2.00pm
16. Farmageddon, Ballygowan 4.30pm
17. Ards Brewing, Greyabbey 5.15pm
18. Bullhouse, Newtownards 6.00pm
19. Hercules, Belfast 6.30pm
20. Boundary, Belfast 6.50pm
21. Knockout, Belfast 7.00pm
22. Brewbot, Belfast 7.20pm
23. Hilden 7.45pm
24. Black Mountain Brewery/Speckled Hen Pub, Derriaghy 7.55pm

MISSION COMPLETE IN 35 HRS 45 MINS!

So many thanks to mention…
– First of all, to Darren at Pokertree who helped me pick the bike up when I dropped it in his drive!!! 😦
– To every single brewer who answered their email/texts/messages, gave up their time to meet me on the run, encouraged me and donated money or stock to be balloted for charity.  Anyone wanna win some beer?
– To Kim at Fastway Couriers NI who enthusiastically gave her support and pledged to transport the donated stock after the run.
– To the Westville Hotel in Enniskillen for discounting the family rooms on the Monday night. (Mrs W and the kids drove to Fermanagh to meet me at the halfway point)
– To everyone on social media who liked, shared and retweeted my progress over the 36 hours.
– To the higher entity who provided the massive orange ball in the cloudless sky for the entire two days.  The dry roads made for a wonderful and memorable ride around Northern Ireland.
– And finally to everyone who donated to the charitable cause, again details here.  Over £1,100 raised.  I’m genuinely humbled by your generosity and kind words.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

sleepgarden

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