Yesterday I received a call telling me that a very good friend of mine, Aidan ‘Magnets’ Lynam, had died on the annual ‘Rev-Up4DSI’ event, a magical mystery motorbike fundraising tour through Ireland.
Devastated doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was lucky enough to have met Aidan in 2012 when I was putting together a touring feature on Ireland for RiDE magazine, and what began as an offer of help on Twitter quickly developed into a close friendship.
Magnets was a man with a big personality and an even bigger heart, one of the few people I’ve ever met who had no side to them, and his banter was savage. Nothing was ever too much trouble and his enthusiasm for life shone through. For our eight-day coast-to-coast ride around Ireland he sorted us out with routes, accommodation and even gave up two days of his own time to join us as our guide – the first and the last day.
I can still remember the first time we met and you were asking about my ‘letters’…took me a day or two to realise you were on about my leathers. Chasing you on that big RT through the Wicklow gap will stick with me forever, as will getting stuck in a herd of cows as they crossed the road.
And the icing on the cake was that he even sorted out a track day for us at Mondello before introducing us to his friends and arranging interviews in the paddocks at Skerries road race – Andy Farrell, Ronan Pentony, Ryan Farquhar, Brian Mccormack, Doc John Hinds et al – he went above and beyond and made us feel part of his world.
Those eight days in Ireland were memorable yet he wouldn’t take a penny – instead insisting we make a donation to DSI. So that’s what I did, and so began a lasting relationship with both Magnets and his cause. He was always the first to contact me through the bad times…and I’ve had a few over these past few years – offering a shoulder to cry on and words of wisdom, encouragement and support.
I kept on asking him to do me a Liam Neeson ‘Taken’ style voicemail, and it became a bit of a running joke…but now it looks like it’s not going to happen. The world is a darker place now, but your work with DSI will live on and I’m proud to count you as a friend.
Comedian PJ Gallagher summed you up best on social media last night: “This guy only ever called me to help other people. I’m gonna miss you buddy. Wish there was more like you.”
I’m going to miss you Magnets…Godspeed Ted