It’s mission complete for Malachy Mallon, owner of Dolphin in Dungannon, after completing his solo charity cycle ride taking in all ten regional winners in this year’s Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Award.
Ending his journey at Kingfisher Fish & Chips in Plymouth yesterday morning after leaving Northern Ireland 18 days ago, Malachy covered over 1,500 miles while raising thousands of pounds for The Fishermen’s Mission.
Commenting on his epic adventure and what got him through it, Malachy said: “I’m chuffed to say the least. Two tubs of Vaseline, one tub of Sudacrem and a bag of Himalayan salt!
“The support and the reception I had from the shops I called in at was very positive. We all speak the same language, we are like one family and we are there for the greater good of the fish and chip industry.
"My objective when I set out was not just to raise money for The Fishermen’s Mission, but also to help give something back because what a lot of people don’t realise is how good we are to the economy. The fish and chip shop sector employs 60-70,000 people across the UK, so we’re a big employer and deserve a bit of respect.”
Taking in mountains and valleys, sunshine and rain, as well as the odd portion of fish and chips along the way, Malachy admits the hardest part of the cycle ride was actually the preparation leading up to it. He comments: “Going out in the wind and rain was hard and, whereas I normally cycle in a group, I went out a lot on my own to build my strength of character. When it came to the event itself, I treated it like a day at work, I went out, did it and came home.”
The journey was not without its pitfalls with a few wrong turns along the way. Malachy adds: “I should have covered 1,500 miles but I think it’s more than that as the map on the bike’s computer kept searching for cycle paths and was sending me round in circles. One day I should have done 80 miles and I ended up covering about 110. Another day, I got lost in Northumberland Forest as I was separated from my support driver, Susan Brown, and ended up riding five hours on my own!
“Sometimes, because the maps hadn’t always been updated, I would find myself in the middle of a housing estate, riding up to someone’s front door!”
You can still sponsor Malachy by visiting his Just Giving page here