3 Years Later, Pinkbike Remembers Kelly McGarry

Feb 1, 2019
by Sarah Moore  

Kelly McGarry passed away on the 1st of February 2016. It's hard to believe, but today is the third anniversary of his tragic death.

To see more of Kelly's life on two wheels, head to our tribute post.

The second McGazza Festival is in Nelson this weekend, February 2nd to 3rd.

Ride in peace, Kelly.


  • 97 0
 How has this been three years already? Madness.

I've said this before but, beside being an absolute legend, I think the reason Kelly's passing (and Stevie Smith's) has resonated with so many people in the mountain biking community is because our sport is still so young. 2016 was a shitty year by anyone's standards and well known people seemed to be dropping left right and centre, due to ill health and old age. However, the sport of mountain biking hasn't really been going long enough to have a long listed of aged legends who could be taken by age related illnesses. So whenever we are unfortunate enough to have to say goodbye to an athlete, it's always been under unexpected and horrible circumstances - which definitely doesn't make it any easier.

It's a testament to the mountain biking community at how well we do remember and celebrate the lives of the athletes who have unfortunately left us early.

Keep being cool Pinkbike.
  • 53 0
 You could also add another legend who died February 4 2016....Dave Mirra.
  • 9 0
 @lRaphl: Apologies. I genuinely forgot about Mirra, which pains me as I'm a big fan, but I think it was because, again, how is that so long ago? Also the CTE discussions that followed Dave's death seems much more recent than 2016.

It really was a rubbish year all round.
  • 5 0
 Well said. I'm at an age in life where relatives are starting to drop off from old age illnesses. Doesn't make it any easier, but it it less tragic and resonates differently. RIP young and old, gone too soon.
  • 1 0
 Well said brother
  • 2 0
 Happy 50th Birthday Mr. Brett Tippie! Yin and Yang...
  • 28 0
 I sure miss that dude. Such a positive presence and attitude. The world's most certainly a better place when you're surrounded by people like Kelly.
  • 19 0
 RIP...... legends never die....
  • 16 0
 I charged up my old phone because I was looking for a photo. I found a voicemail from Kelly. Hadn't heard that voice for a while...could almost feel his arm rest on my shoulder like he would do. Ride in peace McGazza!
  • 1 0
 Damn who’s cutting the onions... RIP mcgazza gone but never forgotten
  • 11 0
 Kelly made me feel welcome when I was relatively new to mtb. My first Whistler trip he rode with our crew. He insisted on riding out back with me and some of the slower riders. Ive never seen a pro so humble and down to earth.
  • 12 1
 Its not the years in your life but the life in your years RIP McGazza
  • 8 0
 Was in Mt. Maunganui when I read it...still unbelievable Frown !

Never forgotten McGazza!!!
  • 2 0
 Beautiful place though to receive such tragic news, kinda poetic. Much love for Tauranga and the Mount!
  • 3 0
 I was lucky enough to spend two weeks with that curly locked beast. The shot above was a great day of building and filming. The best part was watching Kelly shot his first handgun which was 44 magnum! Was so bummed when I heard the news just wished I could see him back in AK. His spirt will be missed but not forgotten.
  • 8 1
 'Till Valhalla
  • 11 4
 Valhalla is for warriors who die in combat, he's in freeride heaven
  • 8 4
 @Evan3710: riding rampage makes you a warrior, 70 ft gaps over shot w not a spoke intact is combat...walking away smiling is McGazza...
  • 2 9
flag Evan3710 (Feb 2, 2019 at 11:24) (Below Threshold)
 @ov3r1d3: Warrior: noun, a person engaged or experienced in warfare, Merriam-Webster.
RIding in rampage shows that you have balls. It doesn't make you a warrior.
  • 10 2
 @Evan3710: yeah as someone who has been shot at and blown up in foreign lands I’m well aware what the definition is son.....lighten up buddy it’s gonna be ok...
  • 2 0
 I'm genuinely sad that such a nice positive human was taken so early. But he packed more into his short life than most of us do in double the time. One of my regrets was not going up and chatting to him when I saw him in Chatel(I was trying to get my wife to speak to him) but I am very shy.
  • 3 0
 I just found some old GoPro footage of Kelly riding Whistler, towing our crew in his ol' jeans. I though I had lost it. Fistbumps and smiles all around. And man, could he ever send Crabapple!
  • 3 0
 I feel so lucky to have met Kelly, got ride w/ him, and share some laughs. He was larger than life, his spirit will always shine bright. Much love big guy, your inspiration lives on!!!
  • 6 0
 McGazza Forever!
  • 5 0
 That has to be the best mtb-pic I've ever seen
  • 3 0
 Man 3 years already. I remember being in complete disbelief for a full day after hearing the tragic news. You won't be forgotten Kelly.
  • 4 0
 Really nice dude! Wanna ride bikes again with this guy. Hard to believe.
  • 1 0
 Whatever happened to him at the end though..makes me wonder... I only heard he collapsed, but then again one does not just collapse like that.. big bummer! Such an enthusiastic character!
  • 1 0
 Cardiac arrest I think. Just speculation on my part though
  • 3 0
 Rest in peace Kelly! You were an amazing rider and an awesome human being.
  • 3 0
 I'll never forget you blowing up the wheels at Rampage
  • 1 0
 He would be disappointed seeing ''am/enduro'' category instead of Freeride in the Pinkbike photo section. Does anybody know wtf happened with it?
  • 3 0
  • 2 0
 RIP one of the raddest humans ever...
  • 1 0
 Amazing Pic, show the real Freeride. that remind me a Berrecloth in 2000´s

RIP McGarry.
  • 2 0
 Miss this rad human being!
  • 2 0
 Stupid onions.... Yeah... Onions. #McGazzaforever
  • 2 0
 Ride in peace big dude, we wont forget you !
  • 2 0
 RIP good homie! We'll always love you!!
  • 2 0
 RIP Kelly. Still genuinely saddens me.
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
 RIP big man.
  • 2 0
 #mcgazzaforever RIP
  • 2 0
 RIP, what a waste Frown
  • 2 0
 Still chokes me up.
  • 2 0
 Best dude.
  • 2 0
 RIP dude

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