Local mountain bike rider dies on Signal Peak ride last Monday

Phone locator used to find him

[ By Mark Reaman ]

A 58-year-old local man died while on a mountain bike ride in Gunnison on Monday, May 31. Lawrence “Lars” Bickford was found by the Western (Colorado University) Mountain Rescue Team in the Signal Peak area after not returning home from a morning ride.

Gunnison County sheriff John Gallowich said the sheriff’s office received a call from Bickford’s wife about 5:27 p.m. on Monday reporting that her husband had not returned from a ride even though he had left early that morning. He had apparently sent her a text about 9 a.m. saying he would be home around noon.

“We found his truck by the Signal Peak trails at Escalante and used his phone to get a ping for his location,” explained Gallowich. “We called in the Search and Rescue team about 5:52 but that ping ultimately was not accurate.”

The search team could find no sign of Bickford so they tried an alternative phone locater that led them to BLM Road 3211D. Team members found Bickford and his bike near the road and close to a trail about 1 a.m. Tuesday.

“Without that locater it would have been really difficult to see him given the terrain,” said Gallowich.

No cause of death has been determined. An autopsy will be performed but Gallowich said there was no sign of violence.

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