Jordie Lunn, a world-renowned mountain biker who grew up in Parksville, has died following a bike accident in Mexico earlier this week.
Mountain biking magazine PinkBike reported the 36-year-old was with friends trail riding in Cabo San Lucas when the accident happened on Wednesday, Oct. 9. A statement from the Lunn family was published on Pinkbike.
“We are shattered to inform you, a simple but tragic accident occurred and Jordie sustained a fatal head injury. Jordie lost his life doing exactly what he loved. Jordie had an incredible 20+ 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.”
Lunn, who has been living in Victoria, started as a BMX racer in Parksville-Qualicum Beach when he was 11. Then at age 15 he was introduced to mountain biking by his brother Craig and it became a family passion. He joined his older brothers Craig and Jarrett in cross-country and downhill races. He committed to the sport and went on to join the World Cup downhill circuit and qualified for the world championships in 2003. He was a three-time member of Canada’s downhill racing team.
Lunn switched from racing to free riding in 2004 and became famous for his breathtaking stunts. He appeared in films like Ride to the Hills, The Collective, ROAM and more, and was the first mountain biker to land a corked 720 in 2007. He competed at Crankworx, Red Bull Rampage and on nearly every stage in freeride mountain biking.
In Parksville, people knew Lunn not only as a rider but also a pioneer. He and his family were instrumental in creating the BMX track in Qualicum Beach in 2000 that now bears the name of Lunn’s friend Erik Goetzinger, who also died tragically that year.
“They were the first to get the track opened,” recalled Trisha Grecht of Oceanside BMX. “I don’t know Jordie that well but I would see him working on the track a long time ago because he was very good with machinery.”
Kebble Sheaf, who is a devout mountain biking enthusiast and racing oranizer, said the Lunn family has been very involved in the mountain biking scene Parksville since 1997. He is devasted to learn of Jordie’s passing.
“We would put 15 or so races on a year and had weekly group rides that he and his brothers were a huge part of,” said Sheaf. “Jordie was an awesome rider, and the nicest guy. He always had time for others and he was so great with the kids. Jordie was such a great ambassador for the sport of mountainbiking and he was always doing it for the right reason. He is a local hero and he is a global hero everyone loves him.”
Canadian big mountain freeride pioneer, Darren “The Claw” Berrencloth, also grew up in Parksville with Lunn. He was riding with Lunn in Cabo San Luca when Lunn had his fatal accident. He calls Lunn family, a brother, who he shares many mutual interests with.
“I’ve loved Jordie as a brother from the moment we became riding buddies, as biking will build that bond in friends,” said Berrencloth in his statement on PinkBike. “He was always an inspiration to me to be honest, his ability to see the positive in everything when I was down was uplifting. He had the heart of a lion and the hug of a grizzly bear.
“This loss to his family, his fans, and everyone that had the beautiful opportunity to meet this amazing individual we call our brother, will be felt for years to come as legends never die, and Jordie Lunn in my heart will never ever be forgotten.”
Lunn is survived by his parents, Bonnie and Brian Lunn, his brothers, Craig and Jarrett Lunn, and his girlfriend, Caitlin Larsen.
— With a file from Brian Park, PinkBike