Dr Adrian Brady, Consultant Radiologist at The Mercy University Hospital, talks about his involvement with Fort 2 Fort and his other interests outside work
*Tell us a little bit about yourself and your involvement in the cycle?
I?m a Consultant Radiologist at The Mercy University Hospital. The Mercy Hospital Foundation has been a magnificent partner of the hospital and the patients we serve; as an example, we were able to replace an old CT scanner in our department in 2013 with two new scanners, funded by the Foundation through its activities, with great consequent benefit to our patients. I?m very happy to support the Foundation in any way I can, seeing the value of its work on a daily basis. As a result, I?ve ridden in the Fort 2 Fort Charity Cycle for a number of years.
*You have done this cycle before – it’s for a great cause but it sounds like you need to be quite fit for it – tell us why should people get involved?
Fort 2 Fort is aimed at cyclists of all abilities and levels of experience. For those who want a challenge, there?s the 125 km route, with some substantial hills. If your ambitions are more modest, shorter routes of 60 km and 85 km are available, with much less climbing. It?s an event that caters for as many people as possible, and is a great way of getting a feel for the fun of mass-participation cycling if you?re new to the sport. Some of the most enjoyable days I spend on a bike every year are during events like this, which are well-organised, follow interesting routes, and do some good at the same time.
*What?s your favourite way to unwind on a Friday night?
I was tempted to fashion an elaborate fictional lifestyle for this column, but, in truth, by Friday night, I?m usually pretty worn-out, so I?m forced to admit that I?m pretty boring ? feet up, glass of wine, good book or something good on the TV. My nightclub days (such as they ever were), are long behind me.
*Are you one of these people who is up with the lark and out the door on your bike at the weekend, and every chance you get? How many miles would you clock up on an average cycle?
I ride to work every day, and would usually be on a bike at least 6 days a week. Sunday morning is reserved for long spins; I ride with a bunch of friends of similar abilities. We have routes in all directions, and would usually cover between 100 and 120 km before lunchtime. The company and fun are great, and it keeps us fit.
*Where are your favourite places around Cork to cycle?
We usually take a Sunday-morning route out against the wind, looping around to have a tailwind on the way home ? it doesn?t always work out, and there are days when the wind can seem against us all day. We have flat and hilly routes, mostly on country roads, and I suspect we?ve been up every paved or semi-paved boreen within 50 km of the city.During summer holidays I cycle a lot in West Cork, particualry on the Mizen peninsula; there are days you can cycle for hours on tiny back roads, with magnificent views over Dunmanus Bay or Roaringwater Bay, and meet hardly any traffic.
*Cycling is a really huge hobby for lots of people these days… from a medical point of view this has to be a good thing to see people getting fit – any tips for anyone thinking of getting kitted out in lycra and hitting the road?
Tip 1: The cycle-to-work scheme has been a great boost for potential cyclists. It?s encouraged lots of people to try the sport, and has contributed substantially to the large numbers of MAMILs (middle-aged men in lycra) seen hunting in packs every weekend. If you?re thinking of getting a new bike, go to a local bike shop, and get advice. Buying a bike on-line might seem like a saving, but you need the support of a good local bike shop (like Speedy Spokes in Carragaline) for repairs and maintenance, and proper fitting and advice are crucial when investing, if you?re to enjoy cycling and get the most out of it.
Tip 2: Don?t ever assume that lycra is elegant. It?s a magnificent fabric for cycling gear, eminently practical, but wasn?t designed to make men look well.
Tip 3: If you already have a bike, remember the formula:The number of bikes a person needs = N + 1 ? D (where N = the number you have at present, and D = the increment over your present number that would cause divorce)
*Do you have any other hobbies you like to indulge at the weekend? Or do you support a team that you like to watch?
I read a lot, when time permits, but weekend days seem to fill up with other jobs and things to do, so that?s usually a night-time activity. I used to run, but ageing joints and repetitive injuries have put an end to that. One of the lovely things about cycling is that it?s an activity people can continue through middle-age and later, as it doesn?t involve the punishing effects on joints of running or other contact sports.
*Does work creep into your weekend or do you get to switch off completely?
I work some weekends, on an on-call roster. When I?m on call, I spend much of Saturday and Sunday in the hospital, and am available for emergencies throughout the week, night and day.
*Would you try to catch up with friends and family over Saturday and Sunday?
Absolutely. My children, Niamh & Peter are in secondary school, and on weeknights we can be like ships passing, with everybody focused on study or their own particular activities (Gaelic football, camogie, rowing, choir etc.). Although weekends can be busy, we all get to see a bit more of one another.
*Do you like to entertain – or would you rather be entertained? Have you a signature dish?
A few times a year, I cook large batches of a few dishes, as my puny contribution to feeding the family. My wife, Margaret, tells me my chicken satay is nice, but that might just be to encourage me, so she can have a very occasional break from domestic demands.
*Cork has a diverse choice of restaurants and coffee shops, not to mention the English Market – any spots you like to eat out in – for dinner/ brunch, or even a coffee?
The restaurant at Blackrock Castle is within walking distance of our house, and we sometimes all walk up there for a coffee, lunch or dinner. It?s a lovely location by the estuary, with great food and staff. If you haven?t tried it, I can heartily recommend it.
*Same for our bar scene – would you have a favourite spot you like to visit from time to time?
Bars? I vaguely remember I was young once????
*Have you joined the netflix craze or do you try to get the cinema or watch a DVD at the weekend? Anything you are enjoying watching at the weekend?
Combinations of the above – Netflix, box-sets, occasional cinema. Particular favourites in recent years have been Breaking Bad and The Wire. We?ve enjoyed three seasons of Boardwalk Empire, and will probably catch up on the more recent seasons this year. Modern Family is always good for a giggle, too.
*How do you unwind on a Sunday night?
By Sunday night, it?s more a case of getting ready for the coming week, rather than unwinding. Bed a little earlier for children and adults. But not before watching Top Gear with our son. None of us are really into cars, but then again, Top Gear isn?t really all about cars, is it?