18 October 1970 – 12 April 2023, Age 52
On Wednesday, April 12, 2023 Chris died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep of a heart attack. Chris lived as an expat American in Amsterdam, Netherlands for the past 12 years; he was 52 years old and it doesn’t feel like we had enough time with him.
Please comment below or send us your favorite 3-4 photos of Chris (with descriptions) and your best story of him to firstname.lastname@example.org. The family would like to hear from you.
He is survived by his beloved Aussie dog, Cash, sister Brooke of New York City, and parents Brooke Bourland of Woodland, California and George Baldwin of Kalispell, Montana. He is preceded in death by his Border Collie Vanya. We are all devastated by this loss, the world is a dimmer place without him.
Born in Edmonds, Washington Chris lived in many places over his lifetime. Amsterdam, London, Moscow, New York City, Chicago, Missoula Montana, Fresno California, Osh Kyrgyzstan, Guam, and a few other places in between. He made friends easily – the dog folks, cycling people, the journos, those willing to talk. Curious about the world and how things work, he liked to talk about politics, cycling, dogs, and more cycling.
What made Chris happiest was taking his dog Cash in the bakfiets for an extended play date with others.
After enlisting in the US Army he graduated from the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey as a Russian linguist and then served as an interpreter. Then he took a double degree in Russian and Linguistics from the University of Montana at Missoula. Chris eventually became literate in seven languages (English, Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Dutch) – unusual for an American.
In 2006, after working abroad for several years, he graduated with a Masters of Science from the Columbia School of Journalism and began working for Reuters – first in London and then from Moscow on the oil desk. Here’s some of his work.
Then came professional cycling – he worked as the Press Officer for TeamType 1, Astana, and Team NovoNordisk over the span of 8 years. Chris loved bikes and bike racing. During the 2014 racing season Astana won the Tour de France (Chris is at far right, below).
By 2017 he decided that he’d had enough of the travel and constant grind of pro cycling so he settled back into regular life in Amsterdam and got a dog. Since then he and Cash have walked, ridden, and played in every corner of Amsterdam and then some.
Cash was by his side when he passed away.
78 responses to “”
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.
Brooke, your brother seems to have had a lovely lovely life. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you all heal. I’m so happy to hear that his lovely pup Cash was near him during this time.
Sending tons of love your way.
Your brother Chris was in a facebook group that I started during the pandemic. Our facebook group was a little tongue in cheek situation. It’s called the “Coalition of Other Chris Baldwins “(there are 37 of us) It was a bunch of humor filled comments and statuses by many Chris Baldwins.
I’m shocked to hear this. I knew Chris from Cycling where I was working as a journalist. It was Nice to work together with him. I liked his humor. RIP
I can not believe it . I m so sorry. We had good time talking in novonordisk cycling team. All my condolences to you all
Dear family of Chris,
Condolences on the tragic loss of Chris. I got to know Chris when he came to the Laagte Kadijk in Amsterdam. Lots of energy and full of life experiences, he embraced life in Amsterdam. He loved the city and decided to stay here. We lost touch a bit, but I continued to read his Linkedin messages, especially in recent years when he shared his experiences in the army. This tragic news touches me. A lot of strength in dealing with this loss. Rest in peace.
My sincerest condolences. Met Chris through cycling and he was a smart, witty, warm and highly intelligent man. May he rest in peace.
Тяжело и больно потерять близкого друга. Крис был уникальный человек, преданный, настоящий друг. Более 20 лет нашей дружбе.. каждый момент проведеный с Крисом был специальным и запомниться навсегда. Дорогой друг, будет тяжело лететь через Амстердам и не позвонить тебе , встретиться между полетами и пообщаться. Ты ушел рано но ты сделал много замечательных вещей в своей яркой жизни. Тебя будет не хватать..
RIP dear friend..
