Mine was alright, I’ve had worse… Kept myself busy, you know, the usual, did a bit of shopping, took the dog for a walk, that kind of thing…
Nothing special… Pretty standard kind of weekend that you have when you’re halfway between paydays.
There was only one minor difference… at 9:30, on Friday 4th September 2015, My friend Rick ‘Odie’ Hoad lost his incredibly short (as far as I knew) battle with lung cancer.
You might have heard me talk about him once before, but not by name – The incident with ‘Buskilla’ and her detachable wheels? - But he wasn’t the sort of person that you had madcap adventures with… He wasn’t a SMick, or a Jock (RIP), or a Gullible Steve (RIP); That’s not to say he wasn’t funny – He’s had me laughing to the point of tears on many occasions – In fact he told some very inventive, if ultimately crap ‘Christmas Cracker’ type jokes which invariably contained one solitary, often accidental, swear-word… Which would evoke an instant apology to the parents of any youngsters in the room – Then a wink to the kids themselves… And the laughter resumed louder than before.
He was an old-school biker, well, more of a triker really as he seemed to spend more time on three wheels than he did on two – But he was never that slightly ‘up-themselves’ biker that you see in films and TV programs, he was the biker that other bikers usually describe themselves to be… He was there for the sense of brotherhood, for the joy of riding motorcycles – for having a good time. Always in his leather jeans and wrap-around shades
He had his demons, like we all do. He’d suffer crippling bouts of depression, he’d be cantankerous, offensive, forthright… blunt didn’t quite cover it on most occasions – But you knew where you stood with him, and it was usually just at the end of the phone, or a Facebook update, where he was waiting for an opportunity to help you, or to be given an invitation to a rally or a party. He’d be there like a shot – In any weather, under any circumstances…
He really was one of life’s good guys – And he was also a dyed in the wool, 100% full on, accept no alternatives, knob of the highest calibre.
He really was, pretty much all of the time – One of the people who have paid their respects over the weekend described him as human Marmite, I think that’s a brilliant description.
He invented his own trike riding style… And demonstrated it to me (once… Just the once) – He’d lean out, rather than in on bends, claiming that it put more weight on the outside rear wheel and therefore increased the ‘sticktion’ enabling you to corner faster… To test his theory, we went round and round the traffic island outside my local B&Q on one of his trikes faster and faster, leaning out as far as we both could (it not helping that neither of us were particularly small) up until the inside wheel lifted off the ground, the front wheel all went a bit ‘tankslappery’ and the bollards got real-close, real-fast… He also had this habit of flicking his ignition off and then back on again to cause a backfire as we passed crowds of schoolchildren/football fans/old people/police/pregnant women and nuns.
He also once drove the entire Dandy family to the wonderful seaside town of Redcar (Near the oil refinery) to pick up a puppy that Mrs Dandy had bought under false pretences... All he demanded in payment, despite being given the option of a slap-up meal at a hostelry of his choosing, was a Pick 'n' mix (and his petrol, I'm not a slave driver)
I found also over the weekend that I didn’t have a single, solitary picture of Rick to share with you all. Which is a pity – The man was an animal… So I’ve borrowed some from the many people who’ve shared their memories over the weekend. See if you can guess which one he is in the photos.
(If anyone minds that I’ve stolen their photos, I will gladly remove them – Just drop me a mail or leave a comment – No offence taken or intended.)
|No helmet, just a leather top hat?|
|Tigga & Rick|
|Being composed at a wedding...|
|Stolen the kids' bubble mixture|
|But he felt the cold, the poor lamb|
My condolences go out to his wife, Tigga, His Ex-wife Fiona, and his kids, whom I never had the pleasure to meat. And to his cat, Nermal T Groovekitten (The Ginger Terrorist) who bit my thmb once.
Ride free Brother, Don’t eat all the bacon nor drink all the Jack – I’ll see you down there, but I’m afraid it won’t be for a good long while yet - if we're both lucky.
And for the record, I quite like Marmite.
Oh yeah... Whilst I remember - FUCK CANCER! - FUCK IT RIGHT IN IT'S STUPID ASS!