Patrick Adams – The Big Man Has Left Us

by 41

We’re truly sorry to have to tell you that Patrick Adams, that legend of the mountain bike scene, passed away last night, Feb 11th 2024 leaving the whole cycling world with a massive hole in it. 

The ‘Pat-shake’ at the end of a 24 hour race made all the effort worthwhile

Mountain biking and cycling in general has lost one of its greatest and most loved characters. In fact it’s hard to think of a single person who’s had such a long-lasting and wide-ranging effect on mountain biking. 

Pat Adams is probably best known for pioneering the whole 24 hour mountain bike (and later trail running) race scene, starting back in 1998, running six, 12 and 24 hour events for 20 years. He was much more than 24 hour racing, though, having started in cycling as a soigneur with Team Raleigh and Team GB in the early nineties. He then was instrumental in promoting the new sports drink ‘Red Bull’ to the cycling world. This relationship led to many things – not least the sponsorship of the Red Bull trail at Coed y Brenin in 1996 – the UK’s first mountain bike trail at the first mountain bike centre. Two years later, he pitched an idea to Red Bull about sponsoring a 24 hour mountain bike team race – and the rest, they say, is history – with thousands of competitors, both serious and recreational, racing over the ensuing decades.

Pat and stepson Alex watching another successful event unfold

Pat was at ease with everyone, whether charming company CEOs into sponsorships, helping organise Core Bike – one of the UK’s top bike trade shows, or shaking hands with every single one of the hundreds of tired, but elated, riders at the end of a 24 hour race. (Not to mention persuading a certain Royal landowner to let him run a race in the grounds of her stately home. Several times!) 

His disarming cheeriness opened doors and hearts alike. You knew when you’d been talking to Pat as you left the conversation buoyed up and ready to conquer the world. 

Princess Anne… and mountain bike royalty.

He counted Olympians, Tour de France stars and mountain bike champions as friends, but always remained humble and approachable. His wide-eyed enthusiasm for cycling and cyclists never waned, despite not riding himself for years. He was never more fired up than when talking about his next latest project and his plans to make the next thing better than the last. 

In recent years, Pat had stepped back from event organising to concentrate on his other love of lead soldiers, running the successful British Toy Soldier Company with his wife Chris, leaving the event-running to her son Alex. He still kept tabs on the mountain bike world and, despite wondering aloud if anyone would remember him after these few years, it was clear he secretly knew the profound effect he’d had on the sport he loved. 

That’s another legend gone. Here is Pat with Jenn, another legend lost.

The world is a poorer place without Patrick Adams, but it’s a world that has been made better by his ideas, passion and love. 

Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 22 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 41 total)
  • Patrick Adams – The Big Man Has Left Us
  • DickBarton
    Full Member

    That really is a sad piece of news…

    convert
    Full Member

    Bugger. Very sad news. Condolences to his family. Pat Adams was a good man.

    Princess Anne… and mountain bike royalty.

    Made me chuckle. Very apt.

    chipps
    Full Member

    Made me chuckle. Very apt.

    I thought Pat would have found it funny. He once told me that, on his death, he was planning on being cremated and his ashes turned into an hourglass that ran for 24 hours. 🙂

    hatter
    Full Member

    Someone who got off his behind and made good things happen, you have to respect that.

    Rest in peace.

    Houns
    Full Member

    A great man. RIP

    sc-xc
    Full Member

    I’ll never forget the moment I got the email from Pat for my first solo MM. A three word message that made me ecstatic and shit myself at the same time.  ‘Tom, you’re in’

    What a guy

    RIP

    mick_r
    Full Member

    I can’t think of anyone else who has done more than Pat to shape the race and recreational side of UK mtbing – he will truly be missed and our thoughts are with Chris, Alex and everyone.

    We had a wonderfully surreal trip with Pat to a Budapest world cup mtb race in 1997 – the poster for it is framed on our kitchen wall and will always make us smile and think of him (and the poor unsuspecting Skoda hire car……)

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    Awww shit. ☹️

    Speshpaul
    Full Member

    Lovely man,

    Very kind words Chipps

    Drac
    Full Member

    Absolute legend and utterly lovely guy.

    RIP Pat.

    Thinking of his family and friend. Chipps take care.

    sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Very sad news.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Balls.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    In the fairly early days of MM I remember cycling across to his cottage in Longnor at ridiculous o’clock in the morning with a couple of mates in order to put our entries in in person.

    Up til then I’d always relied on Special Delivery, I know that for a couple of years it was a full post office van arriving at his place as riders were so desperate to get a place!

    We weren’t the first ones there by any means, he’d had some people call by at about 4am but he always stayed up all night during those early years welcoming random riders to his front door with their MM entries.

