Mountain Biker Passes Away on Vancouver Island Trails

Jul 11, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

The BC Coroner's Service is investigating the death of a mountain biker who crashed on the Cumberland Trails on Vancouver Island on Tuesday.

Authorities were alerted at 6:45pm after he was found on the Blockhead trail. The rider, who has not yet been identified, is aged between 55-60 and was riding by himself. He was an experienced, local mountain biker and was wearing protective gear. When the authorities arrived they found three fellow mountain bikers had been performing CPR on the fallen man for 40 minutes, they had apparently spoken to him at the trailhead just five minutes before his crash.

Cumberland Fire Chief Mike Williamson told the Comox Valley Record, "We found out the (rider) was non-responsive. There was a couple of bikers who came across him and began performing CPR. I know the trails quite well and it’s about 12 km up in the bush by the Cumberland watershed. It’s a long way in there so we sent guys in the bottom and up to the top.”

The Comox Valley RCMP, BC Ambulance along with the BC Coroner’s Service attended the scene. The rider was pronounced deceased at the scene and the incident is not being considered suspicious.

From all of us at Pinkbike, our thoughts are with his family, friends, and community.

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68 Comments

  • + 327
 I rode with him and his posse last summer. I had a trip planned to Cumby next month.

Gutted. Absolutely GUTTED.

Dude sure could rip on his hardtail. I couldn't keep him within view of my GoPro on my full suspension. Crazy basturd.

He loved beer at the Cumberland Brewing Company and was an avid trail builder/maintainer, and an incredible advocate of Cumberland.

He was living large and loving life. His strava feed indicated he had 105 rides for 2019, and 2001 kms of hard earned dirt.

Jerry, aka Travis Bickle, aka Legbacon, was a one of a kind guy. I feel blessed to have met him, and to have ridden with him and his crew.

He is a legend. And as with others who have passed way before their time, legends NEVER die.

Cheers Jerry. My God, we will all miss you dearly.

GUTTED.
  • + 30
 PS - Pao, Brook, Helen, Perry, and all the rest of the Cumberland biking community of which Jerry was such a huge part - we are thinking of you. You are in our prayers.
  • + 13
 Couldn't agree more. I rode with Jerry last summer, and he was a gentleman and a ripper. So passionate about riding and sharing the stoke. I was really looking forward to riding with him again. Such a huge loss.
  • + 9
 @Skooks: A gentleman for sure.

