Rob Brock, RIP

Sad news about the inventor of the Brox, HPV enthusiast and much more, Rob Brock. 13 March: a brief obituary has now been added to this story.

Posted by Peter Eland on Wednesday 18 Mar 2015

13 March: a brief obituary has now been added to this story: please scroll down.

9th March 2009: Thanks to several people who in the last few hours have passed on the sad news about Rob Brock. I'll perhaps write more later but for now I will simply pass on this message from his friend Jeremy Taylor:

"I am shocked to have to tell you that Rob Brock committed suicide yesterday. It will take the wind out of your sails as he was such an enthusiast and positive force for good. He did suffer from depression but none of us fully realised his deep despair.

I don't know that arrangements have been made for his funeral but I will let you know as soon as I get any news.

I would be grateful if you could pass this sad news on to any of your friends who knew Rob."

Rob, rest in peace.

Rob Brock
Good times: Rob Brock (right) competing in the trike racing at Salt Ayre during Cyclefeast 2004.

*********

13 March 2009: Jeremy has kindly written the following obituary, which will also appear in next issue of the magazine:

OBITUARY

Rob Brock

Rob Brock

A pioneer of the workbike movement and tireless cycling advocate, Rob Brock, died in early March. His friend Jeremy Taylor recalls his life and the remarkable story of the Brox four-wheeler.

"I was giddy - I had the cheque in my hand." Rob Brock, the inventor of the BROX, faced his biggest decision of his short life. "Do I spend it on my life-long ambition to ride a bike round Australia or do I invest it in the BROX project?" He invested it.Rob, who has died aged 44, made a fantastic contribution to the world of cycling and pedal powered vehicles. He was a cyclist, motor cyclist, story teller, musician, and an absolute enthusiast. He was larger than life. He had charm, warmth and he inspired everyone who ever met him.

After a spell as a deckhand on a tug on the Manchester Ship Canal which ran close to his home town of Irlam he went on to become a motor cycle stunt man and later a courier riding his bike all over Europe.

In 1992 he was stuck in traffic in the centre of Manchester in a Transit van delivering one box of A4 paper. He thought that there must be a better way to get the box of paper through. This was where the cheque came in handy; it was compensation for injury from a cycle accident. Chris Boardman had just won in the Olympics with a Lotus bike designed by Mike Burrows so Rob called him. Mike designed and built a four wheel recumbent chassis with wide ratio mountain bike gears which would be capable of carrying 250 kg. Mike provided the bike that proved the theory. At that time I first met Rob and his brother Tony.

Rob took me first to Irlam to see the Mike Burrows machine and then on to the wilds of West Wales to meet Dave Wrath-Sharman and Chris Bell of Highpath Engineering, who worked on the first potential production model chassis. Dave based the design on the old pre-war Austin 7 and the front and rear of the vehicle articulated to keep all four wheels on the ground. Rob said it had to have "kerbability" to survive life on the courier runs.

Rob and Tony needed more funds. There is memorable video of two bank managers on the back of the BROX being pedalled round central Manchester before agreeing to fund them.

The first run of manufacture was undertaken by Pashley Cycles and they produced all the new chassis in red, blue, silver and yellow in time for the launch in London on March 29th, 1995. Stories appeared in the national press and Rob and Tony were on several television news and feature programmes.

Brox
Rob organised an HPV juggernaut from Irlam to Lancaster for CycleFest. He holidayed by BROX from Irlam to Brighton and back. He toured Germany, France and the Netherlands by BROX and other HPVs. He went on to work for the YHA on an environmental project and travelled the nation on his Brompton. At the time of his death he was working in sales for the Thornbridge Brewery near Bakewell.

When asked about the role of the BROX on Blue Peter Rob said, "This is the vehicle for our small planet. It runs on milk and cornflakes!"

Rob was a man ahead of his time, and a hugely entertaining, enthusiastic and energetic friend. He will be sadly missed in the cycling world and far beyond.

Jeremy Taylor

For much more about the remarkable life and times of Rob Brock please see the tribute website set up by Rob's brothers at www.rob-brock.co.uk. This site also has links to other sites and to the Facebook group set up in his memory.

Rob Brock

****

I (Peter Eland) would only add that Rob was a truly outstanding figure in the cycling and human-powered world: an extrovert visionary when so many of us are technically-minded engineers. He brought a flair and media-friendly approachability to the field which was sorely needed, and still is. Rob, R.I.P., you are sadly missed.


Posted by Luke Stephenson (skywalker63@btinternet.com) on Monday 9 Mar 2009
As I write this I'm shaking with sadness. It's me on the left in the picture above. This was one of our rare but all the more memorable meetings. I am all the more saddened because I was never aware of any dark side of Rob, he gave the impression that he was always laughing. I know he had his health problems and that there was some pain but.......Well WHY WHY WHY? Scary thing I was talking to my partner about Rob yesterday, she never got to meet him. Those of us who did meet Rob should be grateful.

 
Posted by Kevin Dunseath (D@antiscam) on Monday 9 Mar 2009
I first met Rob at a London cycle show many years ago .
He was punting the concept of a city transport system which was called a "Brox" around the various trade stands .
I listened to his well rehearsed pitch ,at the end he gave his card to me which stated in bold letters "The Brox Corporation" .
It sounded very very grand !
I had visions of mills + factories in Lancashire and workers with machines running day and night.
I thought at the time ......this chap from up north is not lacking with the "Hype" and had a little chuckle to myself as he moved on to the next stand.
Anyway the concept appeared a few years later in production after a huge effort from Rob .
Just one small story .
I am sure there will be a lot more
Just so sad to hear the news .
Kevin .............D.TEK HPVS






 
Posted by Roger@Cyclemagic (hilldodger01@aol.com) on Monday 9 Mar 2009
I'm just stunned - hadn't seen him for a while but we had a great laugh everytime we did meet up.



 
Posted by Liz (red.shift@orange.net) on Monday 9 Mar 2009
My partner and I went to Rob's house about 12 years ago, to buy a Flevo Oké Ja. It was probably the most fun we'd had in ages, trying out the silly bikes he had there, including the pink quad he laughingly described as a 'Circus.' Rob always said 'hello' at cyclefest too, and always seemed glad to be part of the fun. Somewhere I have a picture of the 'Boom Brox' too. Such a shame.
Liz (redshift/Shifty)

 
Posted by Anne Marie Stevenson (myfullname@ic24.net) on Monday 9 Mar 2009
I'm still tearful, I met Rob at my first CycleFest at the Midland Hotel Morecambe in 1997 & considered him as one of my good friends. I'm glad to say we kept in touch and he last texted me in February this year. I know he was very, very down but as I hadn't his address couldn't go & see him.
Most memories of him were of him smiling. He was also very dedicated to the cycling cause.
I just find it so hard to take in.
Anne


 
Posted by mick thomas (mick.thomas@getcycling.org.uk) on Monday 9 Mar 2009
I've spent most of the last few hours realising how much of my future life was tied up in Rob Brocks (ARJ) existance.
I talked and texted him often (mostly text as he lived in a hole in Derbyshire), yes he had a dark side,but mostly he had a very, very funny side. There were times, round my house,when you had to scrape us up from the floor after one of his sessions about "The Colonel" and "Cheeky". What can I say' i'll miss talking to him about motorbikes and bikes and micro breweries, my partner will miss giving him advice about his love life, my children will miss having to go to bed on time because he isn't here. Mostly, somebody out there should write an obit worthy of him and his history and submit it to the Guardian for their "Other Lives". I've got loads of stories, but no idea how his life (other than the late part) went.God I miss him.

 
Posted by Luke Stephenson (skywalker63@btinternet.com) on Monday 9 Mar 2009
Now that I've calmed down a bit I feel like telling the story behind the picture - it was real RB fun. We are at Cycle fest, the last one in 2004. I'd just acquired my Green speed and Rob was rediscovering his beloved Trice. He'd fitted this really annoying bell that he'd acquired in Germany that was tyre driven and so rang all the time the wheels were turning and of course the faster you went the more it rang. We entered a race and were quickly dropped by the rest of the field but that didn't matter we weren't racing anyone else just each other.Rob just sat behind me, both of us pedalling furiously with that blasted bell doing my head in and him laughing at my trying to get away. Every time he tried to get past me though I could see him in the mirrors and just kept blocking him.It got like old time motor racing with us touching front wheels and hurtling off into the grass and then back on the track. By the time we finished we were laughing like kids but hardly able to breathe. I've always liked the picture it sums so much of what riding with other people particularly friends is all about.God I'll miss him. I was really looking forward to York Rally this year -that's where I last saw him. He was shouting into his mobile trying to find someone who was stood only yards from him..the look on his face as he saw me and realised the comedy of it is the way I want to remember him..laughing uncontrollably.

 
Posted by Mike Horton (mike@cafemaroc.co.uk) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
I have just returned home and my wife has just broken the news to me about Rob. As I write this my tears continue and I cannot say when they will stop.

