Local endurance cycling champion Joe Barr is today setting out to break the World Ultra-Cycling Association’s World Record for riding the length of Ireland – twice!
Team Joe Barr’s target is to complete the 932km/760-mile route in under 48 hours, shaving nearly 40 minutes off the current record for Malin Head – Mizen Head – Malin Head of 48 hours, 38 minutes and 47 seconds.
Joe will be riding a top spec Spiegel Diablo bike with special Ventex carbon wheels, all specially designed for long distance endurance cycling, which Spiegel have donated with the request that he test out their new frame, and give them feedback after the event.
With their main sponsor White’s Oats, his partner and Performance Nutrition Adviser Jill estimates that he will burn 30,000 to 35,000 calories over the entire effort, which presents a challenge to keep him fed on nutritious snacks on the move.
The other main challenge today will be the weather, which is not ideal. Joe says: “When you make your application for a WUCA World Record you don't get to choose a favourable weather weekend. You choose your dates and lady luck provides you with a weather pattern to work with. And wouldn't you know it, this weekend is extremely unfavourable. We could cancel or reschedule - but that's not our style.”
Joe’s route today will be from Malin Head/Carndonagh/Quigley’s Point/Muff/Culmore/over Foyle Bridge/Lifford/Castlederg/Enniskillen and crossing the border at Swanlinbar for the onward journey south.
Joe’s expected to be coming through Quigley’s Point at around 5.30pm and in Derry towards 6pm.
Joe will be carrying a Primal Tracking unit, a 65g matchbox-sized transmitter which sends signals to a satellite system, so that you can locate him as a dot on the map of Ireland as he progresses from Donegal down to Cork and back again.
You can follow Joe’s progress to and from Cork on the satellite map with this link: