'Tragic accident': B.C. cycling legend Jordie Lunn dies in Mexico
VANCOUVER - A Vancouver Island man who gained international recognition and championship titles for his considerable skills on two wheels has died.
Jordie Lunn’s family tells CTV News the 36 year-old cyclist was trail riding in Mexico with friends on Wednesday when he crashed and suffered a fatal head injury.
"Jordie lost his life doing exactly what he loved," the family announced publicly in a statement to online magazine Pink Bike, calling it a "simple but tragic accident."
In the Highlands area near Victoria, his brothers showed CTV News where Lunn would spend hours customizing trails and ramps for new adventures.
“He was the hardest worker than I know and I think that's inspiring for so many people," said brother Craig Lunn, adding “He could've been washed up in his field many times but he refused to settle for that – and at 35 years old he remade himself again and that wasn't the first time he remade himself.”
Characteristically energetic and creatively-tattooed in countless videos, Lunn had a huge social media following, with thousands of fans tracking his races, stunts and adventures around the world. YouTube videos featuring his remarkable coordination and athleticism garnered millions of views, particularly his "Rough AF" series featuring adrenaline-pounding drops down steep ramps and incredible aerial manoeuvres.
While the Victoria man was best known for extreme mountain biking, Lunn was also a competitive downhill racer who competed in freeride mountain biking competitions and events like Crankworx and the Red Bull Rampage. Many young people on Vancouver Island and beyond knew him as a dedicated coach.
"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," said his family.
His brother, Jarrett, says the Lunns have been buoyed by the outpouring of grief and support.
“The outreach has been huge. It’s not just lose friends are touching base, I'm already getting messages from people I've never met, some of them knew Jordie well, some of them met Jordie once and they have a story that touched them that they wanted to share," he said.
In Victoria, retired Olympian and world-champion mountain biker Ryder Hejsedal described Lunn’s death as a blow to the cycling community.
“To say he was larger than life would be an understatement,” said Hejsedal, who also began his cycling career on Vancouver Island. “What he did on the bike and what he did to inspire people – I was a fan more than a friend.”
While his family’s grief is still raw, Jarrett Lunn says there’s also an acceptance that Jordie’s life ended on two wheels.
"That's where he wanted to be: either on the bike or digging to build for the next ride."