The final salute

When is the right age to retire from a sport you love and have dedicated that past 30 odd years of your life working hard and courageously at, giving back far more than you could take. At the age of 38 Tim Decker has reached a turning point from being a competitive cyclist after an amazing career for a rider whose heart was often bigger than his abilities. One of the major motivations for Tim is to be able to dedicate more time to Michelle and Cohen with a desire to increase the family number God willing.

Ever smiling Tim has a reputation known far and wide as being a dogged rider when the conditions were tough there was always a chance for Tim to pull off an amazing recovery and win. Tim has come up through the ranks of cycling starting off with BMX as a young boy and then progressing to track and road with a lifelong friend and mentor Doug Issell never far away encouraging and supporting Tim in his pursuit of cycling goals and history making coaching. Doug happened to mentioned in passing to Tim many years ago a race that you need to put your name on is the Melbourne to Warrnambool. “I think it might suit you sprinting up Raglan Parade after 300 km.” Not to be beaten on his 14th attempt Tim was victorious after many opportunities that were ever so close but in cycling coming second by millimetres may as well be kilometres.

Take his last ride in the Bendigo International Madison the stage was set for a final show down and Tim would have treated this with the same professionalism and endeavour as when he won the race with Chris White many years ago. Tim is a planner of strategies and performance and would have ridden the 200 laps in his mind and heart not to mention physically, only days prior to the event. Take into account that Tim has never been a full-time cyclist and has held full-time employment for many years and has made time to train outside his commitment to his employer. Tim is a dedicated completer of what he starts and a finisher of the goals he sets even if it takes many attempts and stumbles he is not beaten because he gets back up and looks what may have been defeat in the face and says “not beaten yet!”

Something Tim started and hopes to bring to completion is to help Glenn O’Shea reach his full potential and become an Olympic Champion. While Tim’s career as a cyclist has been impressive his name is being known internationally through his same commitment dedication and style of “it can be done if you want it bad enough” attitude as a coach. Tim has a passion to impart his knowledge of cycling and the parallels of life that require the same application of commitment. So is retirement the right word for Tim or it is a new page on the same stage just that instead of being the front stage it is more the back stage the engine room of thinking, motivation and the strategies for those that have a capacity not realised until coming under the scrutiny of the watchful eye of Tim the coach.

Tim has been in the midst of the challenges cycling can bring and text books have not been part of his cycling ethic. Experience has been the school of hard lessons and not just on the bike but life in general we all know can test and try the best prepared to cope. What Tim will bring to others is an ability to stand and wait, to encourage and to support, as he has know the value of family, friends, team mates, a good employer and how important these relationships can be. True companionship is being around when others leave. Underlying all coaching decisions is to help athletes to be better than they could imagine.

While there has been an impressive personal career it will soon be that the list of achievements on the world stage of the sport will have many times the names of athletes Tim has coached in their rise to fame. While many cyclists may miss the presence of the happy disposition that Tim Decker brought in competition, you can be sure Tim will still continue to ride with a passion and the sport will be enriched by this new phase he has launched into with the same signature and hall marks of vigour and enthusiasm.

Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing

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