    RIP Pat

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Oh man, that’s very sad.  😔

    onewheelgood
    Full Member

    Very sad. I did 17 Mayhems and for all that time it was the focal point of my year. I owe him, for all the fun – and all the pain and suffering. RIP

    stevemakin
    Free Member

    Oh blimey, that’s sad to hear, sincere condolences to Chris and Alex

    Rona
    Full Member

    Very sorry to hear this. Mayhems were an absolute joy and nightmare rolled into one, and I’ll always be grateful for these fabulous events.

    brant
    Free Member

    Great words about a great man. Thanks for writing this Chipps.

    Sad to hear. Google has provided this gem of more background I never knew. What a guy.

    https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/history/cycling-running-toy-soldiers-potteries-3943095

    Cheers Pat. You’re a legend.

    xcstu
    Free Member

    Sad sad news.. some very very fond memories of the events he organised and as many said legend for what he did for the sport! RIP big man

    palaganda
    Full Member

    Condolences to his family.

    Pat was a gentleman. Always helpful  and friendly. Organised great, rider orientated events. Greatly missed.

    jameso
    Full Member

    That is sad to read. But a fitting tribute. Pat was a lovely guy, such a positive influence on the riding world.

    Bruce
    Full Member

    Thank Pat, I loved solo singlespeed Mayhems. RIP 🙁

    tintim
    Full Member

    Thank you Pat for everything. One of the best highlights for me was meeting you at the finish line, your smile and passion for the sport made the pain worthwhile and quickly forgotten. Condolences to your family, if there’s a heaven you’ll be carving out courses in no time.

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    A total legend. I interviewed him a few years back and loved the story about him shaking everyone’s hands after the first (tiny) edition of MM, then just carrying on with it as the event grew to thousands of participants. https://singletrackworld.com/2016/05/feature-the-man-behind-the-mayhem/

    dropoff
    Full Member

    Quite possibly the only person capable of creating such agony and ecstasy in a single event. So sad.

    beamers
    Full Member

    Such sad news. I had the pleasure of speaking to Pat, and Chris, in the run up to many a Mayhem and Sleepless while co-ordinating the entry of the Army Team entry into the events. Such a top bloke who did so much for so many riders and our sport / activity. My thoughts are with Chris and his family. Rest easy big man.

    a11y
    Full Member

    Lovely words about someone who was undoubtedly a lovely man. Only ever ‘met’ Pat once – as many of us have – shaking his hand crossing the line in a 24hr race.

    Jeeble
    Full Member

    That handshake meant so much every year.

    RIP Pat.

    MrSparkle
    Full Member

    RIP. He did so much for our sport.

    reluctantwrinkly
    Free Member

    I did a few Mountain Mayhems a long time back, the mud, oh the mud- and the dust at Sandwell Park! It was the highlight of the year for many mountain bikers and I always remember the threads of anticipation on here in the run up to the event. A great event, very well run. RIP Pat.

    Nick
    Full Member

    Very sad news, will wear my 2004 Mountain Mayhem Mudfest buff as a mark of respect on this evening’s ride.

    Paul-B
    Full Member

    Like a lot of folks on here, some of my best mountain biking memories are from the various Mayhems we rode. Bloody brilliant events. I also remember trying to deliver our entries to his cottage in the middle of nowhere!

    We’ve lost a true personality & pioneer of our sport

    RIP Pat.

    teamslug
    Free Member

    Sad news. A great guy who always had a tale to tell. Always approachable and even though he must have heard it thousands of times always listened to tales of woe and happiness at Mayhem. I remember after second Gatcombe he was driving round in his buggy and stopped for a cuppa. Will be missed.

    Norwester
    Full Member

    Sad news. Fond memories of him at the 24 hour race line I did back in the early 2000’s.

    Mounty_73
    Full Member

    Very sad news, a few happy memories from some of his events…

    glenncampbell
    Full Member

    Very sad news indeed. Was pleased to shake his hand a few times at the end of SITS. RIP.

    honeybadgerx
    Full Member

    Only just read this, very sad news but hopefully balanced with some comfort that he had a massive positive impact on a lot of people’s memories – even only following that last lap! I had the pleasure of rocking up to his door in the early hours to secure a solo MM entry many years ago, followed by a number of others, and it really hit home how much of a community he’d created, not just a “race.”

    paddy0091
    Free Member

    The founding father of 24 hour racing, very sad to hear. RIP Pat

    treklass
    Full Member

    Sad news indeed. The MTB world really has lost a legend.

    cchris2lou
    Full Member

    Sad news.
    To get the handshake was special. Especially in 2012 ….

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