Going, going ...
The late and very much lamented Robin Williams loved bicycles and had an astounding collection which at times numbered over 100. Ooh, I wish I could have seen his garage ...
Apparently in certain biking circles this love was well known; to me it was news, as I've not been riding with the celebrity crew lately, but it made instant sense. I could see him skylarking around on a bike, and of course anyone who ever knew how to ride a unicycle - think back to his Mork & Mindy days, would probably never let go of that skill set, nor that love of just goofing around on wheels.
Y'know, I say that about Mork on a unicycle, and I have the clearest memory of that character in his stripes and braces, entering a room on a unicycle, but I have spent more time than I could justify searching for images of Mork+Unicycle with no result; and something else I just read said the only two times he ever appeared on screen on a bike were Mrs Doubtfire and Jack, so there you go. So much for my recovered memory sessions.
I can't get this other bloody video to embed properly, but here's a link to Robin talking with Jon Stewart about his love of cycling; and apart from Jon's unfunny "jokes" on murdering cyclists with his car - which are out of character; I think he's better than that - it's charming.
For the Geo-blocked amongst us;
And for the 'Murican's;
I prefer Robin's bikes chats with Conan O'Brien, they had a shared love of riding and several years ago when Conan was having his troubles with the networks who screwed him over, Robin sent him a custom-painted Colnago bike with electronic shifters, a beautiful beautiful bike; but painted green and orange and covered with shamrocks. That's a bromance I can totally get behind.
Mucking around on a bike having fun just seemed to go with his public persona; and similarly I can see the alignment between his more serious personal life and the obsessive/compulsive behaviour exhibited by serious bike riders.
Jason Gay, who writes immensely readable and entertaining articles on bikes, in this instance for The Wall Street Journal, and less comprehendingly (for me) on other sports, once had the opportunity to speak to Robin Williams and described Williams as finding both a passion and a soulful comfort in riding. I think we all wish he'd found more comfort ... dude, buy another bike ? Whatever you need ...
if only it had been that easy.
I preferred this article by Dan Koepel in Bicycling magazine; apart from anything else he talks about Robin's endomorphic body structure, and how he shouldn't have been as good a rider as he was, which makes me smile because Sprocketman is exactly the same, a surprising, massive engine of a torso with legs like steel. They would have had great rides together. Bless.
To those who met Robin Williams, it was apparently very clear that cycling was more than exercise; he once said he loved it because it was the closest someone could get to flying.
You can see the collection and the ongoing auction online at;
There's everything from a unicycle, Tour de France racing bikes, custom paint jobs that are just crazy and make you smile, there's touring bikes, road bikes, a kid's chopper which I adore and is giving me ideas for a new just-for-knocking-about bike of my own ...
Two charities are set to benefit from the auction of 87 of Robin Williams' bikes - so generously donated by his three kids, hoping raise $200,000 for charity - starting yesterday US time, and accepting online bids until 25 October - proceeds to benefit The Challenged Athletes Foundation (promoting sporting and active lives for people with physical disabilities) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation (curing spinal cord injuries and improving quality of life for those living with paralysis). Both tremendous causes.
The relationship between Robin Williams and CAF developed after Williams met Paralympic athlete Rudy Garcia-Tolson in 1997, when Rudy was only eight years old. Together with Ironman champion Scott Tinley, Williams and Garcia-Tolson formed the relay team Team Braveheart, and for over ten years Garcia-Tolson did the swim section, Williams did the cycling, and Tinley finished off by doing the run.
Robin Williams’s association with The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation ran even deeper. The two actors met at Juilliard in 1973, and formed a life-long friendship. And in his memoir Still Here Christopher Reeve recalled how Williams’s ability to make him laugh helped him learn to enjoy life again after the 1995 accident that left him quadriplegic. Christopher Reeve died in 2004.
You know you want to.