For nearly twenty years Rob has been a beacon of light and inspiration to me. His friendship and support has helped me through the hard times and rocked my world in the good times. An important part of my world has now gone and can never be replaced. He was one of a kind.

I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have known him and to have been able to call him my friend is an honour.

I can’t say any more right now.

Mike (Black)

 
Posted by Deb Griffiths (dgriff47@talktalk.net) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
Thank you all for the heartfelt comments regarding Arj. I have been mate of Robs for 28 years hence why i am still up at 4.50am.What can i say he was a brill mate a nutcase most of the time tryed to kill me when he was slipstreaming behind a lorry in the Ardesh and his chain guard flew off his trusty old CD175 missing my exhusbands head by inches on our way to Bandol. He has given me the biggest hangovers trying to visit all the pubs in the grreat british pub guide.I have a head full of memories of our fun together, and i will miss him dearly,Rob was someone who had a gift of touching peoples lives and making them wet their selves with laughter,he was THE crapster and i will love him forever..

 
Posted by David Hargreaves (dhargreaves@sky.com) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
I am Rob's neighbour at his house in Irlam and have known Rob for about 10 years. I am stunned at this news and my heart and sympathy goes out to his family at this time. Rob was a fascinating guy something of an enigma in these parts... Always smiling and I had a great deal of respect for him. Rest in peace Rob I will say a prayer with Bill today x

 
Posted by Col 'The Colonel' Rich (rich.assoc@yahoo.co.uk) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
Well guys, what can be said? put you hand up if you've heard these phrases before: Bonza, Bad Cop, jockey's whips, rocky on a piff cake, Raving Crapster, Fat Boy, Pepperami, Olive Oil, .........I'll write something more lucid when I can actually focus on the keyboard....Love to all the spokefiends out there who knew the Brockster x

 
Posted by Pepe (pepe@tylmail.com) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
Goodbye for now Rob, we will see you again eventually and hopefully we can carry on the story where we left it.

Some of My and my wife (Tracy)'s best memories involved you and our large group of friends, a large group of friends brought together around your personality.

Memories that will always raise a laugh, so sorry to see you take the measures you have. We are all saying the same thing "If only", but I know none of us are to blame because as we all know RJ was a total individual. It's one of the things we all loved about him, so nobody is to blame, it wouldnt have made a difference.

Everyone RJ knew had a nickname, I am proud of my nickname (Pepe) gifted to me by RJ, probably the only person to drop (fall off) his treasured CD 175 hence the nickname "Pepe the Stunt Stopper".

We were on one of our jaunts, this time to the BOL. a really warm afternoon in September 1993. We had entertained ourselves one afternoon around the caravan in Bandol. Myself, Tracy, Deb, Tay, RJ & Peebs. Eating Boursin on French bread, pre-cooked chicken and drinking the cheapest beer from the supermarket. Peebs had furnished himself with a CD 175 for the trip, surely in sympathy with RJ. Good on you Peebs.

Beside our caravan was a long dirt-track (500 yards) leading to a gated field. Having never ridden RJ's ceed before I jumped onto it thinking that surely this piece of motorcycling history (piece of shit) cant be that entertaining to ride. Off down the dirt track I went, throttle fully open, I was suprised at just how quickly the gate approached, but I think this was more of a personal misjudgement due to the bottles of french beer than being on a powerful machine.

You know what happened next, God that CD's exhaust was hot, left a burn mark for weeks.

I was the butt of many jokes and the proud owner of a new nickname, Cheers ARJ.

Cheers again, Thanks for the Good Times You Crapster.

Pepe & Tracy

 
Posted by Jon Brook (harleydude123@aol.com) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
I am a very close friend of Tony, one of Robs brothers.. i only met him a few times but he was a cool very funny bloke. RIP dude

Jon Brook

 
Posted by Jim Geeling (jim@geeling.net) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
I had the privilege of knowing Rob for many years and spent years on the road with him travelling to Holland and Germany with Broxes in the back of broken down vans in the middle of no-where Gaffer tape in hand. Rob introduced me to the experience of living on a budget, staying in Formule 1 motels or sleeping in the van and being stopped by police wanting to know what we had in the back of the van and wishing they had not asked. This was a major step up from going to a meeting with a Brox strapped on the roof. All done with lots of style. Rob was a complex character with the ability to stimulate great ideas, imagination and energy in people. I have fond memories of riding a "sail bike" into a brick wall at his insistance that I could ride it.

