John Butler – RIP

Wed 11th October 2023

Thank you to Marilyn and the family for allowing us to play such a prominent role in John’s final journey.

Around thirty YCC riders gathered in Somerton and joined the funeral cortege as it made it’s way to Fevin Nature Reserve and Burial Ground.

We formed two lines at the entrance to the site and the hearse and mourners passed between us on their way to the graveside, where we joined them for the service.

John’s grandchildren spoke movingly of their Grandad, after which Marius gave a tribute on behalf of the Club:

Those of us gathered here in Lycra have got to know John through his love of cycling. John had a great love of the outdoors as we all know. When cycling with John, one could learn all about bumble bees, the wealth of wild flowers in the hedgerows and verges and his herculean task of rebuilding dry stone walling around the Montecute National Trust estate. He loved cycling the lanes of Somerset and the surrounding counties, he carried in his head a pretty comprehensive map of the local roads and location of villages and of course the best cafes. He hadn’t grown up cycling the Somerset, Dorset lanes so his local knowledge was learnt relatively recently, something many of us don’t manage over a life time, despite the help of satnav. His navigational skills were possibly a legacy of his orienteering days. When out cycling together, perhaps checking out another of his ‘Epic’ rides, he would stop and quietly take in one of the many stunning views afforded by yet another long climb. If John was organizing a ride, we knew that it would be thoroughly researched and probably involve significant climbs, a significant distance and invariably an off-road section. Fiercely competitive he would nevertheless be always attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of others. On a club ride he could be found either at the front attacking a hill or making sure the less able were not being left on their own at the back.

His ability to analyse a problem and distil it down to understandable elements made him a valuable member of the group, especially when deciding how we were to cope with the COVID restrictions whilst keeping viable club rides going. We meet for our rides at a local garden centre café and on wet and windy days, when the faint hearted amongst us would happily give in and turn for home, John would often be the one to gently persuade us that it would not be that bad. We would then go on to enjoy a day out, perhaps battling the wind and getting soaking wet. I know that we will all carry with us many fond memories of John. I will miss seeing him dash to the front having done a quick check at the back of the group but most of all I will miss his company.

John is buried in a beautiful site, surrounded by the nature he loved. All that knew him as a rider agreed he is fittingly at the top of a hill, accessible only by a long rough track.

Our thoughts remain with his family and friends, he will be greatly missed by us all.

Ride in Peace John.

Dave Notley