“John’s Jaunt”, held in August each year, is named after John McIntyre. Although a cyclist from his teens, John’s athletic ability was demonstrated initially through his running. He represented Ninth Old Boys, then the premier running club in Belfast, and Dublin University. On the track he was a very good miler, and in the winter season, an excellent cross-country runner.
Retirement from work provided the opportunity to get back to cycling on a more regular basis, and this soon took the form of a brand new Dawes Super Galaxy. This led to a number of adventures, notably a solo tour of the islands in the Outer Hebrides.
John’s bike collection can best be described as “eclectic”: a well-used Elswick roadster (found propped up outside a local charity shop); a 1960s BSA “racer” (frame too small for John, but bought to prevent it ending up in a skip); a Portland ladies roadster (once the sole transport of his aunt); a Btwin folding bike (bought because he liked a friend’s F-frame Moulton); and a Madigan lightweight (donated by a neighbour but purchased originally from Madigan’s bike shop in Carrickfergus). It was this machine that John was working on when he went into hospital. All the bikes now have new homes. Andrew, John’s son, has the Super Galaxy, and the others are with local V-C.C. members.
The annual memorial ride is often a mixed experience for those of us who knew John personally. It’s always very pleasant to meet with Kathleen McIntyre and other family members, but sad that it reminds us the John isn’t there to share the day. He was always good company, with a great sense of humour and a fund of interesting stories. Perhaps he’s best summed up by the phrase often applied to someone who is both admired and respected: “Ach, he was a lovely man.”
A few photo's of John's family at John's memorial ride which is the VCC NI Section main event each August