Aidan Lynam; father, biker, friend

Robyn Lynam with her Dad Aidan
Robyn Lynam with her Dad Aidan

Finn Gillespie pays tribute to a man he was honoured to call a friend.

Aidan Lynam’s last text to me summed him up in so many ways.

“Congrats to the clan. A little girl changes how a dad views the world, suddenly pink is ok.”

He was referring to the arrival six weeks ago of a new baby girl in the Gillespie household. And he was speaking from experience – his daughter, Robyn, was born in 2005, introducing a new pink world to the lives of Aidan, his wife Nicky and their then three-year-old son, Jake.

Robyn’s birth heralded another huge life change for the Lynam family. She was born with Down syndrome, which led to Aidan taking up a role with Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) to offer support and raise funds for those affected by the condition.

And so began a 10-year chapter in Aidan’s life, which tragically came to an end last Sunday on the annual Rev-Up4DSI charity motorcycle event, which he co-founded in 2005.

Aidan’s job with DSI and as a motorcycle journalist saw him share in the lives of hundreds of like-minded people. His passion was infectious, whether the subject was his devotion to his family, his love of bikes or something as unremarkable as the weather, the economy or the price of a pint.

When the conversation turned serious, however, Aidan didn’t mince his words. But these words were always measured, and stated with the conviction of a man who made it his business to be informed about any subject on which he offered an opinion.

His love of a good slagging was legendary, the Saturday night ‘banquet’ dinner at the annual Rev-Up4DSI run often descending into a raucous one-man stand-up show, as Aidan dished the dirt on participants, taking the inevitable verbal retaliation completely in his stride.

I had the honour of riding with Aidan on various occasions. My fondest memory of these was when I joined him and a few others for day two of Rev-Up in 2012.

Aidan (left) enjoying the open road

I wrote at the time: “Aidan Lynam [had] hinted the previous evening that Sunday’s roads would be the best of the weekend. And boy was he right. After heading west and through Galway city, we headed for Connemara. If Carlsberg made roads just for bikers ...”

You see, Aidan wanted everyone on Rev-Up to enjoy the roads on this island of ours as much as he did — the Rev-Up slogan, ‘Share The Journey’, couldn’t have been more apt.

Aidan wanted to share his journey — and his dreams — with as many like-minded souls as possible. He shared the dream of a beautiful life for Nicky, Robyn and her brothers Jake and Harry. He shared the dream of a better deal for those born with Down syndrome and their families. He shared the dream of riding free and enjoying and celebrating everything motorbike-related.

If you’re looking down from the heavens today, Aidan, please know that your dream helped thousands of others, touched the hearts of countless friends and acquaintances and inspired generations of bikers to make a real difference.

Rest in peace, sir — you were one of a kind but your dream lives on.