Writer and adventurer Roy Wallack killed in mountain bike crash in Santa Monica Mountains Saturday morning

Roy Wallack wrote that bicycling would help you live to be 100.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Irvine resident, author of Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100, was just 64 year old when he died following a crash on the Guadalasca Trail in Pt. Magu State Park Saturday morning.

According to the Ventura County Star, Wallack was riding with friends on the difficult trail when he fell around 9:20 am, although he had not been publicly identified yet in the original story.

The crash took place on the Guadalasca Trail, he said, which cuts through steep, technical terrain near the Backbone Trail. The cyclist, a man in his 60s, had reportedly been riding with friends when he crashed his bike and lost consciousness, Worthy said. The cyclist’s city of residence was not immediately known Saturday.

The man’s friends called for emergency medical assistance and performed CPR until the sheriff’s helicopter arrived with paramedics and a flight nurse. The crew continued life-saving measures but the cyclist did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene, Worthy said.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

A former columnist for the LA Times, Wallack was a prolific writer, according to the Star.

Wallack was a health and fitness journalist who had penned stories and columns for publications including The Los Angeles Times, magazines including Outside, Bicycling and Men’s Journal, and had authored a book, “Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100…and Beyond,” according to his online profile on Twitter and on his Muck Rack page. His most recent tweet from Nov. 17 links to an LA Times story offering tips on buying and selling fitness gear during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Google search shows he’s the author of at least eight other fitness books.

The Times describes Wallack as a avid hiker, runner and bicyclist who took part in the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, as well as the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris bike tour.

Wallack’s work for The Times spanned barre classes, triathlons, kayaking, the L.A. Marathon and more. He penned a gear column for many years, keeping fitness fans in the loop about the hottest must-haves.

He began a 2016 piece: “Hiking the Grand Canyon was not on my bucket list. A marathon, yes. Bike 200 miles in a day, yes. Ironman triathlon, absolutely. But for some reason, a mere day hike, even in one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, was never on my radar.”

Wallack ended up being won over by the 15-mile trek, describing it as “an otherworldly journey into a land before time” and “a true bucket-list adventure.”

The paper also describes his efforts to keep his 84-year old father active, despite being housebound by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper reports that he recently finished one last book, about Richard Long, the founder of GT Bicycles, who was killed in a collision with a truck while riding his motorcycle to a bike race in Big Bear in 1994.

Tributes were beginning to pour in as word of his death began to spread Sunday evening.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

My deepest condolences and prayers for Roy Wallack and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Mike Burk for the heads-up.

One comment

  1. JJD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Roy Wallack.

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