Apr 22 2011 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Friday
EMOTIONAL tributes were this week paid to a Stirlingshire cyclist who passed away after an accident during a race in Perthshire.
John Yates (50), of Lampson Road, Killearn, fell when travelling with a group of about 20 other biking enthusiasts at around 11.50am on Sunday, April 17.
They were riding on the B827, south of the Strathearn village of Comrie, when the tragic incident occurred.
The Glasgow Nightingale Cycling Club member succumbed to head injuries after being airlifted to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital.
Mr Yates was participating in the annual ‘100 in 8’ event organised by the Glasgow Ivy CC, which takes a circular route from Strathblane into the Stirling and Dunblane area – and on to Braco, Comrie and Callander – before finishing where the event began.
His son Kyle (17), himself a former national endurance racing champion at U16 level, said he was at work when he heard the shattering news.
The teenager continued: “We got on perfectly. I couldn’t ask for anything better from a father.
“I’ll mainly remember how much we both enjoyed cycling. He was so proud when I was champion. He loved it when I competed outside the UK, in places like Belgium.
“He was always supportive, and was just as supportive when I decided recently I wanted to give cycling up to focus on my career.
“He was always good on his bike, it had been his passion for years. He was one of the best and he’d never crashed before.
“We don’t have a clue exactly what happened in the crash. People think there was maybe a coming together of two bikes.
“All I know is that I got a call at work to say there’d been a crash, and got to the hospital. He was unconscious by then though.”
The grieving son admitted life had been “a blur” since the drama unfolded, and poignantly confessed he was trying to “keep it together” in a bid to support his family, particularly his mum, Sally, and brother, Ross.
An internet forum has since been set up on the official Nightingale website to allow members to pay their respects.
One described Mr Yates as “a great bloke who will be sadly missed”, and continued: “Within our group there was a doctor who looked after John, I don’t know what we would have done without his skills.
“An ambulance and helicopter were called, the helicopter taking John to the Southern General due to his head injuries.”
Others repeatedly described him as a gentleman and praised his mild-mannered nature.
A spokesperson for Scottish Cycling, the sport’s national governing body, said their thoughts and condolences went out to the family at the centre of the tragedy.
A representative for Tayside Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident and, as with all sudden deaths, a report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.