Giant Factory rider
Dave began working with the Giant Factory Off-Road Team when Danny Hart joined our ranks, and I remember being struck by how playful and familiar those two were, which was fun to witness in the pits. As an XC-based athlete, I was then unaware of Dave's legend-like status in the DH realm. But it didn't take long to realize what a great talent he was. Dave's formidable tech genius impressed us quickly, and should probably have even been intimidating. But his generosity and sense of humor were disarming--Dave was approachable in a way that salty seasoned mechanics rarely are.
His passion for the bike and thirst for ultimate performance were catching, and I was drawn in as much by his witty persona as by my own motivation to gain competitive advantage. Regardless, Dave always had time to help with setup--and somehow never condescended to those of us who knew less than him about the susupension widget at hand. Which was usually everybody.
On a personal level, though, It was car talk that created a kinship between Garland and I. I had a few years of stage rally experience, which was just enough for me to grasp his incredible depth of motorsport knowlege. My favorite memories are ones of the two of us nerding out over rally cars at Giant team dinners. Dinner over--and our pint glasses long empty--we'd talk animatedly about cars, races, and drivers, well after the rest of the team had left the table for their hotel beds. These instances were special. I can still recall errant threads of those conversations nearly word-for-word.
I'll remember Dave as a patient teacher, a charming character, and a guy for which the term "ace mechanic" isn't generous enough.
He brought our team up a level. And he brought my own trail-worn passion for bikes and cars up a notch as well. And for that I’m thankful.
So Cheers, Dave.
May the cloud you ride be plushly-damped and stiction-free.
Giant Factory Off-Road Team