At the beginning of April when the 500 Ride Reward came into existence, there was an expectation that these rewards would likely not be handed out for some time.
With more and more members achieving the previous highest reward for 250 bike rides, the necessity to create an incentive even higher became clear. That said, few would have thought that less than 9 months later, the first Community Bike Ride Member would complete their 500th ride.
The man who achieved this magnificent feat will be well known in Community Bike Rides circles, particularly to those members in Galway who have been signing up to his Group Rides for almost four years.
In that time, Tuam based Dave Burke has organised over 100 Community Bike Rides and has helped to make Galway a hub of Community Bike Rides activity. He has also completed over 400 Solo Rides, 130 of which have been in the last nine months.
If all of that wasn’t impressive enough - Dave’s other passion, walking, has seen him complete at least 10km per day for a staggering 830 days in a row. For those interested in some context, that’s enough walking to take Dave from his home in Galway to central China, or even South America.
It’s safe to say that Dave is one of the most active 73-year-olds on the Island but his motivation behind this is a simple one.
“I’m not much good around the house! I love to be out, I love exercise.”
Speaking about his latest achievement, Dave reveals he never considered hitting 500 rides.
“I didn’t think about it, but of course if I did, I’d know, because I cycle every day! I’ve really enjoyed it (Community Bike Rides), we’ve got quite a number of people into cycling through it. It’s always nice to be in a group.”
Reminiscing, Dave speaks about some of his most rewarding moments and fondest memories over the last four years.
“When you watch someone struggle. We always go at a pace for the slowest person and then after a couple of months I have to say to that person, you might slow up a small bit there (because they have shown such an improvement)! Having waited for them when they started.”
There’s no sign of stopping for Dave with 2023 promising “more of the same”. He is keen to inspire more people to take part in Community Bike Rides and wants to encourage people to take the first step.
“Come along! It’s a Community Bike Ride. The leader will find out what type of mileage/speed you have done (in the past) and set a speed to suit you. There is nothing to worry about!”
The team at Community Bike Rides would also like to extend a massive congratulations to Kerry based member Hilda Jones, who has also registered her 500th ride in recent days.