Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeOtherEditorialJason MacIntyre - Grey Days Indeed

Jason MacIntyre – Grey Days Indeed

-

Jason's order of service.
Jason MacIntyre. Carpe diem.

It’s drizzling in Kirkcaldy at 06.15, mild, damp, depressing. We’re on our way to say goodbye to Jason MacIntyre. The 07.50 train to Edinburgh and no one speaks, not a word. I’d sooner be in the old Transit, with Terry Wogan prattling-on about sausages. The carriage rocks past the Forth Bridge approach road at 08.10 and like Talking Heads would say, the tailback is “same as it ever was“.

There won’t be much chat down there either. At least there’s a little daylight now, a few weeks ago at this time, it was “as black as the Earl o’ Hell’s waistcoat”, as my dad used to say.

Haymarket, the game plan was to leave at 08.30. One of the boys has missed his train, whilst he’s on the mobile explaining this, he misses the next one too. It’s 08.50 now, and our man ambles sheepishly across to the car – I’m really glad I got that early train.

Drum Brae, 09.10, and we pick up our sixth man. He’s got the short straw and is in the rear-facing seats in the back of the estate car.

Calendar, 10.00. The last time we were here it was a glorious autumn day and Jason MacIntyre was flying to another course record in the Trossachs; I would only see him once more after that, at the hill climb – he won that too.

Lix Toll, 10.30, and our ‘tail-gunner’ feels sick. We stop, haul him out, and I climb in.

As we crossed Rannoch Moor it looked briefly like the rain might stop, there was a bit of sun shining through the gloom, despite the torrents in every little valley.

We made it with about ten minutes to spare, the rain had turned serious; the church was full, and we were shepherded into the hall at the back, which was ‘standing-room-only.’

The service was as good as these things can be, the minister had done his homework, and Bob Taylor struggled manfully through his speech; “our hero”. Aye Bob, I never though of it that way, but that’s right.

And the British champion’s skinsuit, on a Scottish rider’s back in Scottish races, it was marvellous, you’re right, Bob.

The minister read out a letter from Caroline which will accompany Jason on his final journey; that was hard and the tears were close.

Outside, the rain was dramatic; the coffin in the back of the hearse; the big crowd, familiar faces and strangers alike, still stunned and with the rain dripping from their black clothing.

Caroline, her pretty face twisted in grief but still taking time to make sure the twins’ seatbelts were fastened – and all under the watchful eye of the TV cameras. It just didn’t seem real.

As we drove homewards, back along Loch Linhe-side in that downpour it finally sunk in that we’d never see that tall figure; back flat, still and composed in the saddle, the cranks flying around and that chiselled, focussed face, skinny – but healthy and handsome, ever again.

I’m lucky. I took the time to tell him he was ‘special’ when I did, for some people, it’s too late.

We’ll all miss you, Jason MacIntyre.

* * *

We’ve done our best here at VeloVeritas to support Jason, and to get out there and witness as many of his rides as we could. Here’s our complete list of stories and interviews featuring Jason, we hope you enjoy reading about the man.

Jason MacIntyre R.I.P.

Jason MacIntyre
Jason MacIntyre chatting with pals.
Jason MacIntyre
Jason and Chloe.
Jason MacIntyre
Chatting after a race with his family.
Warming up before the Scottish 25 Champs, 2006.
Jason MacIntyre, British Champion!
Riding for Edge RT.
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Patrick Sercu

After a long illness, former Olympic Champion Patrick Sercu, holder of 58 other titles at World, European and National level, undisputed Six Day king with 88 wins and Tour de France green jersey, passed away today, 19th April in Belgium.

Alistair Speed Memorial 50 Mile Time Trial 2014

It was 11:20 am on Thursday September 5th 2013 on the A91 road between Gateside and Strathmiglo when we lost Ali Speed. He was just 49 years-old, out on his bike and doing what he loved when he was snatched away. Ali rode his first race at just 12 years-old and was racing just days before he died. VeloVeritas ran an obituary for Ali at the time of his death and it goes without saying that we had to attend the 50 mile time trial his sister Mhairi organised in his honour on behalf of Fife Cycling Association. We thought that rather than straight race reportage – albeit not ignoring Iain Grant’s (Dooleys) dazzling 1:47 to win – we’d drive most of the course and look at the roads and places Ali trained and raced on.

