Today I attended the funeral of my great friend Alan Rosner.
I don't remember meeting Alan for the first time, however I am sure that is because of the warmth and amazing positive energy he showed towards everyone and everything. He had an infectious sense of humour, filling many long car journeys with his funny and often outrageous jokes. One so memorable that even today Ben Lamb and I shared a quiet moment of laughter in Alan's memory.
Alan first took me to Belgium to race over two and a half years ago. It was a part of my first proper introduction into racing and I would attribute many of those early lessons learnt as some of the most important in my time bike racing thus far. Alan's tireless effort and enthusiasm to help those around him, especially those of us just finding our feet, was illustrated today by all those who came to pay their respects. However also by the smiles on every riders face, however dirty or wearied, upon going home from one of his trips, by, I hope, my own personal performances, of which he has helped me achieve so greatly, and by his most lasting legacy, the Dengie Marshes road race.
I remember sitting in the front seat of Alan's car, driving home from Holyhead after a midnight ferry crossing. We had raced in north west Ireland the previous four days and Alan had driven all through the night to make sure we got home as quickly as possible. Even with the mammoth journey under his belt, joking about needing toothpicks to keep his eyes open, Alan's energy for his race, the Dengie, was extraordinary. He told me of his journey to the CiCLE classic UCI race in Rutland only a year or two previously and how it had sparked his imagination of Essex having a race of its own of such prestige and excitement. He shared his dreams of building the race up to become a Premier Calendar, and possibly more? It was very clear that Alan knew exactly what he wanted to go and wasn't going to let anything stand in his way. The amount of time that Alan put into that race, and organising trips, was frankly, amazing. At that moment, three hours sleep down, it was evident to me I was very lucky to have Alan around, his dedication and energy towards helping others in cycling was a true gift to the sport and to all those who came into contact with him.
Alan never relented from helping others at bike races, and was always enthusiastic about anything and everything. I will greatly miss bumping into him at races, hearing about his latest Dengie related scalp or travelling to races with him, however I am sure he will live on in the hearts of so many of the riders he helped, and really hope that his legacy of helping young riders from the Eastern region is continued.
Sadly I dont have any pictures of myself with Alan, however some great memories to cherish of races and car journies spent with the someone who gave so much.
Rest in peace Alan, thankyou for all that you did for me over the past three years.