Day 1 May 3rd
In true Rev-up tradition, dark skies greeted us over Joe Duffy’s BMW Dealership as the bikes and Bikers arrived in Their droves. Courtesy of Dave Humphreys and the Joe Duffy’s team, registration took place, for the third year running in their plush showrooms. As per usual with the aid of great coffee, the bikers all shot the breeze as they got aquainted or indeed in many cases re aquainted, and myself and the rest of the DSI team ran about reminding them that they had a long day ahead, all to no avail of course as the ethos of biking is all about the journey and not the destination.
With a long road ahead I took the executive decision ( I was told in other words) to lead the first group off and try get the rest to follow suit. In my group was Brett Murphy from Pole Position Travel (one of Rev-ups’ sponsors) and his pillion and partner Maria who had travelled all the way from Prague to participate and both were really looking forward to seeing our beautiful countryside.
Leaving Dublin we rode on back roads all the way as we headed West through Trim, Athboy, Longford, Roscommon, till we reached the West Coast. Due to the fact the bikes were travelling in small groups (for safety reasons), no matter what town we drove through you couldn’t help seeing DSI emblazoned riders stopping for lunch and fuel.
With lunch stops over, it was back in the saddles as we headed for Sligo town on the coast road. With breath taking views around every hairpin you couldn’t help but be blown away with the natural beauty of this part of Ireland.
For this years event we decided to stay for two nights in the Donegal seaside town of Bundoran staying in The Great Northern and Hollyrood Hotels.
After a buffet style dinner most people retired to the bar for a well deserved night cap after a long day.
Day 2 May 4th.
Again amidst dark foreboding skies , we saddled up and this time leaving Bundoran we headed North East. Taking in the North coast of Lough Erne, we headed through Omagh, Plumbridge, Draperstown and on up to Ballymoney. Now to those not into motorbikes, you may be wondering why we decided to break the day by stopping in Ballymoney. Ballymoney is the home town of the Dunlop Family, the most famous motorcycling family in Ireland and possibly the world, and so we took the decision to take the event to Joey Dunlops Bar to pay our respects to the Late great Joey Dunlop and indeed his racing siblings Robert and Jim and their families.
With Tea , Coffee and sandwiches laid on in the Joey Dunlop leisure centre we gathered all the riders together. Under Police Service Northern Ireland escort,all the bikes (150 +) rode into the centre of the town two abreast with lights flashing and horns beeping to Joeys Bar and Memorial Garden. Upon arrival we were greeted by Robert Dunlop and his son William.
After everyone had had Their photo taken with the Dunlops and re- charged their batteries, the riders again broke up into their small groups for the ride back to Bundoran.
Leaving Ballymoney we headed through Coleraine, Derry, onto Letterkenny where we swung South West through the absolutely stunning Barnesmore Gap to Donegal Town and onto Bundoran once more.
Sunday night on Rev-up weekend is Awards night and so after dinner John Lindsey CEO DSI took to the podium to thank all the participants and sponsors and to detail what DSI’s objectives for the coming years are and also where he envisions the funds raised shall be spent.
With the speeches done it fell to David Clarke and Niall Kavanagh to present the winners with their prizes.
Prize winners were ;
Biggest Corporate Sponsor ; BMW Motorrad Ireland
Most Collected By an Individual ; Ray Brennan
Furthest Travelled ; Kevin Haughey (USA , Second year to win this award)
Youngest Participant ; Lonan Dunne
Veteran Rider ; Michael Haughey
Best Bike ; Joe Swords
Oldest Bike ; Andrew Dunne
Special Recognition Award ; Dave Humphreys , Joe Duffy BMW .
Every year we have a special prize draw for all participants who have raised in excess of €3,000. This years prize is sponsored by Gordon Howell of Pole Position Travel and is a VIP trip for two to the Valencia round of Moto GP in October. It is all all expenses paid trip including opening night party which includes a VIP charity auction of Moto GP memorabilia with all proceeds going to DSI .
This years winner was Brian Marsh and he is bringing his son Sam along on the trip. Congratulations Brian and Sam and enjoy.
Day 3 May 5th
With the Sun finally putting in an appearance the riders set off once more on the homeward leg. Taking in Enniskillen, Drumshanbo, Killeshandra, Cavan, Kingscourt,
Slane, Ashbourne and onto Stewarts Hospital Palmerstown.
With all participants once again all together we set off on our homecoming parade under Garda Traffic Corps outriders escort. With this years event being bigger than previous years, the parade had to be seen to be believed. Over a mile of bikes with their riders all clad in DSI hi viz vests and a crescendo of noise emanating from the bikes ( and a few of the riders ), noone in the Phoenix Park that day could say they didn’t notice us.
So it falls upon me to thank all our sponsors and supporters .
Kate Short and all at BMW Motorrad Ireland, Dave Humphreys and all at Joe Duffy’s BMW, Gordon Howell, Brett Murphy and all at Pole Position Travel, Annette Dempsey and all at Symantec, Doop Design and Karen McEniff and all at McEniff Hotel Group.
The Biggest thanks of all must go to all the participants who once again made Rev-up4DSI the memorable event it is.
As a postscript I would like on behalf of all at DSI to extend our deepest sympathies to the Families and Friends of Martin Finnegan and Robert Dunlop. Martin and Robert were both very supportive of DSI and indeed Rev-up4DSI , with Martin driving the Fr Ted Milk Float around Mondello Park to raise funds for DSI. Martin and Robert lost Their lives participating in a sport they both loved and were fantastic ambassadors for, at the Tandragee 100 and North West 200 respectively.
Our sympathies to both families.
“SHARE THE JOURNEY”