I only spoke to him about a week ago and cannot beleive he is gone. Ironically I was only looking at some video of Rob when I got the call.

I was given the name Himy by Rob I can't think why.

I will miss you, we all will. We will no doubt again.


Your friend Jim (real name)

 
Posted by Seamus (etc) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
I can't believe.

Evey had to met him, he was funny.

He wrote something on card when i was hospital that make me laugh.

 
Posted by Sean gallagher (gallagher_606@hotmail.com) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
I've known rob all my life - he was 366 days older than me and I loved him - today I have been wandering around my empty house unsure of what to do next. And not coming up with anything !! But I know now that I should just be scouring the net to find more tributes like these ! Stories about rob from people I've heard about in distant myth thankyou ! I just wish I'd got to buy a pint of Brock ale from the bouncy landlord .. He deserves a festival of his own in recognition of what he brought to this world - all his family in anglesey think of him today and the rest of our lives

 
Posted by Peter Eland (peter at velovision) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
Sean, there is also a thread at CycleChat:

http://www.cyclechat.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=29463

 
Posted by Arch (@km) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
What sad news. I only met him a couple of times I think and he seemed a nice guy, but it from the sound of him, I wish I'd known him better.

 
Posted by sean Gallagher (gallagher_606@hotmail.com) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
peter - thank you Sean

 
Posted by Rob Marchant (@ Matlock) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
Having only known Rob (Or Arj as I know him better) for the last 6 years of his all too short life, I only have a limited knowledge of the sheer magnitude and impact his prescence has had up until the time we met and can only comment from my perspective.

If I were asked to describe Arj in one word, it would probably be’Bonza’, in Two words ‘Raving Crapster’ both of these phrases plagiarised directly from the ‘Broxford English dictionary’, a man so immense, he had his own language.

He had a level of enthusiasm which I had never seen before and doubt ever will again, an enthusiasm which was the majority of the time centred around one thing…Fun. The pursuit of it and the desire to get anyone around him involved in it by any means possible.
There are too many stories, quotes and happy times to write down right now, and too many tears to see the words with any clarity.

I’ve never felt the sadness before that I feel right now, but I know that whenever I remember him the tears will be running over a very large smile.
Goodbye Arj
x


 
Posted by Rob Marchant (@ Matlock) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
There has also been a facebook Tribute page to Rob set up....
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=135286890315&ref=nf

 
Posted by Seamus (etc) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
As someone who shall remain nameless said to me at York "Seamus has lost his voice? Every cloud has a silver lining" :-)

That was Rob Brock.
It still makes me laugh.

 
Posted by Chris Trueblood (trueblood@ctlconnect.co.uk) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
I'm deeply saddened by this news. I first met Rob in his home town, Irlam in the early 1990's. Rob contributed to several local cycling projects there. Many a time he challenged the council to map out and maintain safe cycle routes. I have vivid memories of all the Lancaster Cycle Fests which were unique times! He encouraged me to attend Velocity in Edinburgh and Paris. I have real memories of travelling together and meeting friends he'd made throughout Europe. I will miss his humour and challenging politics.

 
Posted by Beckstar (polksaladannie81@yahoo.co.uk) on Tuesday 10 Mar 2009
What can I write, that hasnt already been written? No-one will ever supass the legend that was the bonza bloke Rob Brock. Whenever I think of Rob I think of him whirling me around some dancefloor of whatever establishment we were in at the time, with all of the other peeps that are part of the matlock crew. Keep on dancing in heaven Rob, and we will boogie some more whenever we next meet up. xx

 
Posted by Deb (dgriff47@talktalk.net) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
Thanks guys, your lovely tributes have made me cry but give me comfort knowing the Broxter had great Crapsters in his life. If any one out their knows Geff Apps thank him form me for the brill new year i spent their with arj(even though we had no electric) we spent our time in the snow cycleing miles with cheeky and my lad (arj's godson jimathon) on the back of a brox that Geff was riding, Rob peeing himself evertime i fell off giving me the nickname f..Deb, Rob Caz and Geff & me watching the fire crackel(as we had no telly) whilst cooking our jacket spuds & drinking brandy and chatting to the early hours, going to bed with our clothes on cos it was so cold, even though Geff didn't know me that well he didn't mind being invaded with extra guests,and made me feel so welcome i wanted to stay forever,and is that not the beauty of rob you gained a wider circle of great friends, experiances,wisdom and culture beeing in his presence.Expect some rain guys he will av them rolling upstairs & crying with laughter.God Bless matey xx p.s keep posting your arj experiances its therapy to read your stories

 
Posted by Si Killer (simon.killer@btinternet.com) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
Going on from Deb's comments (or f***ing Debs as she was known) I too did a Bandol trip with Arj and Tay and Chodfoot, the sight of him on his famous ceed doing the strip in Bandol, clearing all the Blades and Ducatis out of his way will never be forgotten by all who saw it. Great to read all the comments, he was a true Crapster!

