Most people would struggle to complete a 100km course on a cycle, using leg power – but Davy Kerr covered the gruelling distance using the power of his muscular arms.
Davy (33) is a hand cyclist, having lost the power of his legs in an accident when he was 19.
But he covered the recent ‘Coastal Challenge’ on the Ards Peninsula, in a superb five hours well within the eight-hour limit decreed by the organisers.
He had no problem keeping up with his fellow ‘leg’ cyclists, Andrew Keegan, Andrea Nash and Alf McCormick, cycling friends who went with him on the event.
It was the annual Bangor Coastal Charity Ride, organised by North Down Cycle Club, the outward route for which is along the Irish Sea coast of the peninsula via Donaghadee, Millisle, Cloughey and down into Portaferry.
The return ride was along the Strangford Lough coast.
“The coastal runs were fine,” said Davy. “But the Ards-Bangor finish is rather tough, very hilly, given that it’s at the end of the course – but we did it in a very commendable time.”
The charities to benefit fwere The Samaritans, St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army.
Davy doesn’t see himself as disabled and this positive attitude is ideal for his voluntary work at Musgrave Park unit in Belfast.
He loves his latest trusty steed, a custom-made ‘Sopur Quickie’ from Germany and which he finds glides along the roads. This weekend, Davy and Andrea – who cycles with the Clann Eireann Club in Lurgan – are tackling the Giants Causeway Coastal Challenge.
And next year, he’s planning a cross-Ireland hand cycle – from Bundoran on the Donegal coast to Newcastle, a total of 114 miles.
“I’ll have to time that one carefully,” said Davy. “It all puts quite a strain on my shoulders and if I overdo it, I simply have to rest out for a while.”
Davy has also swum “from Dover to Calais” – or the equivalent! He covered the distance of 22.5 miles in Cascades pool over several weeks.