I went to the funeral of a friend of mine who died of lung cancer. He was a reformed smoker who became a keen cyclist in his later years. He was the president of the tandem club, and cycled to work and back every day come rain or shine.
His wife was very religious and he used to drop her off at church then pop to the pub, and pick her up on the way home. They both respected each other’s different beliefs. At his funeral it was important to his family to give him the ‘right’ send-off according to his wife’s faith. Therefore, there was a full Catholic Church service.
When I arrived at the funeral I found rows and rows of bikes and tandems propped up against with wall of the church. I entered to find rows and rows of his friends sat in their lycra, with their cycle helmets and their cleated boots. All mixed in with the incense and the holy water sprinkles. It was a lovely fusion of the desires of the living and the desires of the deceased.
There was a slow procession of the hearse and all the bikes several miles to the crematorium. He would have loved seeing all those bikes taking up the roads right through town.