Chase Pinkham, Fellow Cyclist and Utah Bike Racer, Passes Away
Chase Pinkham in 2010. Photo by Dave Iltis
April 15, 2014 – It is with a sad heart that we report the news that Chase Pinkham, fellow cyclist, bike racer, Salt Lake City, Utah resident, and great man passed away yesterday due to an accidental overdose.
Chase had spent many years managing chronic jaw pain from a cycling accident sustained prior to the Tour de l’Abitibi in 2008.
He shared some of his struggles on Facebook with chronic pain:
Just wanted to give you an update if you have tried to get a hold of me the last few days by cell phone. I am currently seeking treatment for some severe depression caused by years of dealing with chronic pain from my accident in 2008. I am in a safe and good place, but I do not have access to a cell phone. If you need to get a hold of me please message me here.
Dealing with chronic pain, years of medication and depression is something that may make you completely alone and hopeless, even when surrounded by the people that love you. Please remember that if you are suffering currently, or ever end up suffering, that you are not alone and that people love you. There is help available and asking for it only proves that you have the strength to reach out and the desire to change the state you are in. Many suffer, but so few ask for the help that so many people are willing to give.
If anyone ever needs to simply talk about what they are going through, I am always willing and happy to listen. You are not alone in the struggle.
I am sure many of you will see me very soon, as motivated and willing to succeed as I have ever been.
More recently, he was optimistic and thankful in a Facebook post following treatment for chronic pain, “I just wanted to give a massive thank you for all the support I have received in the last few weeks. I cannot fully express just how touched I am by the support of my friends and family. Things are looking up! I will never forget the love and kindness expressed to me.”
Over the years, Chase rode locally for Vanguard, Ski Utah, Canyon Bicycles, and nationally and professionally for Trek-Livestrong U23, Trek-Livestrong, Bissell Pro Cycling, and Jamis-Hagens Berman. In 2014, he was again racing locally for Canyon Bicycles until breaking his fibula at the Valley of the Sun stage race in February.
Our thoughts are with him and his family. We will miss you, Chase.
The following is Chase’s obituary:
Chase Pinkham: the hub of the wheel. A yellow jersey man. With his unexpected passing on April 14, 2014, Chase left behind a tsunami of grief with his expansive wake of family and friends. His contagiously charismatic essence touched many lives in 23 short years.
Chase was born October 29, 1990. He attended Lowell Elementary and the International Baccalaureate program at West High School. Chase’s generous, kind and approachable ways helped create a tight-knit circle of friends throughout his school years. With keen intellect, voracious reading and dogged determination, Chase passionately pursued many interests. For many years, Chase was a Civil War re-enactor and local expert. Savoring authenticity, he made his own hardtack, sewed period uniforms by hand and slept in a cloth tent with a musket nearby. More, he shared his expertise, visiting schools and reaching out to the community.
In high school, Chase developed a passion for cycling, quickly rising through the junior ranks. He was invited to compete in Canada at an international junior race in 2008. While training, Chase was hit by a car in a devastating accident. One short year later, he recuperated to compete at the highest levels of the sport, joining the Trek-Livestrong development team. As an elite athlete Chase chased the dream of professional cycling and competed across the U.S. and world. Sadly, multiple reconstructive surgeries were required after his accident. Chase suffered from chronic pain, which led to cycles of depression and despair. Despite the struggles, Chase made countless friends and will be remembered not only as a fierce competitor but more importantly as a compassionate, humble and helpful friend.
Surviving family members from the Pinkham and Makarewicz clans celebrate the life of Chase: Bedrock of parents, Paula and Steve, and sister, Ava. Aunts and uncles, loyal mentors and advocates, including Laura and Barry, Gao and Bruce, Nancy and Kevin, Linda and Peter, Gail and Gerry, and Mother Jadwiga. Doting grandparents, Helen and Fred Pinkham, and Ann (Tutu) Mack, and cousins Nathan, Riley, Reid, Kurt, and Jennifer also grieve their collective loss. Family members appreciate the outpouring of love and concern.