 
Posted by Rob James (jamesfamily@uwclub.net) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
"Give 'em the sizzle, not the sausage," Arj would say after reading one of my less than inspiring press releases, rolling his eyes and throwing his arms up in feigned horror.
He was the man who invariably put the sizzle in our sausagey lives; the glue in our Matlock Gluepot. He had the best lines ("it runs on milk and cornflakes" I believe he said of the Brox bike) and was the finest storyteller I have ever had the deep joy - as Rob would have said - to listen to. He was shrewd, bold, funny and had a sense of the mischievous and the absurd. Truth, as he liked to tell me, is stranger than fiction. Who else do you know who would have rung up the person who held the record for driving around the UK on a motorbike and asked them to take him to the Italian Grand Prix and back in a weekend just because his boss wouldn't give him the Friday and the Monday off?
He spent just six years with us in Derbyshire, but he has given us a lifetime of laughs. Yes, we're angry and we're hurting like mad, but that's just because we loved the crapster. And his bass playing was coming on nicely too.
We know now he had his dark times and they took him in the end.
But we also know, just from what we've gleaned in six short years, that being Rob Brock must have been, in his own words, very fine.
Olive oil, Arj.


 
Posted by Rob James (jamesfamily@uwclub.net) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
In my last post I used the Brockism 'deep joy'. I realise Rob often used it sarcastically, but I've used it literally. The joy he spread was genuinely deep and wide. I just hope he knew that.

 
Posted by Mark Dawson (mark@promobikes.co.uk) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
I am saddened to hear the news of Rob. Our paths first crossed when we started the Promobikes project 9 years ago. Rob was a guiding light and fountain of knowledge in the biking world; always pointing in us in the right direction and putting us in touch with the correct people. For this we thank him.
Above all Rob was inspirational, enthusiastic, humerous and had that ability to awaken ideas in people. More inportantly a man who could put 'fun' first.
A gifted story teller, memories of him relaying a few short stories from his brief 'stunt man' career during many beers in an E.Berlin beer garden. I can still hear the laughter now.
Thoughts are with all family and friends.
RIP Rob.

 
Posted by Ben (ben@kinetics-online.co.uk) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
The first time I met Rob was when I was a young and impressionable kid at Cyclefest in Lancaster, watching the recumbent racing. all the serious riders flew past, then a few seconds later what looked like a transit van rounded the corner on two wheels, with a madly grinning maniac at the controls - Rob didn't care that he was last, he was having a brilliant time.
Pretty much every other time I've met Rob has been the same - he seemed to fill every room he was in, and he never seemed to take anything seriously - at a Cologne bike show full of serious people, spotting Rob with a big beer and a bigger smile was a wonderful sight.
RIP Rob.

 
Posted by Tony Brock (anthonybrock@rocketmail.com) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
Hi all

Some lovely comments and stories in here and for those who do want to attend Rob's funeral, I've set up a focal point for information as there are simply far too many people to ring and/or contact - most of whom only have nicknames anyway!

Please post your comments and tell your friends to browse to:

www.rob-brock.co.uk

Where we'll be able to keep you up to date with arrangements and other stuff.

Thanks everyone

Tony

 
Posted by Gary Hanley (gazhanley@hotmail.co.uk) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
I have known Rob for the best part of 40 years , we grew up together , knocked about as a group of teenagers , even then he was the one to make people laugh. We lost touch a little as adults but he always made a point of looking his old friends up when he was in Irlam . For those who know Wacky Races , he was Irlams Professor Pat Pending a mountain of ideas , most of which he put into practice ....i for one didn't know of his dark side and that only makes me all the more sad , but i have fond and lasting memories of one of the nicest people you would ever hope to meet . I will miss you Rob

 
Posted by Ian Fardoe (@ bhpc) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
ARGH!
I've bumped into Rob on and off for far too many years at various cycling things.
He always came across as an absolute top bloke, and someone to natter to inanely about everything and anything.

A very bad day indeed.

