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Meet the Postman Who Cycled 10 Times Around the Equator Without Leaving His West Cork Village

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The Postman Who Cycled 10 Times Around the Equator. For over 40 years, Mike Sheehan has pedaled and walked up to 30 miles a day delivering mail around Goleen, a picturesque area in West Cork, Ireland. While his life may seem confined to this district, his dedication has turned his daily route into an extraordinary journey. Despite rarely venturing outside the region, Mike’s friends estimate that he has worn out 22 bicycles, 96 pairs of tires and 240 pairs of brake pads, effectively cycling the equivalent of 10 times around the equator. This feat was achieved by following the same unchanging route, day after day.

The Tireless Commitment of Mike Sheehan

Mike Sheehan’s routine is remarkable not just for its physical demands but for its consistency and dedication. Every morning, before starting his postal deliveries, Mike tends to his five cows, feeding and milking them. Afterward, he cycles three miles from his 15-acre farm to the post office to collect the day’s mail. The village round is completed in about five minutes, but then Mike heads into the surrounding hills, where the real work begins.

Modernization and Tradition

The sight of Mike on his bicycle, diligently making his rounds, stands in stark contrast to the modern methods adopted by his colleagues, who use cars and motorbikes. Mike acknowledges that his way of working is becoming a relic of the past. “I suppose we are finished,” he says with a hint of resignation when asked if he thinks more postmen will continue to ride bikes.

Despite the physical demands and the challenges posed by harsh weather, Mike has never failed to deliver the mail. He recalls only one minor accident and a single instance of illness over his long career. Even on days when the wind and rain make cycling particularly grueling, Mike’s commitment remains unshaken.

The Harsh Realities and Simple Joys

Cycling through the scenic but mountainous terrain of West Cork, Mike faces a series of stiff climbs and steep descents. The job often requires him to go halfway up a mountain to deliver a single letter or down a secluded boreen to reach an isolated farmhouse. The stunning landscape offers its rewards, but it also demands a high physical toll.

Mike’s resilience and fitness are evident as he plans to continue his route even as he approaches retirement age. At nearly 65, he shows no signs of slowing down. “I have no time to get old,” he says with a smile, embodying the spirit of a man deeply connected to his work and his community.

A Legacy of Dedication

As Mike Sheehan, The Postman Who Cycled 10 Times Around the Equator, reflects on his long career, it’s clear that his story is one of extraordinary dedication and endurance. His commitment to delivering mail, regardless of the weather or the challenges of the route, has made him a beloved figure in Goleen. Mike’s journey is not just the tale of a postman but a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the profound impact of unwavering service to one’s community.

Whether he decides to retire next year or continue pedaling for years to come, Mike Sheehan’s legacy is firmly etched into the history of West Cork. His story serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the value of hard work, dedication, and the simple yet profound act of delivering a letter.


Last updated May 29, 2023


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