Today my journey along the West Coast of Ireland begins.
I was planning on waiting for the perfect weather but so far this summer has been terrible and there is no sign of an imminent improvement! So I decided it was time to bite the bullet and go for it. I booked the time off work and today is Day Zero. I call it that as it isn’t really a day on the Wild Atlantic Way. It is just a day of travelling to get to the start of it. So after 260 miles and 1.25 tanks of fuel I finally have arrived at Kinsale, County Cork.
So far I have experienced every possible weather except snow and ice! The first 90 miles of my journey were wet, nah they were soaking wet, wet is actually drier that how wet it actually was! If you can work that out, and as a chap in a garage said to me, ‘At least it can’t get any worse.’ After that it got dry and windy, which I welcomed as it dried me out quite nicely and just as I got dry it got wet again, only this time wetter! Visibility was about 100 metres at best, it could only be described as grim, really really grim! Then I got to Cork, the rain stopped and the sun actually came out.
I arrived in Kinsale, Co. Cork which is a gorgeous little harbour town. It has loads of quality Irish bars and with it being a Sunday night every one of them was pumping out live music, the town was buzzing! It really is a crackin’ wee place, with loads of bikes zipping about and loads of tourists hopping from pub to pub. I threw my stuff into B&B and found a chippy called Dino’s and if you are ever here it is simply a must!
Then I took a walk about the town snapping a few photos before retiring for the evening to do this, update the Twitter and Instagram to set me up for a good night’s sleep before actual Day One!
It it with great sadness that I post these two articles, one from BBC News and another from the Ballymena Times. The BBC News article posts the news side of events, the Ballymena Times Article is much more personal, and written by one of the Doctor’s friends in a way that only someone who knew him would be able to do.
It is enough for me to say that this is a tragic incident that has rocked the motorcycling and Road Racing Communities. My thought and prayers are with the Doctor’s family and friends. He save many lives, and impacted on many more. As is said far too often, ‘It’s always the good ones!’
Please have a look at this petition, it was Dr John’s ambition to see this a reality so very signature helps!
Dr John Hinds in action at Fenton’s Leap during the 2013 Mid Antrim 150 at Clough. Picture: Stephen Davison (Pacemaker).
Roy Adams’ tribute to ‘Flying Doctor’ John Hinds (Original Article can be found at : http://www.ballymenatimes.com/sport/local-sport/roy-adams-tribute-to-flying-doctor-john-hinds-1-6835699)
I never, in a million years, thought I would have to write this.
As we all know now, Dr. John Hinds, part of the MCUI Medical team, died as a result of a crash at Skerries last weekend.
In a sport where the term ‘legend’ can be defined by the fact that you are recognised by your first name, we have Joey, Robert, William, Michael and, in the same breath, Dr John.
Dr John, whose day job was an anaesthetist in Craigavon Hospital, was recognised at one of the best trauma doctors in the world.
Just a couple of weeks ago I saw him work with Ian Morrell after his crash at Kells.
When he arrived at the scene he asked me how many riders were down. I said ‘Just one. Ian Morrell’. I told him what I had seen. He simply said ‘Good man. Thanks.’
He worked for almost 45 minutes before transferring Ian to a helicopter. Ian is alive now because of that.
What John Hinds did for bike racing can never be overstated.
A few years ago I undertook a solo run round Ireland on my bike to help the MCUI Medical Team.
I was in touch with both Dr Fred McSorley and Dr John a number of times before it and he called me the morning I left to wish me all the best. The call was at 6.00am. He never stopped.
When I crashed myself at Bishopscourt a couple of years ago, I had an ankle and some ribs broken. Just seeing Dr John put me at ease. I knew how good he was.
There are literally dozens of riders who are alive today because of his intervention. He helped to pioneer treatment on scene, and this is, as we know now, often the difference in a fatality or a recovery.
What John Hinds and the rest of the Medical Team have done for bike racing is impossible to quantify.
Doc John was, more recently, growing concerned that Northern Ireland had no medical helicopter service and indeed he had already began to campaign for one to be established, after the time it took to bring one from Sligo to the North West circuit this year. He had already had meetings with various government officials about this.
John, who was just 35 and wasn’t married, had a longtime partner in Janet, who works at Daisy Hill hospital.
I can’t even begin to understand what his family are going through now. I am totally gutted by the news that John had passed away.
I’m sorry, but the ‘died doing what he loved’ notion isn’t enough. Dr John had so much more to give and I have no doubt would have gone on to be a world teacher.
John’s mentor, Dr Fred McSorley had to come out retirement at the weekend to stand in for John.
We can only imagine how hard that must have been for him, but we are thankful that he did.
To Dr John’s family and Dr Fred, Caroline and the rest of the Medical team, I’m so sad, but hoping you can find the strength it takes to carry on in his name.