Belfast Telegraph

Trevor Ringland can't wait to have another try at Maracycle

By Patrice Dougan

He may by better known for his rugby prowess but Trevor Ringland isn't one to shy away from a challenge.

The former Ulster and Ireland international will be donning a tighter pair of shorts than usual this summer when he takes part in the Maracycle. The Belfast to Dublin cycle has returned again this year for anyone wishing to push themselves through a gruelling 200 miles.

Participants will cycle from Dublin to Belfast and back again over the weekend of June 25 and 26 to raise money for cross-border charity, Co-Operation Ireland.

As a member of the board of directors of Co-Operation Ireland, Trevor didn't have much choice in taking part. But he will only be doing the second leg down to Dublin because of other commitments that weekend.

"I have done it before many years ago," he said.

"I have done a lot more cycling since then so it should hopefully be easier but it's about 20 years since I did it.

"But it's not an easy cycle and the direction of the wind makes a huge difference - I have enough problems with weight so l don't need a big strong wind.

"Usually people like to collect behind me because they get a bit of shelter - I can probably shelter about 10 cyclists behind me."

He has a few stories about his previous Maracycle escapades, but needless to say he promotes it as "a great event" that's "good fun".

"It's a good challenge and also there's a positive symbolism around it and what it represents," he said.

"It's about building relationships in Ireland and the opportunity to express that. And no matter how difficult it is people enjoy it because it is difficult.

"I used to whine about rain and wind and things like that but what you find that is as much as people complain they enjoy having completed the cycle and that's part and parcel of it."

The money raised from the Maracycle will go towards projects which help break down sectarian barriers and build relationships between different communities, north and south of the border.

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