As I said below, on my last day of riding in Cumby late last summer, I bought Jerry and his crew a tab at the Cumberland Brewing Company (I think they hung a glass on the wall with the dollar amount on it, or something like that). That was a very small token of my appreciation for his patience on the trail the days that my daughter insisted that she join us. I actually thought at the time that if Jerry hadn't already earned his place in heaven, he sure did after enduring some of those rides :-)
  • + 4
 So very sorry for your loss... Condolences to anyone who knew and loved him. RIP Jerry.
  • + 8
 I am crushed to hear this. Didn't know him personally, but was one of my favorite commenters on MTBR. At least he was lucky enough to go doing what he loved, even if it was far too early in life.
  • + 80
 As terrible is this is, its kinda how I want to die. Cardiac arrest riding bikes in the pnw?
Hey god, sign me up. McGazza had it right, just clocked out too early.
Way better than a car wreck. Or cancer.
Thoughts of love to his family and community
  • + 36
 Very sad. Props to the other riders who stopped to try to save him before it became too late.
RIP (Ride In Peace) fellow shredder.
  • + 21
 RIP Jerry, aka Travis Bickle on mtbr.com Good dude and an avid rider. Appears to be cardiac arrest.
  • + 13
 Yeah this guy was super active on mtbr and whether you agreed with him or not was a bit part of the remaining dynamic over there. RIP.
  • + 9
 *big part, not bit part. No disrespect intended.
  • + 6
 Wow. A much-beloved co-worker of mine took a weekend off to ride a gran fondo, and just like that...while he was out riding the morning before, his heart just stopped. If my heart's gonna do the same one day, I want it to be while I'm on the bike. RIP Jerry.
  • + 2
 No way... damn that is sad. Not a big poster on MTBR but enjoyed reading his stuff and he posted some good helpful tips for people riding on the island. RIP, thoughts to family and friends.
  • + 1
 RIP, Jerry. Never got a chance to ride with him, but knew him through mtbr and the knolly community. Wish I had made it to the last couple of knollyfests...
  • + 12
 Was just on this trail the night before this happened. For what it's worth, trail was running excellent and I would like to think this last man's moments were filled with the same excitement I experienced. RIP
  • + 6
 There is absolutely no doubt he was all grins immediately before this tragic event.
  • + 1
 @mgtnbkrmike: ll
  • + 1
 Aye.. What a way to go...
  • + 10
 Perhaps he crashed but sounds like a cardiac event. Assumption is he was fit and in shape, no guarantees in life. Sad to hear this and in our modern age much to young, many years of family and life ahead of him, but as said above, there are worse ways to go than doing what you love and being in the outdoors. Could have been a sterile hospital bed, lingering pain, and surrounded by IV tubes and beeping machines.
  • + 11
 Horrible news for an area that is so tight nit, positive and supportive. Thoughts to the family, that's a heartbreaking blow.
  • + 8
 Ugh, very sad. I'm closing in on that age group myself and nearly always ride alone. RIP, brother, and heart-healing thoughts for those that knew and loved him.
  • + 4
 Me too. 52 and usually alone in the Santa Cruz Mtns.
  • + 3
 @asf: It is a bit of a wake up call. I've just turned 50 and do nearly all my riding alone which is a major concern to my family. There will always be a risk with this 'modus operandi' but the lure of disappearing into the bush alone for a few hours and leaving work and everything else behind is too great.
RIP Jerry.
  • + 1
 @asf: We are getting to that age where it is wise (albeit not always easy) to have a partner riding with us. Stick together.
  • + 7
 Super nice guy. Shared many a laugh over a post ride beer at the brewery with him. It's most certainly a sad loss for the bike community here.
  • + 4
 My thoughts are with you and others in your community.

Man, he sure did love the Cumberland Brewing Company. And he was SO proud of it and of Cumberland when the CBC first opened.

On my last day of riding in Cumby late last summer, I bought Jerry and his crew a tab at the CBC (I think they hung a glass on the wall with the dollar amount on it, or something like that). That was a very small token of my appreciation for his patience on the trail the days that my daughter insisted that she join us. I actually thought at the time that if Jerry hadn't already earned his place in heaven, he sure did after enduring some of those rides :-)
  • + 3
 He was doing what he loved in an area as close to heaven there is. I'm a bit older and would prefer to go this way. In my opinion this is better then then having a heart attack while asleep. Condolences to the family and friends.
  • + 4
 Dang. Travis Bickle was a voice of reason on the mtbr forums. I enjoyed reading his posts and enjoyed interacting with him. Seemed like a good guy. I'll raise a glass in his memory tonight.
  • + 2
 Brings back some bad memories of the night 10 years ago when the police came and told me my brother had passed away while riding. Death is a certainty in live but you never expect it from apparently healthy active people. I hope the trail builders can honour his contribution to the community the same way they did in Invermere for Brian. Nothing but respect for those that tried to help this fallen rider and hope they recover from the tarmac experience. RIP Jerry.
  • + 2
 Brings back some bad memories of the night 10 years ago when the police came and told me my brother had passed away while riding. Death is a certainty in live but you never expect it from apparently healthy active people. I hope the trail builders can honour his contribution to the community the same way they did in Invermere for Brian. Nothing but respect for those that tried to help this fallen rider and hope they recover from the tramatic experience. RIP Jerry.
  • + 2
 Thanks to you all for your sincere condolences. Jerry (aka. Legbacon, diesel) was indeed a good friend to many, he loved his wife Pao and told her everyday. Jerry started riding in the 80's and if he had a Strava account back then I bet he climbed from here to the moon and back. Few riders our age could keep up with him on the climbs and even fewer on the downs with his regular retort at the end of a ride "That was fantastic! We exceeded the Fun Meter"..
. Jerry had a wry sense of humor and a clearly had his opinions but he was a gentle soul of a man (although he wasn't fond of E* MT Bikes). He welcomed anyone to ride and was a great ambassador for Cumberland, Cumberland Brewery, Riders Pizza, Blacks Cycle and mountain biking in general. He proudly served his country and freely shared many stories of his rich and full life. I and the other "Muddhuggers" had the honour of riding with Jerry often and reflecting back now I wish I had relished the times we spent together with more intention. This short note doesn't do the man justice but it's my humble attempt.
Jerry we miss you.
  • + 1
 He’ll be dearly missed, and was a big part of our riding community. He was ALWAYS riding, if you needed a winter trail condition report, he was your guy. I spent half an hour with him on Monday going over all the work needed on my wife’s bike, just an all around nice guy.
  • + 1
 I spent a week in Cumberland last year and met Jerry at the Cumberland brewery. I was solo and he came up and chatted with me, which was really cool. He was telling me how excited he was about his new bike. I'm so bummed... RIP brother...
  • + 3
 OT: Seemingly a lot of fit people die of cardiac events. Family friend died recently from the same, the day after running a marathon for instance. Why is that?
  • + 4
 I am once again reminded to stop and think about the big picture. Is it a good idea to go balls to the wall every ride out, or ratchet things back, even just a little? Live for the moment, or for the long haul? Tough question, for me at least.

