B.C.-born mountain biker Jordie Lunn has died after crashing his mountain bike in Mexico, his family confirmed Friday.
The 36-year-old, who grew up in the Vancouver Island community of Parksville, was trail riding with friends in Cabo San Lucas when he crashed and suffered a fatal head injury, according to a statement posted on mountain biking website Pinkbike.
“We are shattered to inform you, a simple but tragic accident occurred and Jordie sustained a fatal head injury,” his family said.
“Jordie had an incredible 20-plus-year career as a mountain biker. He will always be cherished for his heart and love that he gave to his family, friends, and fans, as well as the incredible talent that he had on his bikes.”
Darren Berrecloth, a friend of Lunn’s who was with the cyclist at the time of the tragedy, echoed the family’s statement, suggesting that Lunn at least died doing what he loved.
“It’s better he died riding his bike than in a plane crash or something horrible like that,” he told the CBC.
Global Affairs Canada said in a statement their sympathies are with the family and friends of the Canadian who died, and consular officials are providing help for the family.
A profile on the website of Rockstar Energy Drink, which was one of Lunn’s sponsors, says he started BMX racing at age 11 and when he was about 15 his brother “dragged him out to a mountain bike race.”
Lunn made a name for himself in competitive downhill mountain biking. He was the top Canadian at Mont-Sainte-Anne in 2003, the second-ranked North American in the 2003 World Cup standings, and the best-trick winner at several competitions, including John Henry Jump Jam 2012 and Whistler Crankworx 2012.
In 2007, Lunn became the first mountain biker to land a corked 720, a complicated trick with two rotations and a twist. He also starred in a series of extreme mountain biking films and videos, such as his self-produced Rough AF series, and served three years as a member of the national downhill team.
The news of his death triggered an outpouring of tributes from Lunn’s friends in the mountain biking community.
The official Facebook account of Stevie Smith, another British Columbian biker who died in a crash in 2016, expressed its condolences in a statement Friday.
“Our hearts are broken! Another one of our friends has been taken well before his time,” the statement from the account’s operator read. “Jordie Lunn passed away on Wednesday while riding his bike in Mexico. My heart breaks for his family, and I send them my deepest condolences. Thank you for all you have done Jordie … you are a fabulous human being. I love you and will never forget you. Ride on with my boy.”
Lunn leaves behind several mountain and dirt biking trails built around Vancouver Island with his family and friends, the most notable of which are the downhill biking trails at Bear Mountain Resort near Victoria.
Matt Rolston, who worked with Lunn in Whistler, said Friday that those trails will be a big part of the heavily tattooed mountain biker’s enduring legacy.
“Despite his rough-and-tumble outward appearance, he was one the nicest guys I’ve met and so patient with the young kids that he taught to mountain bike,” Rolston said.
“He built the Bike Jump Park up at Bear Mountain, which is a legacy that will last on.”
— With files from The Canadian Press