The Twin's Story
This is the story of David and John, identical twins that grew up with a love of life and especially of cycling. They were the only children of Paul and Sue and had been brought up in rural Norfolk. As a family they had always been close and loved each other’s company.
When they were just 15 they lost Sue to cancer but Paul and the two boys pulled closer together than ever before and life went on. The boys had always been sporty and a love of cycling grew from an early age mostly out of necessity as a means of transport to travel to the local school and into Norwich at the weekends to hang out with friends and enjoy the life in the city.
When they left school David went to university on the other side of the country but John stayed close by to his home and got a job working as a mechanic in a local garage and life was pretty good. Both David and John continued to cycle into adulthood and both joined clubs in their local areas.
After David had graduated from university he had taken up a post in the I.T. department of an engineering firm and had bought a house with his girlfriend in a small village close to where he worked.
The boys would meet up when time allowed and would often take their holidays at the same time so that they could indulge their shared love of the bike by going over to France to ride some of the old stages of the Tour de France and follow in the footsteps of their cycling hero’s.
As with many cyclists around the country with their busy lives they had to fit their training in where time allowed. This meant many early starts, especially at the weekends. David was on one of these early morning rides when tragedy struck. He was about half an hour into a routine ride when he was hit from behind by a car that hadn’t seen him due to the glare from the sun on the wet road. He was taken to hospital and survived for 8 days before finally losing his battle for life.
John and his father Paul were of course devastated. Life was not the same without him, John was lost without his twin with whom he was so close and felt that a part of him had been torn away.
This was a family of fighters though and John had decided soon after David’s death that something good had to come out of it, so he decided to do a sponsored ride to raise money for the hospital that had treated David.
He decided that rather than do a fixed mileage he would challenge himself by time, so the idea was to see how far he could go in twelve hours. This made planning a route quite difficult as he didn’t really know how far he could go but he worked out a route that would allow for his efforts. The day arrived and he set off with his Dad meeting him at set points along the way with food and drink to keep him going. It was a sunny and dry day which they had both been hopeful for and things were going well. They had met up for lunch and John had taken off up the road to start the afternoon stint. Paul went ahead and had to meet him in a pub car park on the other side of the city.
He had been there for some time and thought that John must have taken a wrong turning or got a puncture along the way. He waited for an hour past their proposed meeting time. He decided he would back track to see if he could see him anywhere. About three miles back into the route Paul saw Blue flashing lights ahead at a roundabout. He knew inside that this had something to do with John. As he got close he could see the road was blocked by an accident.
John was his only surviving son and family member and had been pronounced dead at the scene where he had been hit by a car exiting the roundabout as he was travelling straight across it.
Paul had lost his whole family and was now alone. The memories of his wife and children were everywhere around his house from pieces of his wife’s jewellery to bike parts that the boys had gradually accumulated in the outbuildings that they assured their Dad would someday become very useful. This as it turned out was very true. Paul had never been a cyclist but an idea came to him one day. He routed through all the bike parts and started to lay out the various components to build a complete bike. After a couple of weeks Paul had built his first bike and was out on the road. Being on the bike traveling round his local roads gave him a feeling of closeness to the boys that he couldn’t find anywhere else.
He decided that he too would do a ride to raise money for local charities in the name of his boys. He planned a route that would start from where John had been knocked down to the place where David had been knocked down, a distance of 195 miles. He trained hard and used as much of his boys kit as he could use from clothing to their training manuals.
The day had arrived and Paul had set off without anyone around early on a Sunday morning in bright spring sunshine. The day was spent by Paul in varying degrees of wonder at the beautiful countryside, tears as he talked to his lads along the way and sheer pain at having never tackled anything like this before. At 9.35pm in the pitch black Paul reached his destination, a quiet country lane where David had died. He sat alone with his thoughts at the side of the road, elated at the completion of his ride.
Life went on and Paul continued to ride. Whilst he had been training he had joined a local cycling club which he had remained with after his marathon ride. The club was a way of meeting new friends and he really enjoyed the social side of life there. One day a new member had turned up on a wet and windy Saturday morning. Her name was Ellie and she had moved to the area after her husband had died so that she could be closer to her son, a keen cyclist and member of the same club. She had always been a cyclist and was keen to get to know everybody. Paul and Ellie hit it off straight away and after eight months decided that they should move in together.
Now they have a life together spending their days riding the back roads of the area with the occasional trip away to find new and exciting roads.