Following the tragic news that broke last Saturday of World Cup Mechanic Dave Garland passing away from a suspected heart attack
while out on the trails, we reached out to some of Dave's closest friends to share their memories and experiences with him.
THE LEGENDARY DAVE GARLAND
Father, Husband, Brother, World Cup Mechanic, 4X and BMX Racer, Raver and Friend.
Written by Si Paton
You know when you're walking down the street and notice instinctively from one mile away that the kid riding towards you has their forks on backwards? Well, that is how I would explain Dave Garland, except we are talking fine, fine detail here. Ride past him in the pits and he'd be like, "you need another spacer to raise your bars", "you need a 50lbs lighter spring on that shock", "can I pop a few more psi in your front tyre?" The knowledge and wisdom that man possessed and was willing to share could have filled Wikipedia.
That said, he didn't just offer advice, he would bring out that spacer and a set of allen keys and offer to fit it for you, free of charge, explaining exactly what he was doing and the benefits to you. He wanted to help. In fact, I would go so far as to say Dave was the first person to bring World Cup professional bike set up to the everyday racer, the weekend warrior. What Dave did was the real deal, all-round bike package, full bike service, prep and spec for racing. He could take your bike and with several fine adjustments knock a minimum of one second off each minute of racing was his promise and he delivered it. That is three seconds off a three-minute track, the difference between the podium and being outside the top ten for many.
Maybe an unknown fact to many was that Dave was also an accomplished bike rider and racer, starting off in his hometown of Bristol riding with his twin brother Dan in the early 80s. This picture here is from the opening day of St. George's Skate Park in Bristol where he was featured in the local newspaper. Just look at that, 40 years ago, no helmet, no pads, concrete, tee-shirt, jeans and sending it!
Now fast forward to 2007 and Dave had spent the dark and deep winter, squirreled away with Martin Ogden unbeknown to us, training for the 4x and BMX season ahead. Back to back sprint starts in the local car parks each night meant that when we lined up against him on the start line for the 1st NPS 4X round at the 'Indoor Dream' in Sheffield, that was the last time we saw him! Dave cleaned up that year in both 4X and BMX.
The biggest highlight came at the British National BMX Championships. Lining up in the cruiser finals against riders with an average of 30 years dedicated BMX race experience, Dave was surely up against it. The gate dropped and bang, he was out in front and led start to finish. His win certainly caused an upset, stealing the Gold from right under the old guard of BMX. The controversy arose from the fact that Dave was on a mountain bike, changing gears down the start straight! Even Dale Holmes (2x BMX World Champion) had to step in to calm things down, saying surely he would have been faster if he was on a BMX!
I just wanted to say thanks for the friendship, support, memories and for those valuable seconds off each race run. Save gate eight on the start gate up there for me mate!
Dave appears at 1:00, 1:49 & 4:24