Nine-year-old Tommy Cunningham never met Jordie Lunn and only knows the late Island mountain-biking legend through online clips.
“I’ve watched all his videos,” said the Grade 4 student at David Cameron Elementary School, an avid rider at Jordie Lunn Bike Park in Langford, which officially opened Tuesday. “He would be very proud of what has been built here.”
The bike park, which had a “soft opening” earlier, was inspired by Lunn, whose daring stunts were considered epic in the world cycling community. The Parksville-born and Langford-raised downhill great died of a head injury at 36 while riding with friends at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Oct. 9, 2019.
His mother, Bonnie Lunn, said Tuesday she is grateful for the year-and-a-half effort that went into building the bike park.
“It required immense team work amid the challenge of the pandemic, but they just made it work,” she said. “It’s a real honour to have this named after Jordie. Our family is so grateful and so pleased. It’s a very emotional day.”
Bonnie Lunn said it is fitting that the next generation of Island cyclists will hone their skills on tracks and jumps named in honour of her son. “It’s a multi-use cycling venue in which riders can develop and increase their skills. That is a perfect tribute to Jordie.”
Langford Mayor Stew Young said the all-ages-and-abilities facility has a value of $5 million, but was built for $2 million because of volunteer and in-kind contributions from the municipality and the cycling and business communities. Langford provided the land.
“Langford bought this property 25 years ago and didn’t know what to do with it,” said Young. “There is no more fitting use than this facility, in honour of Jordie Lunn.”
The 14-acre site features a paved pump track, dirt jumps, skills area and cyclo-cross trail and mountain-bike course. A clubhouse is coming. “Jordie would have been the first one here in the morning and the last to leave at night,” said Bonnie Lunn.
His passion will live on through youthful riders such as Tommy Cunningham, whose ambition is to “ride the pro line one day.”
The bike park follows the opening last week in Langford of the BoulderHouse facility, featuring the newest Olympic sport of wall climbing.