What a first day!

After being interviewed by the Belfast Airport press office, we were met by Ryan and Ray (with Ray besplendent in Tattoos and string vest)
Then it was off to Inverary Community Centre to meet with our new best freeing a from Belfast City Council – Tommy, Sandra, John, Lesley and all the team gave us a fantastic welcome and a perfect Irish Brunch.
Then we were off to City Hall to meet The Lord Mayor, Nichola Mallon, who was an absolute delight, though she disappointingly declined to ride one of the bikes for us!
Read the press article here.
Then we were off for another fabulous welcome by great friends Alan & Maura, with the Ballynahinch Lions, Bob, Richard and all the guys, who also have us a very generous donation towards the charities.
Then Newcastle on the coast beckoned with a coffee and lovely Morellis ice cream (and given what we are doing the lovely lady in the coffee shop gave us all out drinks for half price – £1 for a fabulous cappuccino!!!)
We met up with local Elite Race riders, Stephen Dineen and Michael Kelly who showed us the route into our first night stop at the excellent Canal Court in Newry – but not before Stephens company Dineen Office Supplies had also given us a very generous donation!
The evening dinner was a special treat as birthday boy, Magoo McAra again celebrated his birthday with a cake, having worn the Tour Tiara all day!
And we were also joined by Stephen’s father and our good friend Kieran Dineen who told stories and jokes (mainly (and justifiably) at the chief organiser’s expense) much to the delight if the assembled Tourists.
An early night was has in preparation for a very, very challenging 2nd day.
But if the rest of the Northern Irish folk are half as nice as those we’ve met so far, we’re in for a real treat!!

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