 
Posted by Chrissy Mrshall (manc_lass69@yahoo.co.uk) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
check out Face book group. "Rob Brock Tribue. Please add any great memories, funny stories u have of Rob and please add all your pics. Also see www.rob-brock.co.uk



 
Posted by Andy Scaife (bike_rescue@yahoo.co.uk) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
Phew. Another one. It's every spring for the last 4 years, one of us goes. As a relative newbie to cyclery, Rob was one of my first contacts, as it was a Brox in Encycleopedia that first grabbed my petrolhead and turned it for good, to the light! Recently Rob had been helping our neighbour set up a pedicab service in York, and as usual, all work at the depot stopped when he screamed into the yard in some big van or other, full of toys.
It was only recently that we both realised we had met years and years ago, when both doing driving displays at motorsport events, for different teams. Yes, (Rob was a 'stunt' driver! How many velovisionaries knew that one?). We had spent the last decade both pondering how we vaguely recognised one another, but i said, 'Nah, impossibly, ive only been into bikes for a few years."
Well guys and gals. Are we gonna learn from this, and the Toms and all the others we know, and LIVE!!!!

 
Posted by Theo (peeb@globalnet.co.uk) on Wednesday 11 Mar 2009
I found out on Monday evening and I still can't believe it. I've just read all the wonderful comments about Arj, and they're all true. I hadn't seen much of him in the last few years, but during the Brox years in the mid-nineties we spent so much time together. The memories keep coming back. The Dublin bike show, sleeping in the venue (locked in!) and riding all the bikes around the stands during the night; fixing Broxes in the back of a van all around the country; both riding to the South of France on identical CD175s, and back again slipstreaming; riding the pink tandem quad across the Pennines in winter; riding back from Cycle Fest to Irlam on Broxes; mountain bike riding in the Peaks and the Cotswolds; watching the Tour de France on the telly after a day spent building Broxes; moving the Brox office by human power (we walked two miles with a huge table held on our heads). An endless amount of mad stuff - the most fun I've ever had. The world has lost the ultimate lover of life, who squeezed every drop out of it - that's what makes it so hard to accept. The world is truly a poorer place now. It saddens me enormously that his last weeks/months on earth must have been incredibly difficult for him to do such a thing; but as he always said, "if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly".

 
Posted by Champ (neal@champ.org.uk) on Thursday 12 Mar 2009
I first met Arj at the Bol D'Or in the South of France. He was there on his famous CD175, and when asked what he was doing so far from home on such a diminutive machine, he replied "I'm on my way to Istanbul". This is just one of the gazillion stories about Arj that show his rich sense of humour, his love of life and his utter individuality. It was me that he asked to take him to the Italian GP for the weekend on the back of my bike, and I'm so proud to be a player in one of the legendary Arj events. And so sorry that there won't be any more.

 
Posted by andrew thomson (sales@atmsport.com) on Thursday 12 Mar 2009
Rob! what can I say, we did not keep in touch as much as we could (my fault maybe) my school years and teens were only made bearable by your mischief and exploits, you were the funniest guy I ever met, I will never forget the way you used to torment Tony and your carefree attitude to live, you lived your life to make others happy, the mere site of you used to make me smile, R.I.P mate
Andy T (tomo)


 
Posted by deb griffiths (dgriff47@talktalk.net) on Thursday 12 Mar 2009
Tomo their are more links on www.rob-brock.co.uk
the face book site is lovely too.
Champs and Peebs lovely to read your comments do u remember the instant barbie at his house. still got all the pics from the Bol, me and trac on the back of rob and peebs matching cd175's rob cooking his breaky on the side of the road in his billy can and his panya full of porrige from weigh and save cos he was on a budget, he was the only one i know that could go from irlam to south of france on £40 He was off to istanbul because he had read a book that mentioned the pudding shop a very hip place in the sixtys and just thought he would go nip and take a look, just like you would........

 
Posted by dawn lucas (dawnlucas05@live.co.uk) on Thursday 12 Mar 2009
being carolines sister I had known Rob for a long time he was a lovely uncle to my kids and a great godfather to my daughter joanne R.I P. ROB

 
Posted by Geoff (geoffapps@live.co.uk) on Thursday 12 Mar 2009
Debs! That New Year was one of the many times that Rob lifted me out of a dark place. Literally, because I hadn't enough money for electricity. But we had a roaring fire that night, cooked pizzas, and lots of fun.
And he didn't tell me he was coming, you all just turned up, and we sorted it. Some of my best memories.
That was Rob.
How lucky we all have been to have had this magic person in our lives, and now he's calling the tune again and making us all delight in these memories.
Good to hear from you, and thanks for your thanks ~ it really was my pleasure to have you all to stay!

