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Rab Wardell - an appreciation

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

2022 Scottish Senior XC Mountain Bike Champion

(photo by Ben Fitzhugh)

Like everyone in the cycling world and beyond who had the pleasure of knowing him, everyone at the SXC is heartbroken at the passing of our friend Rab Wardell.

He lit up our races, not just out on the course but everywhere else – talking and joking with everyone, supporting others, showing young riders how to approach racing, helping us when we needed help and generally just having a good time whether he won or not. His busy schedule in recent years meant he wasn’t at every SXC race, but we were always delighted whenever he was, and we were quietly thrilled to watch how deep he dug to win Sunday’s Scottish Championship.

Nobody in Scotland loved mountain biking more than Rab did, but he also shone on the cyclocross course, on the track, on the road, on the BMX track and everywhere else bikes can (and can’t) go. As he often remarked, “bikes are gid, eh?”

During the course of this year, when we were struggling to find venues to hold mountain bike races, Rab was in touch to connect us with people, offer practical help and the benefit of his vast experience – supporting his mountain bike community – something we really appreciated.

That he was a brilliant bike rider is obvious for all to see, but knowing Rab was a privilege. Never short of a story, he was just a great human being – charismatic, funny, generous, positive, warm, genuinely inspiring and with an impeccable love of early 90s hip-hop. He simply made friends everywhere he went, and Rab went all over the place.

We will miss him terribly, but our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Gill, Jack and Katie.

Life is not fair sometimes, but bikes are gid.

The SXC team


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