Thursday, 24 January 2013

Kevin Ash

So within hours of posting an "at least they died doing what they love" blog, I was told Kevin Ash had died on the BMW GS1200 launch. What to say? His daughter's words are the most poignant, posted on his own website, Ash on bikes:

'The phrase “he died doing what he loved” sprang to mind but I would like to stamp that firmly out. He loved his family more and we love him. As his oldest daughter, I only recently started to fully realise just how much further his parenting went than most; on receiving a tearful phone call at Stanstead airport it was a natural response to immediately cancel his press launch and ride back home to teach trigonometry the night before exams. Everything he did was entirely for his children and his wife, and a little bit for his cat. My parents loved each other very much and I hope that one day we can learn to live without him.'

I Met Kevin very briefly at the Silverstone Ducati HQ opening and he was a personable, ego free zone unlike too many other motorcycling journalists. I wasn't surprised, because his writing style reflected this, and never descended to the "I'm a riding God" routine but instead gave useful insights and clear advice that made it obvious he wrote for the reader not his ego. He was also happy to embrace his inner geek , and Ill miss him for that. But then we shared many of the same thoughts, like the hopelessness of the BMW K100 and electric bikes; perhaps the greatest tribute to Kevin is Chris Hunter of BikeEXIF's interview: read it here.

When Ollie Bridewell died, I gave his parents a copy of one of my favourite poetry books with the following verses by Mary Frye picked out. They have become much repeated over the last decade, but still work for me.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Rest in peace, Kevin Ash

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