Niall’s Croí Cycle to show thanks for support his parent’s received

Niall Folan and his wife Catriona are living in Knocknacarra, Galway, with their 7 month old daughter, Roisin. On Sunday, July 11th, Niall took on the challenge and cycled an incredible 110km at the 27th Annual Croí Corrib Cycle in Connemara in aid of Croí!

When Niall saw the Croí Corrib Cycle advertised on Facebook, he instantly recognised Croí as both his parents are living with heart disease and have attended some of Croí’s lifestyle courses and exercise classes. His father, Enda, is living with diabetes and has had stents in his heart. In addition to using Croí’s services, Enda has worked with the National Institute for Preventive Cardiology (NIPC), providing patient information and interviews about living with diabetes.

Niall enjoys his lunch after a long 110km cycle

Niall comes from a family of rowers and he says that they have a ‘get going’ and competitive mentality. His brother, Cormac, competed in rowing at the 2008 Olympics! Back in September, Niall says, “I got a stark warning from my doctor, and my wife who is a doctor, that I needed to make some lifestyle changes. I was eating a lot of rubbish and it was all down to laziness. I was aware of the heart history in my family as well as high blood pressure and diabetes. I began my journey in losing weight and improving my overall health.”

Niall is new to cycling, having got a new bike in March and began pushing himself to reach his goals. He always enjoyed cycling, be it individually or with his brothers, but when he saw the Croí Corrib Cycle coming up, he decided to set himself a goal to complete the 110km route and his first-ever Croí Corrib Cycle. He is extremely happy he did the cycle, and did better than he expected! This was his first big outing with a cycling crew and he loved being able to join groups on the road, as well as cycling on his own at some parts. Niall’s friends and family were also a great support, helping him go beyond his fundraising target and raising over €800 for Croí!

Niall really enjoyed the 27th Annual Croí Corrib Cycle and says, “It was a brilliant event and so well-organised. It’s definitely worth doing, especially when you know it’s for a good cause and Croí is helping so many people.”

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the Croí Corrib Cycle on Sunday, July 11th. To view our photos from the day, check out our Facebook photo album here.

27th Annual Croí Corrib Cycle Get Cyclists back in the Saddle!

The Annual Croí ‘Tour De Lough Corrib’ Charity Cycle was cancelled last year due to Covid-19, but a small number of cyclists kept the history of the event alive by completing ‘virtual’ cycles across Ireland and further afield.

This year, on Sunday July 11th, due to the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, we were delighted to be able to welcome over 200 cyclists to the 27th consecutive running of our annual charity cycle over three new route options of 40k, 80k and 120k respectively, all starting and finishing at Maam Cross.

Despite the participant number limitation, the event was an outstanding success. Entries were offered on a first-come, first-served basis but unfortunately, Covid-19 safety regulations dictated a limited number of places. To the many disappointed cyclists who could not participate, we offer our apologies and we hope that we can return to more normal numbers in 2022.

We offer our sincere thanks and deep appreciation to our primary sponsor, Corrib Oil, who have been our cycle sponsor continuously since the very first cycle in 1995.

Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director, says:

“We are thrilled that our first physical fundraising event of the year was a great success, with huge thanks to all our cyclists, sponsors, volunteers and community support. The funds raised will allow us to impact on the lives of many people living with heart disease or recovering from stroke. We are proud to provide so many free support services, including our Heartlink West telephone support line. Thank you for supporting our work and helping us in the ongoing fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.

Finally – huge congratulations to Brian MacDonncha, the winner of our fantastic cycling equipment package to the value of €1,000 courtesy of West Side Cycles!”.

To see all of the pictures from this event, check out our album on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @CroiHeartStroke.

The power of cycling: Pat Horan, 70, shares his recovery story

This week is Men’s Health Week. Croí cyclist, Pat Horan, shares his story to help raise awareness and support others.

Pat Horan, from Aglish in North Tipperary, credits his daily hour of cycling for keeping him fit and healthy at 70 years of age. Well known as the owner of Pat Horan Motors, a family run business with motorhomes and campers for sale, Pat is gearing up for the Croí Corrib Cycle, in aid of a charity that is very close to his heart.

In 2017, while Pat was out for his daily cycle and only one mile from home, he lost all energy and knew something wasn’t right. He didn’t have the typical heart attack symptoms of chest pain, but he knew he needed to get to the doctor right away. Pat was rushed to Limerick where he received stents in his heart, and then was referred to Dublin for a triple heart bypass.

Pat went to great lengths to reduce his risk of heart disease, even cutting out butter, sugar and salt from his diet over 25 years ago, but Pat’s family history was something that could not be modified. His advice for people recovering from heart surgery is to get out and get active: “You will be sore, but get out and go for a walk. Fresh air is amazing… do what you can and drink plenty of water,” says Horan.

Pat credits cycling and his fitness level for keeping him alive. “I go at my own pace, I like cycling on my own as there is no pressure. I head off at 8am in the morning and it sets me up for the day,” says Horan.

