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Late yesterday I received some very sad news that a friend of mine, Tim Elliot died while out riding his bike. Although we had never met face to face I count Tim as a friend. Tim was the central figure, the bottom bracket, that drove the Bianchi Owners Club USA forward. I contacted him earlier this year when I was preparing for my USA tour. From our very first exchange Tim was both extraordinarily helpful and very friendly to me. He was a source of great advice and good humour. But more than that, once I had started the tour Tim frequently sent me messages of support and encouragement which I really appreciated.
Regular readers will know that I regard fellow Bianchi riders as my extended family and I am proud that I have cousins and uncles all over the world. Whenever we meet (in the UK) our reunions are fantastic occasions. The cousins chat to each other and there is a lot of Passione Celeste around. Judging from the outpouring of comments and memories about Tim that I have seen my US cousins share over the last 24 hours, it is beyond any doubt that Passione Celeste, what I describe as the very DNA of Bianchi, is widespread and heartfelt. So today, I dedicated my ride to my Uncle Tim. And Tim, if you are reading this from afar, I hope you enjoyed the ride too.
We rode the final 15 miles to Albany, the New York State Capital along some lovely, gently undulating if rather rough roads. As we made our way along I found myself wondering what Uncle Tim would have made of today’s stage. I rather think he would have liked it. So Tim, rest easy and ride easy. Passione Celeste!