My Story about Robin Williams

We just heard that the great comic Robin Williams died, likely by his own hand in the hands of depression. Lots has been said about him. Here’s my story.

A former co-worker of mine was a hobby cyclist who went to France one year to take in the Tour de France. He was there with a number of friends, and one of them was a buddy of Robin Williams, who hooked up with the group as they took their own bike rides into the countryside after the Tour had passed by. These were serious cyclists who set a fast pace, and on at least one ride Williams joined them.

One of the guys was asked to fall back if Robin, who was older and not as fit, couldn’t keep up. This did happen, and the designated cyclist reduced his speed so Robin would have at least one person to bike with.

What followed, as they peddled along the road, was a non-stop comedy routine by Williams for an audience of one. He made fun of the French. He told jokes about the Tour and the absurdity of climbing hills with two wheels and no engine. You name it.

We can all play amateur psychiatrist and guess at what really caused Robin to end his life. But prior to his death, he was a guy who lived to make people laugh, even when he was pumping up a hill in the presence of nothing but grass, maybe some sheep and one other guy on a bike.

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