Today we said goodbye to a much loved member of Islington Cycling Club. The family asked if we could wear a hat, as Leroy loved a hat. About a dozen of us attended his funeral wearing our ICC caps in his honour.
Like most at ICC, I didn’t know him that well but he was so welcoming, friendly, open hearted with a booming voice and wonderful smile. He frequently volunteered for ICC and always helped out riders who needed some protection from the wind or some company at the back of a ride. He was one of life’s good guys.
He also had a great sense of humour. Here’s the story of how I met him.
Every Saturday morning ICC riders circle The Regent’s Park for an hour then head to the café for coffee and chat. Depending on the formation and speed we can chat with riders, but not necessarily everyone. One such time Leroy was in my group but we didn’t get to ride alongside each other to introduce ourselves. In the café afterwards this is what happened:
L “Hi, my name is Leroy”
C “Pleased to meet you, I’m Colin. I feel I know you too intimately already”
L Looking perplexed “How come?”
C “I’ve just followed you around the park staring at your arse crack”
L “Yes, sorry about that, they are a bit short”
Months later he introduced me to another rider. “This is Colin, he knows me intimately”. He just left the comment hanging there. No explanation. The other rider looked perplexed. I felt I needed to explain. Brilliant.
He left us without warning. Such a shock for his family and friends. He was two years younger than me. Makes you think.
On the 26th April ICC will be riding to Brighton on the Fish ‘n’ Chips ride. We have decided to name the ride in his honour. The family asked us for any donations to go to the Sickle Cell Society so I created a JustGiving page.
It’s a testament to Leroy that (at the time of writing) over £500 has been donated by club members. The wonderful tributes on the site show just how much we thought of him and how much we will miss him.
Ride in Peace Leroy, Ride in Peace