Have you ever heard a song on the radio and immediately been reminded of being in another place at another time . It happened to me yesterday in the shop . As I was fitting a new rear gear cable into a Pinarello prince Alanis Morrisette came on the radio proclaiming that she had one hand in her pocket and telling me that everything was going to be fine ,fine , fine . Now there’s confidence for ya !
Well , I was immediately transported back twelve years to my first month living in New York . I was working as a plumber for Timmy Myers of Henry Myers and sons , plumbing and heating contractors , Bay ridge Brooklyn . Timmy is a cross between Joey from friends and Colin Farrell . Think Joey saying ‘Hey how you doin?’ with a cigarette balanced between his lips whilst chatting up the tall blonde apartment owner . Most of our work was in Manhattan and one particular day we were doing a job on 73rd street just off of Park Avenue . There was no parking and Timmy didn’t want to have his brand new white Chevy Camaro t-top iroc towed so my job for the day was to do laps of the block . So ,there I was three weeks off the plane , driving around Manhattan in ever increasing laps of a number of blocks , due to road works obviously , and listening to Elvis Durand and the morning zoo on Z100 . They were playing Alannis Morrisette and that time is always what I think of whenever I hear that song
There are many songs that conjure up images of cycling too . Bonnie Tylers’ I need a hero ‘ will always be the song that accompanied Kelly on his blistering Time trial between Carrick and Clonmel in the 1985 Nissan , with Jimmy McGee speaking about a man on a mission , dedication intent !
U2’S With or Without you will always be remembered for the slow motion highlights of Stephen Roches’ 1987 Tour victory . Many a mile was covered flat out in training listening to that on the sony walkman with Kearney’s road becoming La Plagne and The wood road the Champs Elysee .
But , getting back to the gear cable on the Pinarello Prince . The owner has only been riding road bikes for 2 years now . Today he was setting off on a three hundred mile cycle . Beginning in Kilkenny he was heading to Dublin and across to Galway via Athlone before heading back to Kilkenny . He was leaving home at 4.oo am and hopes to be home by 11.00 pm tonight . The reason for his epic ride is just a desire to push himself and I have no doubt that he will do it . He is one of those characters that makes working in a shop , meeting all kinds of people so interesting .
His hobbies include white water kayaking , downhill mountain biking and rock climbing along with riding the road bike . He made the Ray Darcy show last week when a listener texted in a suggestion for a topic entitled 10 things not to do before you die . The listener suggested that riding down Croagh Patrick on a mountain bike was not something that anyone should attempt before they died . He had seen three guys doing exactly that the previous weekend , one of whom was our customer who made it down in just under twelve minutes , and that was after running up the mountain with his bike on his back in just one hour fifteen . ( The average time for the ascent without a bike on your back being two hours )
Last year whilst Kayaking in Uganda he befriended a local who told him about his two children who were unable to go to school as he could not afford to send them . Before heading back to Ireland our guy handed the local a mobile phone with his own number on it and told him not to sell it and that he would call him within seven days after coming home . He made the call and told the Ugandan to go to a certain Western Union office where he was to pick up two hundred dollars which would cover a term’s education for both children . The Ugandan now texts with updates on his children’s education and our guy continues to fund it happy in the knowledge that 100 % of his contribution is going directly to the place that it is needed .
Our guy works in order to live and to do all of the things that make life exciting and if he were to have a soundtrack I think that it would be Greenday’s Time of your life !