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Remembering Ray Eden (1968-2011)

This weekend it’s three years since the untimely death of our colleague and friend, Ray Eden. Many of you will remember Ray as a Planet X stalwart from the beginning. Ray was Planet X’s first employee back in 1995 and gave unwavering service from first to the last. Although a lot has changed since 2011, the years of service (Ray is still our longest serving member of staff), coupled with his character on the bike and off, means that the Planet X that Ray left behind is built on the hard work Ray put in.

Built like no other rider, with bellows-like lungs and brute strength, when Ray rode away, nobody could follow. Winning the National 100 mile TT whilst still working as a bike courier in London, living on a diet of curry and strong lager, Ray Eden was different. A meteoric rise into professional cycling lead to a more streamlined Ray putting further hurt into anyone he encountered. Under the tutelage of Pat Kennadey and Vic Smith, Ray would train himself into the ground every day, and race on the weekend; winning road races on his courier bike, lapping the field in CX events, and attempting downhill solo breaks just for fun. That’s where his story collides with ours. Planet X owner, Dave Loughran, noticed at the National 50 that Ray was catching minute men all over, and even put 2 minutes into the notorious Wayne Randle, which is no mean feat in itself.

From the Optimum Performance-Power Bar team to Team GB, Ray went on to win the points jersey at the Ras and the King of the Mountains title at Scotland’s Girvan Three-Day. In the pre Team Sky/British cycling dominance, Ray was amongst the best out there, and like many others who rode in the decades before, his international potential was hindered by the distinct lack of funding that cycling suffered from. Only a serious injury just before the event prevented Ray from representing Great Britain at the Olympic Games. Nevertheless Ray was much loved on the UK circuit, and a mainstay of the British cycling press throughout his career, gracing magazine covers and commanding column inches every time he raced.

As always at this time of year our thoughts go out to his wife Gail and son Finn.

Ray was a well known character and we'd like you to share your thoughts and memories of Ray, so please leave your comments at the bottom of page.

The following article, first published in Rouleur, tells Ray's story more eloquently than we could.

Some brakes

Some brakes

Some brakes

Some brakes

Some brakes

Some brakes

Some brakes

Some brakes

Some brakes

Words by Ian Cleverly, photographs by Phil O'Connor and Rob Lampard. Reproduced with the kind permission of Rouleur.

21 March 2014

Comments

  • Jon B (Planet X Team)
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    Rest in peace, dear Ray. We all miss you.

  • David N
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    Launch a product to in remembrance of the legend that also raises money for charity!

  • Ian C
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    Remembering you Bigman...

  • Mark R
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    I remember racing the Eastern Winter Series in the early 90's Ray rocked up to the start line, threw up and them went on the win the race. Great Guy!

  • Nick H
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    I never met Ray but he sounded like a really nice bloke and it was such a tragic end.How about a new model of bike with Ray's name on it?

  • PETROS A
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    like !!

  • Tom W
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    I didn't know Ray but would've liked to have. Sounds like the world is a poorer place without him.

  • iain m
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    Iain McRIP Ray - hope you can see how big Planet X has grown from up there. We all miss you.

  • iain m
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    RIP Ray - hope you can see how much Planet X has grown from up there big fellow. Planet X is not the same without you to brighten up my day. Still miss you and just to say it was a privilege to work with you.

  • emmanuel d
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    A pay trs cher pour son courage. Que celui ci reste avec sa femme et son fils.

  • matteo p
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    Didn't know him, but so glad you remembered him this way.

  • Brant R
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    Legend. Always.