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In memoriam of Martin

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Coloured jerseys line the road at the University of Queensland Gatton Campus. One by one pedals click as feet are clipped in and Martin’s friends, colleagues, families and acquaintances set off to ride a lap in honour of a man taken too soon. It’s a testament to this gentleman’s life that so many people have come to honour him.

Martin on a ride

Martin on a ride

I only had the privilege of riding with Martin half a dozen times. He always seemed to be smiling when he rode. His experience and attitude as a long-distance cyclist inspired me. In 2013 I rode the Fleche Opperman all-day challenge in a team with Martin. He led the way quietly along the route and we all had a friendly chuckle when he missed the turn that his wife told us not to miss. I had never ridden more than 200km in a ride but we rode 366km that 24 hours and I never once doubted we would make it because Martin was so in control all the time. While I rode my Cycling for Hope challenge last year, Martin was riding the London-Edinburgh-London. His epic 1400km ride in less than 114 hours gave me strength as I rode my 100km every day (taking 14 days to complete what Martin rode in less than 5 days). Personally, I will always remember his quiet patience and kindness.

So many people knew Martin better than I did, and today my heart and prayers go out to each of them. I feel blessed to have known him for the short period that I did as he has certainly inspired me and made me think about the kind of man and cyclist I would like to be. As his wife said, for a quiet man he sure did touch a lot of people’s hearts and lives.
I am sure that, as the ride of honour took place today, Martin was on his bike up in heaven riding along a long winding road through fields of flowers where horses and cattle grazed with the sun shining on his back.
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