Breaking the Cycle of Addiction



David Smyth is the President of Addiction NI and has been member of the Executive Committee since 1993. He worked as a barrister for 18yrs before being appointed a QC. In 1990 he joined the NI Judiciary and continues to work part-time as a judge.

In order to raise funds for Addiction NI David has set himself the challenge of cycling The Velodyssee in France in 12 days.
He will be keeping us updated with his training progress between now and then and a daily diary of his adventures once the challenge begins.

Let the Training Begin…. By David Smyth


“I suppose it is best to start the training sooner than later and also to do little and often. Training is underway and in April I am to cycle about three to four times a week for an average of 32 kilometres and then to increase that in May and in June.

“I aim to get up to 60 kilometres on the basis that you don’t have to do the actual distances involved as long as there is a reasonable fitness achieved. The most difficult part will be over the Monts D’Aree in Brittany which stretch from Roscoff to Nantes so I hope to complete one circuit of Slieve Croob by June. I have done this before but some years back (more than I care to think) but if it proves possible then it should go all right. The elevations are nothing like the Stages de Tour on the Tour de France and I would be happy with a circuit of Slieve Croob which is about 40 kilometres. As is only too obvious this is a serious learning curve for me. My cycling has seen better years and it also is the first blog that I have ever attempted so apologies in advance.

About the Velodyssee. This is a route from Roscoff in the North of Brittany in France to Hendaye on the French frontier with Spain. It stretches 1200 kilometres. It is mountainous in Brittany but coastal and flat along the Atlantic coast until it finally turns inland towards the Pyrenees. The route is well mapped, well travelled and divided into “stages” which people can dip in and out of.

My primary object is to get to the end in one piece, the second is to raise money for the charity about which I am passionate and proud to be their President.

Addiction NI provides counselling and help for those suffering from addictions both to legal and illegal substances. We have a shortfall this year. The projected figure is £50,000. This has in part happened because of the effects of austerity but, instead of cutting services, we are going to try to meet this by stepping up our fundraising. What I am doing is just part of that. Every penny I raise will go directly to delivering services as I will be covering all costs involved in the challenge.

If you would like to donate please visit David’s Just Giving Page


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