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'I will never forget him': North Shore mountain bike community mourns 'legend' in extreme trail riding


Thirty-one-year-old Matt Rose had been mountain biking with Andrew Chu for months before learning he was decades younger than the man considered to be a legend in the North Shore trail riding community.

“It was no different than if I was riding with a friend who was 21 or 15, like out going nuts trying to check out the big features. He was like a big boy in a lot of ways,” said Rose, who was a fan of the 51-year-old Chu on social media for years before meeting him in person.

“On Instagram I saw this crazy guy’s reels pop up, and he was doing stuff on an e-bike I never thought was possible on an e-bike. He just seemed like a real unique person,” said Rose.

The two men, who bonded over the love of extreme trail riding, created the Once a Month Free Ride Club that met at the base of Cypress Mountain, where Chu encouraged and instructed less-experienced riders.

“It seemed like everyone we bumped into he knew or knew of him on the North Shore,” said Rose. Many fellow riders half Chu’s age marvelled at his skill and willingness to tackle difficult trails.

“I think more than that, just his personality is what he was a legend for. He was filled with joy and passion for biking,” Rose said.

On Saturday, March 6, during a club ride on Cypress, Chu was demonstrating how to descend a rock slab when he lost control and crashed into a tree. His heart stopped, and he could not be revived. Rose, who was riding a different part of the mountain, learned about his friend’s death in a phone call.

“I couldn’t get through this if it wasn’t for the people that I have in the riding community,” said Rose of Chu’s death. The morning after the tragedy, members of that community gathered at the spot where Chu took his last ride.

“We brought flowers and it just kind of felt right to lay them down and open a few beers and pour them out for him,” said Rose.

A memorial for Andrew Chu is seen on the trail where he died. (Matt Rose)

Chu was married to fellow mountain bike enthusiast Kaede Sakurai, and worked as an educational assistant in the North Vancouver School District.

“I couldn’t think of anyone better to do it, someone who just had time for people. He would really just focus on taking care of people, so I can only imagine he was exceptional in that job because he was so exceptional at making time for us," said Rose.

An online fundraiser created for Chu’s widow has more than quadrupled the original goal of $5,000. 

“His reach, sometimes I think I have a handle on it, and then I’ll get a message request on instagram from someone,” said Rose. “Decades of legacy and people that he’s touched.”

The North Shore mountain biking community is brainstorming ways to honour Chu’s legacy.

“We want to set up some memorials in the woods and build something a bit more permanent, probably name a trail in his honour. As much as we can do,” said Rose.

The riding buddy 20 years Chu’s junior, who went from Instagram follower to friend, added “I will never forget him.” Top Stories


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