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photo Sven Martin

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long, the saying goes. It is with heavy hearts that we mark the passing of a particularly bright Kiwi flame, who certainly made the world a more enjoyable place and never failed to inspire others with his larger-than-life persona, both physically and metaphorically. Kelly McGarry, the gentle giant of freeriding passed away today in his native New Zealand, while doing what he loved the most - riding mountain bikes. As we take a look back at some of the high points of Kelly's life on two wheels, let us above all remember the big smile that even the worst crashes couldn't wipe away, and let's be inspired to continue where Kelly left off. A great rider and a great man.

Goodbye McGazza, shred in peace.

Crankworx Colorado, 2008

Never afraid to send it. - photo gordo

Green River, Utah, 2012

Floating down Green River in a rubber boat looking for the next line to hit could just as easily be a metaphor for how Kelly lived his life. Eternal summers and riding bikes, wherever that may take him.

​Take a Seat

Kelly went on "Seat Time", which proved to be an awesome opportunity to get to know Kelly better. After some technical issues, Kelly comes on the show at the 10-minute mark:

​Crashing Hard

Kelly was a big guy, and when he went down, it didn't go unnoticed. We often wondered if the ground didn't get the worst of it, seeing as how Kelly would bounce back from the most horrendous diggers almost unscathed. His bikes were certainly no match for the Kiwi crusher.

​Rampage Redemption

After some hard luck at freeriding's biggest contest, Kelly got his redemption at the 2013 edition of Red Bull Rampage. Backflipping the 72-foot Canyon Gap netted him 2nd place overall, the Viewer's Choice award, and 12-odd million Youtube views. Kelly had arrived.


Higher Calling

Kelly built what was universally recognized as one of the better slopestyle courses ever at Crankworx Rotorua in 2015. Pushing himself and others was his way. We can only assume that where ever he is now, they'll soon have radder stuff to ride.


Stomped It

We can't see where you're going from here, but we know you'll stomp your next move - shred in peace, Kelly.

photo Fred Robinson

Have any McGazza stories to share? Please leave them in the comments section below.

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