While I have been on holiday for the last couple of weeks I have been trying to summarise my thoughts about leaving CTC, and asking myself if it is fair to them (and me) to comment while looking back.
But then tonight I read a quote from Eddie Merckx in William Fotheringham’s new book “Half man, half bike”
“When something is your passion and you can make it into your profession that is the most beautiful thing anyone can have”
So not only was he the greatest cyclist we have ever seen, this man of Belgium produced a quote that sums up far better than my mumblings what I tried to say to the Council, staff and members of CTC in various forums as I left.
When I was a kid I had Eddie Merckx posters on my wall alongside the 1970s stars of Ipswich Town FC, he was a godlike figure. And while it was quickly clear that this spindly asthmatic kid was never going to be a top bike racer I could dream a bit. And in 1998 CTC gave me that chance to be a professional cyclist in my own way, to have what Merckx calls the “most beautiful thing.”
So thank you to the Council members who took my breath away in 1997 when Tom Lamb phoned to offer me the job, and to everyone I worked with over the last 14 years. To my amazing staff team, I meant what I said at my leaving gig, never for one moment did I doubt that every one of you places the interest of cycling at the heart of what you do. Of all the bits of management training I have had over the years the bits on motivation theory were totally wasted on you all, it was stopping some of you working too hard that was a bigger problem.
And to the members and volunteers I mean what I said in the CTC magazine, it is your enthusiasm that makes all this possible.
Thanks. I look forward to working with you and for you in other ways, but few of us ever get to say that they truly got to do their dream job. Spot on Eddie.
*Douglas Adams “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” 1978 and subsequent books, films and plays. Another godlike genius.
So long, and thanks for the bike – see below