Pat on his bike

Pat is a motor sport enthusiast, and is looking forward to the restrictions being lifted so he can travel to Europe again to compete in the rallies with his youngest daughter, Noelle, his co-pilot. They have been invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the last number of years and also have taken part in the Legendary Eifel Rally Festival.

Pat is looking forward to a great day out at the Croí Corrib Cycle on Sunday, July 11th. Learn more and register now at croi.ie/cycle. Funds raised support Croí’s work in fighting heart disease and stroke.

Take a Summer Cycle in aid of Croí and help people living with heart disease and stroke

Pictured at the launch of 'My Summer Cycle for Croí' at Croí House, Galway, from left: Prof. Jim Crowley (Medical Director Croí); Bernard Dempsey (Corrib Oil, Tuam); Alan Connolly (Westside Bikes); and Paul Burke (Corrib Oil Tuam). Photo: Boyd Challenger

Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity is thrilled to announce ‘My Summer Cycle for Croí’, taking place this August Bank Holiday weekend – your distance, your route, your way!

Join Croí supporters including Jim Crowley, heart specialist  at Galway University Hospital, former Galway hurling star, Ollie Canning, and cycling clubs across the country for a cycle to raise funds in support of those affected by heart disease and stroke. With restrictions easing, we ask that cyclists follow guidelines on social distancing and cycle their favourite local route this August long weekend in aid of Croí.

Prof. Jim Crowley says, “I’ll be taking on ‘My Summer Cycle for Croí’ this August long weekend. It’s a great event to raise much-needed funds for Croí as it supports people living with heart disease and stroke, especially during these difficult times. And it’s great to get out on the bike, bring the family and cycle in support of your own heart health!”

Registration is a €25 donation to Croí, and cyclists are encouraged to try and fundraise at least €1 for every kilometre cycled. All registrants receive a special Croí Summer Cycle neck snood!

“Bring your family, friends or team mates together for Croí’s Summer Cycle – all ages and cycling abilities are welcome to take part and help us raise much-needed funds to support our work in fighting heart disease and stroke,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Director of Fundraising.

Croí is facing an unprecedented challenge – people living with heart disease and stroke are most at risk if affected by COVID-19 and they need Croí’s support services more than ever. Funds raised will directly support the Croí Heartlink West programme, which is a ‘free of charge’ support service for heart and stroke patients and their caregivers, providing direct access to the Croí specialist health team.

“Here at Croí, we rely on our own fundraising activities as we are not state-funded, and with the cancellation of so many of our events this year, we are appealing for support with this event. Last year we celebrated 25 years of the Croí cycle… this year is going to be different, but we ask that you still cycle for Croí – your distance, your route, your way!,” says Flanagan.

So put on your favourite cycling jersey and head off on your favourite route for a Summer Cycle in aid of Croí this August long weekend. You can share pictures of your cycle online by tagging Croí @croiheartstroke.

Learn more about the cycle and register now at www.croi.ie/mysummercycle.

Croí’s Summer Cycle is supported by Corrib Oil, Al Hayes Motors and Challenge Cycling Club.

25 years of cycling the Corrib in aid of Croí

Pictured at the launch of the 25th Annual Tour de Lough Corrib Cycle, in aid of Croí. From left, Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director; Paddy Keating, long-time Croí Cycle participant; Mary Cullinane, Corrib Oil; and Bernard Dempsey, Corrib Oil. Image credit: Johnny Ryan Photography.

It’s time to dust off your bike saddle and get in gear as registration is now open for the 25th Annual Tour de Lough Corrib cycle, in aid of Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity. The Croí charity cycle takes place on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 around Lough Corrib, in association with long-time sponsor Corrib Oil, the cycle’s main sponsor for 25 years running!

This is the biggest charity cycle in the West of Ireland, and promises to be even bigger and better this year to celebrate 25 years!

All abilities are welcome – cyclists will have a choice of a 45km, 80km or a 120km route. The cycle starts from the sports pavilion in Dangan and will take the route via Headford, Cong, Maam Valley, Oughterard, back to Galway, finishing at Croí House. Roadside assistance, support vehicles and plenty of refreshment stops will be provided on the day, along with a post-cycle celebration event in Croí House. Enter as an individual cyclist or get a team together, with group photographs happening at Croí House after the event.

“It’s incredible that this year we are celebrating the 25th cycle, and we have so many long-time cyclists that have been with us from the beginning,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí Fundraising Director. “It’s a fun cycle along a great route, and all abilities are welcome to join us. Every euro raised helps our team to continue our work here at Croí, leading the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland.”

Registration is free and essential at www.croi.ie/cycle, and cyclists are asked to fundraise for Croí. All cyclists will receive a technical t-shirt. Cyclists that reach a fundraising goal of €150+ will receive a specially designed 25th anniversary cycle jersey and entered into a raffle to win a fantastic bike package to the value of €1,000! Take part in this special 25th anniversary event and help Croí lead the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Learn more at www.croi.ie/cycle or call Croí on 091-544310 to register now.