I love cycling. I never cycled competitively. Never cycled in a group larger than 3 cyclists. On Saturday afternoons, except in peak summer, I normally cycle 50km mainly on country roads. And that's it. No midweek runs. No competitions. No Commitment.
Last Saturday was a different outing. I joined the funeral corteo for Cliff Micallef, to whom I had never spoken. I Just recall 2 recent occasions when he cycled past me and gave me an encouraging smile and a curious look as he could not recognize this 'cyclist' wearing professional outfit (bought relatively cheap from Decathlon in Mellili, Sicily).
There I was, cycling with a group larger than 3... i guess around 500 cyclists (the photo on front page of the Sunday Times did not capture the entire group). I was cycling in a funeral corteo of a person whom i hardly knew, yet i felt like I was bidding farewell to a friend. Possibly, we could have become close friends as some months ago, i was tempted by Ray Pace to join the BETFAIR LIFECYCLE CHALLENGE 2009. After some consideration, I dropped it simply because i was already committed to travel on international bowling tournaments and finally i decided to concentrate my preparations for these tournaments rather than step up my cycling.
I have about 6 routes that I typically follow. All of these routes start off from Pembroke and along the stretch where Cliff was killed. I must admit that the kilometre from Pembroke to the Bahar ic Caghaq always leaves me uneasy. The inner meter of the road, where there should be the cycling lane is full of obstacles; tree branches/ warped tarmac/ debris/ traffic poles and protruding signs... Cliff's son was quoted in the papers as saying that he hopes that his father's death may at least trigger an improvement to cycling safety. Probably, there will be some reaction such as repainting the cycle lanes... and then fade away... Hopefully, i am pessimistically wrong. Cliff will make the difference.