As the world’s elite cyclists pedal towards Olympic history at the 2012 games in London, Limavady’s David Tommons will be there making sure everything is up to speed.
The Roe Valley man found out this week he will work with Shimano, billed as the largest company in the bicycle business, as a mechanic within the high security Olympic village, from their workshops.
From August 7-12, the 46-year-old will be part of a select team at the ready to help all nationalities of athletes with their bikes.
“My boss came round at work and told us about it and said Shimano wanted mechanics to work along with them.
“When I submitted my application I didn’t think too much about it,” said David, who works as a wheel builder for online bike store Chain Reaction Cycles.
“When I found out, I thought, what the flip, and then I knew it was for real.”
David’s passion and talents for all things two-wheeled started with Henry Craig Cycles in Limavady. The owner took him under his wing and let him run the shop.
“I can’t thank him enough,” he says.
“He gave me the opportunity to do something worthwhile.”
David says he never had a bike as a child and now, a keen cyclist, is the proud owner of nine bikes. He also builds all the wheels for them.
“I’ve been working with bikes for quite a while, some 20 years, fixing them and riding them. I love cycling and the freedom it gives you.You get to see so many great places and especially around the Roe Valley, places like Benevenagh. This area is fantastic for that and I go out with an accomplished bunch of cyclists regularly.”
The straight talking Limavady man says there isn’t a country in the world - from Afghanistan to Russia and Iceland - that the team he is part of at work hasn’t built wheels for. Modestly playing down the once-in-a-lifetime achievement, David says he’s more concerned about getting everything right. “To be honest, I’m more worried about a chain breaking!” he said. “Family and my cycling buddies are excited and I know I should be more excited, maybe that comes with age, but a week with Shimano in London, well, yeah, fantastic! I might even get in some sightseeing!”