| 6.1°C Belfast

Maurice ready to ride to rescue again at Maracycle

Close

Maurice Bracken with Corinne Robinson of the Irish Red Cross

Maurice Bracken with Corinne Robinson of the Irish Red Cross

Participants at the starting line at last year's Co-operation Ireland Maracycle event

Participants at the starting line at last year's Co-operation Ireland Maracycle event

/

Maurice Bracken with Corinne Robinson of the Irish Red Cross

With just days to go before the first leg of the Co-Operation Ireland Maracycle starts, organisers are running through last minute preparations making sure everything is in place.



And Maurice Bracken is no different — as head of the motorcycle marshals monitoring the length of the route, road safety is his top priority.

In the next few days his motorcycle team will make a run-through of the route to ensure no hazards can block the cyclists’ path as they undertake the 200-mile challenge from Dublin to Belfast and back.

“We check out the route a couple of days before the event to make sure there’s no surprises, no unnecessary roadworks have popped up or road closures,” Maurice explained.

On the day the marshals will be spaced out along the route so every area is covered. The team also help with repairs and injuries.

“We carry spare tubes, spanners and things so if someone breaks down we help them, if there’s something major broken we can go away and meet a repair vehicle and get stuff off them that we wouldn’t be carrying, like a spare wheel,” he said.

“And I carry a paramedic on the back of my bike with everything he or she needs.”

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

He said with a team of around 15 bikers with around 25 years of experience they are “all well versed in it”.

“It’s a labour of love,” he said, explaining why he returns every year to be a part of the Maracycle.

“It’s good craic and we have great satisfaction when the cyclists thank you at the end and say ‘I wouldn’t have got here if you didn’t give me a tube’, or things like that.” A former member of the security forces, Maurice said he was inspired to volunteer for the Maracycle as part of the peace process.

“The only way to bring peace is to bring both sides together and cycling was one way of doing that,” Maurice, who now works at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said. “When I heard it was starting I was approached about it and I got involved.

“In the Maracycle we have had hard-core nationalists and hard-core unionists but they all participate, get together at the end of the run and talk about their experiences. The following year they meet up again and that camaraderie is carried on. It’s great to see.”

For more information visit www.cooperationireland.org or contact 028 9032 1462

Background

The 200-mile Maracycle takes place on the weekend of June 25-26. Cyclists will journey from Dublin to Belfast and back again to complete the cross-border challenge. On the day a team of motorcycle marshals will monitor the route to make sure no cyclist gets into distress, and help with repairs and directions. Paramedics and first aid volunteers will also be on hand.


Privacy