Tinahely man embarks on epic 5,000km cycle to Turkey in aid of local school


A past pupil of Tinahely National School has embarked on a daring adventure all in the aid of his former educators. Shane Hoare, an automation engineer, began his cycling journey on Monday, June 13 from the steps of Tinahely National School with the destination of Istanbul, Turkey, a mere 5,000 kilometres away.

he ambitious expedition was always in the 26-year-old’s plans. An avid adventurer, he has summited Kilimanjaro and spent time at base camp on Mount Everest with his parents Jim and Sandra. This time, he wanted a cycling challenge. Life on two wheels is in his blood, with his late grandfather Joe having been a founding father of the Wicklow 200 cycling sportive. More than 3,000 people took part in the 39th edition of that event just last weekend.

Shane’s cycling quest to Istanbul is expected to take 90 days to complete, moving through five countries. Before leaving, Shane visited the pupils of Tinahely National School to show them his equipment, included his Trangia camping cooker, the MSR Hubba-Hubba tent and the Garmin handlebar mounted bike computer. All this gear was contained in a vast array of weatherproof carrier bags suspended from the bike frame.

He also detailed his journey, which will travel through England ,The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Serbia and Greece before finishing in Turkey. The culmination is planned to coincide with the pupils return to their studies in early September.

Tinahely National School has been full of praise for their former pupil, who has already raised more than €13,000 for new IT equipment for the school.

“Being his teacher and being involved with his family, I just find it very rewarding to think that the young man is carrying on with a volunteering spirit,” said Shane’s former teacher and current principal Síofra Gallagher. “As a teacher you love seeing these qualities come out from your past pupils.”

While Shane’s journey is already underway, the young volunteer was more than happy to lend advice to the current students of Tinahely National School before his departure. With a school ethos promoting outdoor activity, Shane suggested that the students “start small,” he said. “Cycle to the local Tomnafinnogue Woods’, venue of the annual school boat race, “and have a picnic with your family. Just go for it”.

You can follow Shane’s journey on his Instagram account, @ireland2istanbul.

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