The VV View: In the Bleak MidWinter

Brexit, Covid, desperate weather, it’s been a long hard winter and we're still in what might be termed the Bleak Mid-Winter, made even worse by the sad news that former Scottish cyclo-cross, grass track and MTB Champion Craig Hardie has lost his fight with cancer. VeloVeritas offers deepest condolences to his friends, supporters and family.

Ben Abrahams

Obituaries, part of the deal if you write about cycling; check their palmarès, think about when you saw them race when you were a boy then put a piece together. But when it's someone you knew, liked, laughed with, there's more to it than that - the randomness of life; one minute a friend is there and happy with a whole life to look forward to, the next, he's gone. A car crash involving a lorry and Ben Abrahams, and here I am writing this.

Wouter Weylandt, Special Forever

So I've been meaning to put together a blog post of my latest experiences of life here in Flanders. This season has certainly had its ups and downs, but all this seems rather irrelevant after the events of this week. Cycling indeed has its fair share of tragedies and the death of Wouter Weylandt in Stage 3 of the Giro this year is another one added to that list.

Reader’s Rant: The Death of Michele Scarponi

Last Saturday I, like many others, was stunned by the news of Scarponi's death, and every day I've become increasingly saddened, indeed, angered by it. I don't know why his death should affect me this way and not any other cyclist's needless demise on the public road and I'm writing not only in the hope that I'll get it out of my system, but to make some observations I believe need making. The regular reporting of the vulnerability of cyclists, traffic incidents involving injury to or death of cyclists, seems to be creating a climate of apathy towards these events.

At Random

Giro d’Italia 2007 – Day 2: Stage 1, Caprera – La Maddalena (Team TT)

It's now 19.45 on Saturday evening, and we're sat in the car en route La Maddalena listening to The Pioneers, 'Let your yeah be yeah' - crucial, John. The ferry port at Maddalena is grid-locked, but we've got our reggae and a cold Dreher beer, so waiting for the ferry isn't so bad. We shared the ferry out with CSC and Saunier, but they are long-gone on the first ferry out. It's been a cracking day, weather and gig-wise.

Michael Mørkøv – “Whoever is involved in the lead out, we’re getting it right!”

Quickstep's win total for the year now stands at 24 with the victories not just down to one man but spread across the team – remarkable. How do they do it? To find out, we got in touch with our old friend and key leadout man in the QuickStep machine, Michael Mørkøv - who was instrumental in Jakobsen’s most recent triumph and similarly ‘pilot fished’ Hodeg to a stage win in the Tour of Catalonia – to get ‘the word’ from the horse’s mouth.

KASK present the fastest ever road helmet

KASK have today unveiled their most aerodynamic road helmet, which be available to buy later this year. The KASK Utopia offers the very latest technology in aerodynamics and ventilation, giving cyclists a super-fast ride while retaining excellent safety and cooling capabilities.

Sam Spokes – a Great Start for Drapac with 5th at the Aussie Nationals

He has a great name for a cyclist, Sam Spokes; we first spoke to the young Aussie in 2013 when he was making a name for himself with QuickStep U23 feeder team, Etixx. Last year also saw some nice results - but not enough to move him up to the Etixx World Tour squad. But all is not lost, he’s signed with Australian Pro Continental team, Drapac – and in his first race in the Aussie team’s distinctive red jersey he made the winning break in the recent Australian Elite Road race taking a solid fifth behind winner Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling).

Daniel Kain – Joining Spokes Race Team for 2020

A young man we’ve been meaning to speak to for a while, ‘but never got round to it’ is Aberdonian, Daniel Kain. He can do it all - time test, ride the boards, circuit and road race.

Vanilla Bikes

You'll have seen the adverts on various websites for Vanilla Bikes, inviting you to have a look at their on-line shop and their top quality - if a little unusual - product lines, and when we spotted that the shop team was beefing up it's roster for the coming season, we thought we better find out a little more about this young company.