 
Posted by Deb Griffiths (dgriff47@talktalk.net) on Friday 13 Mar 2009
Hi Geoff
One of my best memories too! got my old pics out today and found the pics that were taken that new year, also found the pre launch brox pics that were taken out side yourhouse>. I live in cornwall now(married a cornish pasty) Geoff so if your ever pedeling this way maybe i could return the hospitality.
Deb x

 
Posted by GOFF (geoffapps@live.co.uk) on Friday 13 Mar 2009
Blimey! I'd forgotten about the Brox launch at my house, what an event that was!

 
Posted by Thomas Dannenmann (thomas@hpvelotechnik.com) on Friday 13 Mar 2009
I am shellshocked... that´s describing it a bit, but being honest, not the slightest.

Rob, I just met you a few times at SPEZI in Germersheim in person, us knocking around with others HP Velotechnik in a local pub, drinking Guinness and chanting pubsongs, that was kindred spirits, big time... missing that very much.. Also our phonecalls every once in a while. So now your funny business idea of a joint visit of a ManCity game will never become real... You are a great bloke, your demise is a sad joke. Too sad.

R.I.P. mate

Thomas Dannenmann (sales manager, HP Velotechnik for GB), here voicing his deepest personal inner feelings.

 
Posted by Ian Wood (ian@cyclesmaximus.com) on Friday 13 Mar 2009
I am so shocked Rob why? You had so many friends you could have called any of us for support, we loved you and needed you, there are so few bright 'stars' on this planet, and now we are one less! Aarrh!

 
Posted by Stephan Thonett (RadLast) (radlast@t-online.de) on Friday 13 Mar 2009
Rob changed my life so deeply and added so many good friends to so many groups of cycle enthusiasts.

He made RadLast work for more then just a few years by inventing the perfect machine THE BROX.

I am so sad and I am so very sorry and I am so helpless and I hate not to be able to talk to/with him.

... Bye Rob

 
Posted by christine marshall (manc_lass69@yahoo.co.uk) on Saturday 14 Mar 2009
please see www.rob-brock@co.uk for funeral arrangements fri march 20th

 
Posted by paula moss (paulamoss3@hotmail.com) on Saturday 14 Mar 2009
I have read all of the above decriptions and heart felt tributes to a person I never even knew or who I have ever met,but my heart aches now after reading all of your beautiful tributes you have made to what obviously was a wonderful man I am sure he knew what a great group of friends he had in you all. I felt your pain through your comments I wish my words here could heal what you are all feeling in your time of sorrow,except those great memories must be what you hold on too,some of them made me smile,especially the grizzle bear I will be for ever a grizzlie from this day on in Robs honour, maybe one day we will be blessed with the answers to the WHYs ! I am just very diappointed that I never got the chance to get a Rob nickname or got the chance to call him my friend. Better to have lost & Loved then never Loved at all. I am so sorry for you on the loss of your special friend.

Paula(Pixie)through face book group via Maggie Campbell


 
Posted by Ashley Kool (aka BenBecula) (ashleykool@hotmail.com) on Saturday 14 Mar 2009
I think Ian Woods says all I could say at this time. I keep hoping this is just a bad dream that I'm soon going to wake up from!

 
Posted by Robert Poole (robert.poole@mac.com) on Sunday 15 Mar 2009
Rob Brock: 'you can't fax a goldfish'.

I first met Rob at CycleFest - I think 96 - when he gave an uproarious and inspiring talk about the Brox, including the immortal observation above. He was explaining how demand from busy office workers for sending small objects across town spawned the idea for the Brox. At the next CycleFest we awaited the Brox convoy from Manchester - indeed, parts of it had come from Cologne with Stefan the bike courier. It was (not surprisingly) slightly delayed, arriving noisily during dinner, Boom Brox and all. Amid a swarm of smaller machines there were a couple of Broxes, four outriders on Flevos, and at the heart of it all the mothership: a huge and heavily-loaded quadracycle, powered by Rob and his business partner Jim (the sensible one). CycleFest that year featured the most extraordinary pedal-powered convoys ever seen, sweeping through Lancaster's one-way system to the work-hard beat of of Toots and the Maytals' 'Reggae got soul', dominating the roads, and heaving up the hill back to the college with worker-bee attendants on diamond frames and Bromptons adding extra push. Magic. Rob and friends stayed to the end, and their reward was to leave on the Tuesday in a tropical downpour that lasted all day. Of course they were prepared with acres of waterproofs, but 55 miles of wet-weather chafing put Rob and Jim's business partnership under strain. Nothing about Rob was ordinary, and our lives remain the richer for it even after his has so sadly ended.

