Six years ago Jason MacIntyre was fatally injured in a collision with a lorry whilst out for an easy ride around his home town of Fort William.
Jason had won British Championships in a convincing manner and by doing so – and in the way he conducted himself on and off the bike – he had forced his way into the attentions of British Cycling.
With selection for the Beijing Olympics a real possibility things were looking very exciting for the talented highlander who prioritised his family above all else.
To mark the passing of the years and remember Jason’s amazing talent and unfulfilled potential, we’re revisiting our ‘Memories’ piece which marked the first anniversary of the tragedy.
Jason is missed as much today as he was then.
Memories of Jason MacIntyre
By Ed Hood – First published January 2009
It’s a year since Jason MacIntyre died; just like I can remember where I was when JFK was shot, I can remember receiving the call from James McCallum as I drove through Cramond.
Jason was a special rider, I loved to watch him in a time trial; to me he was poetry in motion.
I only got to know him well during the last couple of years of his life, but I felt very close to him, maybe I was partly trying to live my dreams through him?
I tried my best to make sure that his deeds were given the attention they merited, through this site and others, as well as Cycling Weekly magazine.
I think about him most days; at the time trial championships this year I felt that I was just going through the motions, they just weren’t the same without him.
My memory is just a wee, daft one; at the end of another his impeccably executed championship wins I would approach him for an interview; ‘Just you make it up Ed, I trust you!’ he’d tell me.
I never did of course, but I used to like that he said it to me.
Bob Taylor was emotional when I asked him about his memory of the man; but first he explained to me about Ghost Bikes — one is to be placed in Jason’s honour near the spot where the accident that took his life occurred.
For those of you who don’t know what a Ghost Bike is, it’s a bicycle which is sprayed white all over, tyres, chain and all, then placed at the spot where a cyclist has lost his life.
The first one was placed in Saint Louis, Missouri in 2003; usually a plaque commemorates the rider who died.
“Caroline (Jason’s widow) has obtained permission from the distillery near where the accident happened to place the bike there.
“There will be a memorial ride of around 30 miles which will finish at the spot and Caroline will say a few words.
“STV have been in touch with Caroline for an interview and there was a big feature recently in the Sunday Express about the accident and mistakes that the police have admitted to in conducting their investigation about Jason’s death.
“I think that public awareness of cycling is very high due to Chris Hoy’s deeds and that’s partly why there’s so much interest.
“The headstone is up at Jason’s grave now, so we’re going to go up to see that and pay our respects.”
What was your memory, Bob? I asked.
“I remember meeting Jason and his family just before Xmas 2007 at a wee caff we used to go to in Glasgow, we exchanged presents and a had a bite to eat; but I couldn’t help but be amazed at his condition, there was a glow coming from him, he looked like a top professional — he was shining!
“Two days later, he rang me; ‘the 17 minute ten is definitely on Bob, maybe not in Scotland, but it will be this season,’ he was so sure – there was just no doubt about it, but of course, we never got to see it.”
Twice British pro road race champion, Brian Smith’s recollection of Jason was from back in 1996;
“I was back in the UK to seek Olympic selection and riding the Tour of the Kingdom.
“At the start of the last stage I held the yellow jersey but I didn’t have a team around me.
“Tosh Scott was managing a Young Scotland squad; he approached me and said that his lads would help me defend the jersey, on the basis that a Scot should win the race.
“One of the team who worked for me was Jason, even back then he was a big lad, very strong.
“He did a lot of work for me and I can still remember him driving the bunch along to the foot of the Glen Tarkie climb.
“After the race, I went round and thanked all the Young Scotland team for their help and said to Tosh; ‘that Jason lad has got a big engine on him!’
“I expected him to do great things, but of course a lot of years passed before we saw the best of him, he bloomed late because he chose his family in front of his sport; he was so unselfish.
“I don’t think there are many men who could have done what Jason did, look after his family like that, then come back and get himself onto the Olympic programme.
“He helped me get to the Olympics; I just wish that I’d seen him go to the Games too.”
Scottish road race champion and Plowman Craven professional Evan Oliphant is far from home at the moment, but took the time to send us a few words about his friend and training partner;
“I’m in Australia at the moment, staying not far from where Jason and I stayed when we rode the Sun Tour together.
“I remember that when I was preparing for the Tour of Britain I would go training with Jason instead of riding other stage races; it was much harder work training with him!
“He taught me so much about training and racing when we were in Velo Ecosse together; I still do the training routines that Jason taught me over the years.”