View Full Version : Life can be short

Mad Aussie
03-23-2010, 10:43 PM
James 'Willo' Williamson was a great bike racer. He won the World 24hr Solo Mountain Bike Championships in Canmore, Canada in 2008.

James was also someone I have worked closely with for the past 5 years or so as he was Editor for Enduro Magazine, an Australian national mountain bike mag. I wrote articles and I took photos for his magazine.

I wasn't a friend as such, just got on well with James and he often used me for feedback on things he was doing and changing in the magazine. He's send me a copy each edition and I'd rip it apart for him and tell him what I thought would make it better.

It was heartening to have him action some of my thoughts and see them in the following editions.

It will be sad to not hear from him again :sad:

As a side note: I stopped supplying photos and articles for James sometime last year and I introduced him to AntZ who has had some of his work published by James since.

Vale to James Williamson

Mountain Bike Australia is saddened by the sudden passing of former world 24-hour solo champion James Williamson who died while taking part in the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa on Tuesday morning.

According to South African newspaper Cape Argus, 26-year-old Williamson was taken to hospital after his teammate, Shaun Lewis, had been unable to wake him on Tuesday morning after the second stage of the race. He was transported to Ceres Private Hospital but could not be revived.

MTBA understands a post mortem is expected to be carried out either in South Africa or Australia to determine the cause of death.

Williamson, one of Australia’s most successful mountain bike riders, was the winner of the 2008 World Solo 24-hour mountain bike Championships in Canmore, Canada and was the editor of the Australian Enduro mountain bike magazine.

Originally hailing from the Southern Highlands, Williamson moved to the ACT to study journalism at the University of Canberra.

MTBA president Russ Baker paid tribute to one of Australian mountain biking’s favourite sons.

“All of us in the Australian mountain bike community are extremely saddened to hear the news of James' passing,” said Baker.

“His contributions to the sport of Mountain Biking in Australia, and the world, are many.

“His string of victories in the Sydney 12 hour which brought him to public attention, his Australian Solo 24 Hour title in 2006 and his world solo 24 hour championships victory at Canmore in 2008.

“He was also overjoyed with his team win in the 2009 Scott 24 hour race in Canberra, in a team which included Shaun Lewis, James' riding partner in the Cape Epic.

“Off the bike, James' drive was responsible for Enduro Magazine - the first in Australia to devote itself to that arm of mountain biking. Crafted with love, and with the dedicated assistance from James' partner Niki Fisher, this is the way that James interacted with the greater population of Australian mountain bikers.

“For me, the lasting memory of James will be his perpetual smile, often accompanied by words of encouragement as he flew past on a singletrack.

“Australian mountain biking has lost one of its giants today. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends, and especially to Shaun and Niki.”

03-24-2010, 12:08 AM
Sad news MA, hope it doesn't take the wind out of your sails for too long. That is too young an age to go to be sure. If it helps, I'm sure his spirit and energy are still very much a part of the grand plan, just in a form we'll not grasp until we join them. Clearly not a high lite to your day, here's to hoping it smooths out for you soon.

Mad Aussie
03-24-2010, 12:34 AM
Thanks M. I'm fine. It is more a shock than anything else really. James was a very friendly sort of character. He had been planning on coming up here to Brisbane and getting me to show him around the MTB trails. It was one of those never got around to it things.

You gotta get out there and do what you need and want to do when the opportunity is there people!

03-24-2010, 03:41 AM
Sad news...
Indeed, life is short. It's unfortunate we somethings get reminders of this such as this here.

03-24-2010, 10:09 AM
You gotta get out there and do what you need and want to do when the opportunity is there people!

Word to live by MA- I've had that mentality since I had my cancer scare when I was 24, now 2 years later I'm living my life for myself not the way others think I should live. I find myself grateful that I figured it out early in life......

Mad Aussie
03-24-2010, 04:51 PM
I'm glad you got through your scare Crystal. I've had a melanoma but got it early thankfully. Visited my Dad last night ... hes in town for the next 5 weeks (been here for 2) to have radiation on his 3rd battle with cancer ... all different cancers too.
Death can come fast, and it can come slow. It will come. Follow your heart and spirit now I say.

03-24-2010, 06:41 PM
Death can come fast, and it can come slow. It will come. Follow your heart and spirit now I say.


you can't live your life for tomorrow or thinking that you have to do it all right now.