/ Outdoor pursuits instructor killed mountain biking.
I got a phone call last night to tell me the awful news that this was a friend of mine, John Graham of Silloth. John's death is a huge loss to the outdoor world as he was an experienced caving and canoeing instructor and a teacher specialising in problem kids. John was a big, rugged, bearded character, a Yorkshireman who adopted Cumbria, loved drinking beer, yarning and generally enjoying his life, his friends and his family. John would take no nonsense from anybody and even berated feckless parents of wayward kids, telling them it was their fault not society's fault that their child was off the rails. It was I who got John into mountain biking when I went to stay one night when they lived in Lowther and the next day I went off for a ride up High Street; John was amazed that I had gone so far on a patch he knew as a walker so he decided he'd better get into this mountain biking lark. I also sold him my old steel roadie, which John said was responsible for helping him convalesce after a serious illness. He was a massive character and he leaves a wife and two grown-up daughters as well as a menagerie of horses, cats, dogs and other family pets.
If the accident did happen where we think, it's just typical of John that he would have tried to ride the section. His wife and some friends are going up the mountain today to see the place and try to work out in their minds what happened. What a tragic loss, John was one of the million in this world who really mattered.
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