It was 11:20 am on Thursday September 5th 2013 on the A91 road between Gateside and Strathmiglo when we lost Alistair 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 Fife ‘50’ starts these days at what used to be the filling station approaching New Inn roundabout from Glenrothes; ‘back in the day’ it started on the Falkland road toward the foot of Purrin Den hill.
But there’s still the super-fast plunge down Station Brae through Freuchie and out along what’s known as the ‘Windy Mile’ to the ‘fish tail’ junction.
In my day the parcours stayed on the main road to New Inn but now it goes left up through Ladybank Woods to Collesie where it turns left towards Auchtermuchty.
We paused just before the junction to take some snaps – with Kennoway’s Dave Kirton the first man on the road having caught Fife Century’s Tom Cummings for one minute.
Tom had just finished his first racing career when I started mine in 1971 . . .