 
Posted by Jim White (popewhirlwind@btinternet.com) on Tuesday 17 Mar 2009
met Rob in 1982. Rob was our bass player in a band called Subliminal clip. A name coined by Rob.Rob was an inavator. An inventor, A one off.A man who had a lust for life. who appeared bigger than life. A man who inspired. I Loved conversation with Rob.........Fuckin ell ROB.
see you later mate.
Jimmy..

 
Posted by Ashley Kool (ashleykool@hotmail.com) on Wednesday 18 Mar 2009
On behalf of Bikeactive and Bike Ability, Ipswich (Suffolk) group that promotes and runs days at Alton Water for people that have special needs and assistance when cycling.

Rob considered cycling as a great form of transport and an unrivalled means of liberation.
He often said that a bike and a person could go anywhere; first find the right bike. The right person could be a little trickier.

Following on from this he didn’t see why that freedom shouldn’t be available to everyone, that was willing to give it a try, they might just need that special little adaptation. Hence he gave a lot of time and even more thought to groups such as ours. If on his travels he spotted something that might be beneficial to our clients, we would hear from him upon his return.

For this and many other reasons he was a wonderful resource to us and may others. He will be sadly missed and never replaced.

At this difficult time our sympathy and condolence go out to all his family and friends.

Pp Peter Robinson
(written by Ashley Kool)


 
Posted by Wilf (tony_willner@hotmail.com) on Thursday 19 Mar 2009
Well
Thanks god for this
i feel a lot less sorry for myself now
I went to school with Rob and knew him all my life,but obviously I didnt.Shit.Last saw him in December when we went to see the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and had a ball.Shit.Is anybody sleeping at the moment?
Wilf

 
Posted by Geoff (GOFF) Apps (geoffapps@live.co.uk) on Friday 20 Mar 2009
I’m sorry to say that I won’t be able to attend the funeral tomorrow.
Even so, I’ll be thinking about Rob and all of you through the day, particularly around 22-2.
I am sure, by the end of the day, Rob’s spirit will have worked its usual magic and you’ll all feel blessed, having been lucky enough to have known him.
Maybe it’ll be able to reach this far!



 
Posted by Darren (Daj) Perrott (darrenperrott@googlemail.com) on Friday 20 Mar 2009
I feel a deep sadness that the smiles and laughs that arj gave us won't be repeated. I enjoyed talking bikes, taking a ride and having a beer with the crapster. The talk of travels, the planning of new trips. The trips away, the f'ing snoring even heard through thick walls. The jokes, the brockisms, the spilling of beers through laughing to hard and the puking. The brown jacket and the beige cords. We had planned for him to support me on La Marmotte this year, I will certainly be thinking of him through the mountains.
RIP buddy.
Daj

 
Posted by Steve Andrews (stephenandrews148@btinternet.c) on Thursday 2 Apr 2009
I only found out the sad news today, it certainly has put the dampers on the day and my copy of Velo vision. What more can add, he was a star, I particualy have fond memories of him at CycleFest "stunt" riding the Brox dorn flights of stairs and a special evening that he arranged being driven round campus with my 18 month old daughter on the back of the Brox mkII taxi. He will be sadley missed

 
Posted by jason Parker (esp.ltd@blueyonder.co.uk) on Wednesday 15 Apr 2009
Don't really know what to say only that the times in the Boll and le mans and others gigs are some of my best times in life and the most in laughts. I only got the bad news yesterday from a couple from mancester i got talking to in spain. You never left a rock uncovered. Sorry my spelling is like my thoughts all over the place. Hope you are in a better place and have your e-mail set up, that way you will know how loved you were for many different ways you brought joy. Never forget the project X gig, my be i can roadie again. J.

 
Posted by Berend Dikkers (bdikkers@gmail.com) on Tuesday 28 Apr 2009
What sad news. I remeber Rob as a cheerfull, positive character, who never gave up, no matter what. I had the pleasure of working with him (and Jim) in my home town Rotterdam, Holland. As said here before: he was a visionarry and way ahead of his time. (you should see the 'imitations' of the Brox now riding around in Holland) Can't believe it, I am shocked. From all your Dutch friends; Farewell Rob, rest in peace...


 
Posted by scoop9001 on Wednesday 19 Mar 2014
Still missing rob five years later , scoop(dave marshall)

 

 
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