Family’s tribute to cycling enthusiast Tom McClelland

Tom McClelland
Tom McClelland

Tributes have been paid to a well-known cycling campaigner who died last Thursday following a nine-month illness.

Tom McClelland, who was an ardent supporter of the national cycling charity CTC and a supporter of the Giro d’Italia coming to the Province, has been described as a “giant in stature, spirit, generosity”.

Mr McClelland, pictured, was also a leading estate agent who had acted as a spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Northern Ireland.

Speaking last night, his family said he developed a passion for cycling from a very early age.

“Tom was a passionate campaigner for cyclists and other vulnerable road users. His love of cycling grew from childhood.”

“Tom taught his family and many others that cycling promotes confidence, independence and freedom and is a socially inclusive mode of transport. He encouraged his family to cycle for utility and leisure.

“He made our family cycling holidays adventurous and fun,” they said.

The CTC charity said Mr McClelland was “a passionate CTC member who worked tirelessly for the improvement of cycling” in Northern Ireland.

The spokeswoman added: “He was one member of a group of campaigners who helped ensure that Belfast’s own cycling history, as the first place the pneumatic tyre was raced, was acknowledged during the up coming Giro. He will be missed.”

The Travelwise NI organisation said: “Members of Travelwise, DRD Cycling Unit and other parts of the Department for Regional Development have had numerous dealings with Tom over the years and we acknowledge that the world of cycling in Northern Ireland will be poorer for his absence.

“May he rest in peace.”

He was described by one cycling enthusiast as “a tireless and effective campaigner for the rights of vulnerable road users”.

Another message on the Twitter said he was a “giant in stature, spirit, generosity”.

Lisburn MLA Trevor Lunn knew Mr McClelland as someone who “never did anything without commitment and total enthusiasm”.