It is with great sadness that we learned today of the death of our friend and fellow club member Gerry Rea. Many of our younger or newer members will not know Gerry but up to recent years he had been a very active member of the club, after a long sporting career as a competitive cyclist, coming out with us on a lot of the Sunday Cycles as well as being a regular at our Tuesday evening time trials. Even over the last few years after a cycling accident finally took him off the bike Gerry would turn up at the TTs to have a look at the form, in the company of his good friend John Shaughz. Gerry was cycling with us well into his 70s and was well able to “pull” a group of 20 or 30 somethings along at the end of a tough Sunday spin. His times on the TTs also were to be admired for someone who has well passed the 70 mark. The first Lost Sheep in 2003 saw Gerry take part as part of a relay team with Siobhan Dervan (now Horgan), who competes today in the World Championship TT in the USA and Kieran Ryan, they finished second.
The picture with this tribute shows Gerry (first on the left) with Willie O’Brien(suit) Pat Hickey, Tom Scanlon, Dick Barry and Don Noonan as part of the Cork team which took part in the 1957 Ras. Gerry was 19 years of age in this Ras and would have worn the yellow jersey after the stage into Clonakilty but for the bonus that was awarded to the stage winner. Not so long ago when Gerry was either late 60s or maybe 70 he along with Brian Lynch, I believe broke the record for a 2 man TT from Cork to Dublin, Gerry would have it that he towed Brian most of the way!! Also about 10 years ago there was a race series for the over 50s down around Millstreet, one the first race, this writer got dropped on the last lap but Gerry was in the group of 4 that got away, as I pedalled towards the finish Gerry came up the road on his cool down joined me and mourned the fact that he had been beaten because as he complained “my sprint is gone”, it turned out that that day was Gerry’s 70th birthday. If the only thing that the we are missing at 70 is our sprint finish we’ll be doing well!
Apart from these achievements and there are only a couple here, Gerry was one very nice man, great fun and if I may say full of “divilment”. We were guaranteed that if Gerry turned up for our Sunday morning spin that two things would happen, it would be quick and secondly very enjoyable as well. It was only later in life that Gerry fell in with the triathlon club, the cycling community in a week when they have already lost Mick Murphy will greatly this miss gentleman of the road. The club extends its sympathies to Eileen his wife, his sons Gerry,John and daughters, John is a current member of CTC and a frequent attender at the Sunday cycles. Ar deis De go raibh a anam dilis, Gerry will be sadly missed.