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Man who died in Boise mountain biking accident was an experienced trail rider

Avimor's Spring Valley Creek Trail

Take a look at Avimor's Spring Valley Creek Trail.
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Take a look at Avimor's Spring Valley Creek Trail.

A 38-year-old man died Saturday in a mountain biking accident on a Boise-area trail system, according to the Ada County Sheriff's Office.

Jason Delgadillo of Boise was riding on the Avimor trail system about 9 a.m. when he went off the trail, falling 15-20 feet into a steep gulch and landing in a creek. The crash happened along Spring Valley Creek trail, a main thoroughfare in Avimor's trail system. The Ada County Coroner's Office on Monday afternoon confirmed Delgadillo's identity but said it still was investigating the cause of death.

Delgadillo, an experienced mountain biker, was the co-founder of BoiseTrails.com. A GoFundMe has been created to assist Delgadillo's wife and five children, ages 4 to 13.

Kirk Cheney, Delgadillo's partner in BoiseTrails.com, started dis-inviting himself from some business meetings because of Delgadillo's people skills.

"I knew they'd like us better if I just sent Jason instead. He was just that likable," Cheney said. "That's showing up in all the comments (about his passing). He'd hang around and talk to a person for an extra 30 minutes, remember them, remember their kids. All that stuff adds up. Everyone remembers him. He was a kind, generous, unassuming, thoughtful guy. That's what made me admire him so much and made me want to be more like him."

According to Ada County Sheriff's Office spokesman Patrick Orr, emergency dispatchers were told Delgadillo was not breathing and people on-scene were performing CPR. By the time paramedics arrived, a group of people had moved Delgadillo up to the trail and continued CPR.

"Witnesses later told investigators (Delgadillo) was riding on the trail with another man when they got separated. The other rider could not locate (Delgadillo) and asked some hikers if they had seen another cyclist," Orr said. "They did not, so the rider began backtracking and found an area where tire marks went off the trail."

The other cyclist saw Delgadillo and his bike lying in the bottom of the gulch and began performing CPR before flagging down some hikers to call 911.

According to ACSO, an air ambulance helicopter arrived shortly after paramedics but Delgadillo was declared dead at the scene. Witnesses said he was wearing a helmet.

Cheney initially learned about the accident by text from the man who was riding with Delgadillo. The crash didn't happen in the rocky section of the trail nor in an area that is severely downhill, Cheney said. The ride had started at Hidden Springs.

"It was just a normal ride," Cheney said. "They weren't going for records or anything."

trail w rocks
The Spring Valley Creek trail at Avimor has some technical sections for mountain bikers because of rocks embedded in the trail. Chadd Cripe ccripe@idahostatesman.com

The Spring Valley Creek trail would be considered a blue, or intermediate, run on a ski hill, said Marc Grubert, the trail coordinator for Avimor — a planned community along Idaho 55 north of Boise.

"There's a rocky section ... but for the most part it's a green kind of run," Grubert said. "That's pretty much everyone's favorite trail up here."

Grubert is an avid mountain biker. He was out of town when the crash happened.

"It's a reminder that it's an inherently dangerous sport," he said. "It's so sad. It just kind of puts a lump in your throat when you think about it."

Cheney, who received the first text while Delgadillo was being tended to by paramedics, figured his friend was knocked out and perhaps would have a concussion.

"I thought that was the level of seriousness — never just, like, death," he said. "That's why a lot of people ride mountain bikes instead of road bikes. On a road, people get hit by a car and die. But on the trail, you usually just get scraped up or a broken collarbone."

Ridge to Rivers, the multi-agency partnership that manages most of the Foothills trail system but not Avimor, hasn't had a fatal mountain bike accident during manager David Gordon's 14 years here, Gordon said.

"You just don't think things like that will happen when you ride all the time," said Gordon, a longtime mountain biker. "Those thoughts don't enter your mind. It's kind of sobering when something like that serves as a reminder that it can happen."

Gordon met Delgadillo through the BoiseTrails.com project.

"A good guy. ... Very sincere about wanting to help things in the Foothills, sincere about doing the right thing and helping others do the right thing on the trails," Gordon said.

Delgadillo, who worked in accounting at Agri Beef Co., biked the Foothills trails with Cheney several mornings a week as part of a small group. They started on weekdays at 5:30 a.m. (or 4:30, when they were feeling ambitious), riding uphill with lights and descending as the sun rose. Delgadillo called that descent the "golden hour."

Delgadillo grew up here and started mountain biking in 1995. But he got serious about the sport six years ago, when he returned from a couple of years in Texas 50 pounds heavier than when he left.

“It’s become a lifestyle for me,” he said during a January interview with the Idaho Statesman. “I need that part of my life to stay sane and healthy.”

Delgadillo finished sixth last year in the Idaho Smoke 'n' Fire 400. He completed the 400-mile course in 2 days, 14 hours and 43 minutes.

"He's super hardcore," Cheney said earlier this year. "We're all trying to keep up with him."

But Cheney doesn't want his friend remembered only as the guy on the bike. Delgadillo was devoted to his family, a Boy Scouts leader and a mentor who took teens on Sawtooth Mountains trips and made videos of the journeys for them, Cheney said.

Delgadillo and Cheney launched BoiseTrails.com, a site that provides trail conditions and other info for the Boise Foothills trail system, on Jan. 15. The project sprouted from their @BoiseTrailPics Instagram account.

Cheney says it will be difficult to maintain the website project without Delgadillo, who was always pushing new ideas. But he plans to try because the site has been well-received and any proceeds could be directed to Delgadillo's family, he said.

"The whole fun of it was doing it together," Cheney said.

He posted a tribute to his friend on their shared Instagram account Saturday.

"Jason was an amazing person, father and rider," Cheney wrote. "As I think of all the times I’ve grinned ear to ear on a bike, most of those times Jason was right there with me. He brought joy to everyone around him."

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