Not fitness related, but still related, I bought and built a Druid. I have not yet found the limits of that bike on the downs. I am addicted to the blazing speed that thing is capable of. After owning and enjoying well over 2 dozen bikes, and thinking that I finally found the unicorn, in an ironic twist, maybe this was not such a good idea after all, especially if I and up wrapped around a tree.

One thing though... Jerry - with that Druid, I would bet you a pitcher of beer at the Cumberland Brewing Company that I would have at least been able to narrow the gap between us on the downs :-)
  • + 4
 Everyone over the age of 35 should be seeing a cardiologist regularly and having their cholesterol checked.

I'm healthy, not overweight, and generally ride 4-5 times per week, at least. According to my cardiologist, who has been in practice for > 20 years, he's had less than 10 people work on prevention in his entire career, everyone comes after the fact.

He also told me I was also his healthiest patient, but I still am on statins to reduce my cholesterol. No matter how I eat or how I exercise, my levels were high and the only way to keep it to safe levels was with medication. I've seen others that said they had marathon runners on the medication as well, because without it they would have dangerous cholesterol levels.

Sometimes you roll a low number on the genetic lottery and get stuck with something you can't avoid. For some people, they just need to be on the medication no matter how fit they are.
  • + 5
 @shinook: my dad died from a stroke. It was preventable according to his doctor. He didn't go for a physical ever. The only doctors visits were to sew things back on if the tape wasn't enough. I get screened once a year. I'm 39, dad died at 66. My kids won't know him. I hope Jerry lived, it sounds like he did. Tomorrow is not a promise.
  • + 5
 @shinook: Although good the medical system in Canada is not really set up for Preventative care; one needs to have a symptom prior to seeing specialists generally. Know your body and when things feel funny seek help - 5 years ago i couldnt keep up climbing with buds i regularly rode with, felt an odd sensation on left shoulder and was generally short of breath if i exerted myself. Ended up with a stent, am on Statins, beta blocker and blood pressure meds now - i am not overweight (never have been) Cholesterol is low for bad Ch and high for good Ch....genetics got me though as my Dad has 2 stents. Do NOT ignore your body.....my artery was 90% blocked when i got my stent, just ready to stop the blood flow to my heart and give me a jammer.
  • - 5
flag ybsurf (Jul 11, 2019 at 14:06) (Below Threshold)
 @shinook: plant based diet will keep you safe from heart related diseases no matter how active you are cholesterol in animal product isnt good for you.
  • + 3
 @ybsurf: absolutely. some friends have found out they had high cholesterol at a young age and were put on plant based diets. doesnt work for everyone with specific genetic factors, but does wonders for most. can save you from needing to take meds.
  • + 2
 @ybsurf: I don’t eat a heavy meat diet, mainly because I don’t like the texture.

