On my first day in secondary school as I walked into the yard of The High School in Clonmel I bumped into the late Patrick Kennedy, the grandson of a neighbour from Grange. It was good to see a familiar friendly face and he brought me over to meet a few of his friends. He introduced me to Raymond Clarke , his neighbour from Marlefield and we found we had a common interest in cycling.
Each day at break time we would meet up and discuss Sean Kelly’s latest victory, the speed of Rays Raleigh Pulsar, the weight of my Dawes Jaguar or the number of spokes on a pair of Mavic GP4 wheels. After school we would go training together with a group of lads, all meeting at the GAA Centre on the Western road.
From second year on Ray and I would always sit next to each other in class, usually down the back in a corner where we could draw pictures of bikes, take a sneaky peek at cycling weekly or spec out our dream bikes in peace.
We socialised together, opened a shop together, were each others best men at our weddings and over the course of 15 years a really solid friendship helped grow an idea for a small bike shop into a now thriving business.
I, however, have always had a problem with ‘itchy feet’ and restlessness. After 15 years in a bike shop I felt like I needed a change. Just like always I had a chat with Ray and we discussed what to do. Together we agreed that I would step away from the shop in order to pursue other goals that have been festering in my mind.
It wasn’t the easiest decision of my life by a long shot but I decided to take the plunge and see where it leads. Along with having more time to write and blog, I have an opportunity to develop a sector of the tourism industry that would be especially beneficial to cyclists along with a few other projects which should keep me well occupied.
To work alongside my best friend day in day out for the past 15 years has been a privilege very few are lucky enough to have. I will really miss the great atmosphere and sense of satisfaction in the shop and meeting the customers who really became good friends too.
‘Thank you’ seems very little to say for all the support, help, encouragement and custom that everyone has given us over the years.
I have enjoyed every minute of my time in Worldwidecycles and know, that now he has full reign over the business Ray, with the very able help of John, Jack and Eric will bring it to even greater levels of customer service and satisfaction.
See you all on the road,