Either way, this is really bad advice. For some people, genetics play a much bigger role in their susceptibility to heart disease and high cholesterol. For many, it’s a diet issue, but for me, it is not. The only way for people to know is to be tested regularly, but assuming diet and exercise are enough for everyone is exactly how people end up in these situations, where otherwise active and healthy people end up having heart attacks.

Sugar is also a major contributor, some argue more than meat consumption.
  • + 3
 @shinook: new research and studies show plant based diet not only slow down type 2 diabetes and heart disease and high blood pressure it reverse them. Sugar isn't the main cause of diabetes either but fat from meat. And also studies and research show that heart disease are not hereditary as thought before, some malformation is but most of heart disease related issues aren't hereditary. Lots of athletes dropped dead from clogged arteries because most of them eat meat on big amount to get their protein and such but any nutrients can be found in plants without the saturated fat and cholesterol. It's not a bad advice to tell people to go plant based might not work for everyone but most likely to most of us.
  • + 2
 @ybsurf: What new research specifically? Clogged arteries from cholesterol was an idea based on the lipid hypothesis from the 70's which has been completely debunked. It was actually a doctored study paid for by the agriculture industry.
  • + 1
 @SangamonTaylor: Velopress published this book called The Haywire Heart, which looks at athlete's and their hearts; www.velopress.com/?s=haywire+heart
  • + 3
 Its not meat based or plant based diets that are the issue: its the amount of sugar being ingested. www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: I've been repeatedly told this by my doctors and cardiologists. The level and quantity of sugar ingestion in modern society is insane, it is in everything. Even for me, I haven't regularly consumed soft drinks or sugary drinks in over a decade, but I found my sugar intake was very high just from everyday foods I ate that you'd otherwise think didn't have it.

I went about 3 weeks of trying to cut refined sugar out in it's entirety and it was very difficult, very expensive, and very tedious to try and eliminate refined sugar from my diet entirely. You can do it, but the cost of some items that eliminate it from your diet is much higher than products that have it, if you can find them at all. I ultimately gave in on vacation, but plan on doing it longer term again soon, because I felt so much better without it. I can only imagine the positive effects it would have on people that consume a lot of soft drinks or other sugary drinks. I'm also really interested in seeing what it does for my bloodwork.
  • + 3
 @shinook: No reason to consume basically any refined sugar. Buy your bread from a baker, and cook all your meals + no treats. I keep a bag of frozen fruit in my freezer and when I crave ice cream.
  • + 1
 Crappy , sorry to hear about. But as stated if your gonna go , do it enjoying life. Not plugged into a machine in a hospital. On another note , there was reports of a similar incident locally to me. I don,t have all the details so I can,t comment more.
  • + 1
 God damn. That's tough to hear, none of us ever head out for a ride with the idea that it might be our last in time, despite the all-too real dangers. Shred in peace, rider.
  • + 2
 Much love to the man's family and the cycling community in Cumberland. May it bring you all closer together.
  • + 2
 We are all apart of something real special.
  • + 2
 Thoughts go out to his family and friends ????
  • + 3
 Ride in Peace.
  • + 2
 always sucks to hear this, rip fellow rider. condolences to his family.
  • + 2
 Ride in Peace brother.
  • + 1
 Condolences to family and friends!!
  • + 1
 Damn, what a shame, a really good guy, he'll be missed for sure.
  • + 1
 Died doing what he loved.
  • + 1
 Shred in peace fellow rider
  • + 1
 Ride In Peace...
  • + 1
 ride in peace
  • + 1
 Ride in peace Jerry!
  • + 1
 Jerry! Rest In Peace.
  • + 1
 Godspeed Jerry.
  • + 1
 Ride In Peace Bro!

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