Dear Brooke and family, I saw this news today and am really shocked. I met Chris during my journo work covering pro cycling and really enjoyed his company – he was hugely intelligent and very interesting, and had a range of knowledge far, far beyond than you’d normally see in pro cycling. He was also really good company – a warm, kind human being. I think that shines through in the photos you have posted, and also his love of dogs. I feel lucky to have spent time with Chris at various races and at team training camps and while he was no longer working in pro cycling, had really hoped that our paths would cross again at some point and we’d have more discussions about the sport, about politics, about the world in general. Those talks will have to wait until the great hereafter. Chris is honestly one of the people I most cherish to have met within the sport, and I’m grateful to have known him. My sincere condolences to you all – it must be a very big shock and completely surreal. May you feel his spirit all around you, and may the good memories grow ever stronger and sustain you all. Take care, Shane
So sad to hear that our beloved cycling friend Chris Baldwin passed away suddenly and much too soon. Our thoughts are with his sister Brooke and his parents Brooke and George. Great memories in particular of the bike rides on Sunday morning and philosophical conversations during and after. Although very gentle in many ways, Chris was tough when riding the bike (even causing some crashes, completely unintentional, one of which ended with a soft landing in a wet ditch). He provided a nice and colorful logo for our cycling whatsapp group, which we will keep in his memory. May he rest in peace.
I am very sad to hear the news today. I remember the visit that you led when I was in Amsterdam some years ago. Really a great day!
With you it was possible to speak about many things and have a broad opinion on almost every theme.
I will take with me all the good memories of you being our PR and all the moments we spent together as friends. Rest in peace!
Devastating. He was an outstandingly exception human — a genuine intellect, curious and well read, well spoken, he could spin a yarn a mile long. His knowledge of history, unusual and unnecessary facts, and his eloquence with all things Russia were unrivaled. His wit and humor was insane. He was too big for this world. I think the last time I saw him was late night in Paris for dinner after the Tour ended. He was drunk and wild. We loved him for who he was – untamed and brilliant.
I served with Chris.. Alpha 108 and Alpha 501 in Germany.. I was proud to be his friend, He threw a guidon through my window .. Charlie company’s guidon.. thats right, he stole it. lol.. He was a great friend.. we had several adventures tracking down the “perfect beer” and he never ever quit. … i cant believe he is gone. I miss him and always hoped to see him again..
TO the Family.. I am deeply sorry , I know how much Chris means to me and I cant imagine your loss. Thank you for sharing him with me.
Sad to see someone so young pass away. I was briefly in the room next to his in Russia and I will never forget hearing him cycling in his room all the time. He was smart and witty (sometimes too much so) but all in all, he was a great guy and his passing is sad to hear. I would have liked to have known him outside of our bubble we lived and worked in.
Hi I am so sorry, he was my back up for Astana and Vincenzo when folk were bad mouthing either. I loved this guy. Beautiful man who understood and appreciated athletes and fans.
Really hard news to hear ❤️💔
I am very sad to hearing this. I knew Chris from the cycling community and remember him as he indeed spoke several languages and was as most important a really really nice person!
I wish all friend, relatives and family all the best and strength for this unexpected loss.
This is such terrible news. Chris was a true mensch. A fantastic friend with an independent spirit.
I met him in London when we worked together for Reuters and we kept in touch over the years. We’d ride together — he was always way more powerful than everyone else in our group — but sometimes he’d come back and he’d have some awful joke that he’d thought up while pedaling ahead of us to find the way.
He was so humble. I remember him telling me a story about how he took a Russian language test to qualify at Reuters, and the tester said he’d missed one question. It was about Russian rockets in Kazakhstan — I think ICBMs. Chris told the tester, who was a senior editor “ok, my bad”. He later told me with a chuckle that he’d actually worked at a translator at the missile site in the test question and knew exactly which model it referenced, but he didn’t want to show off, so he took the L.
None of us got enough time with Chris, but even all the time would have been too little.
My condolences to everyone who was close to him. We will miss him.
Oh Brooke I am so sorry to hear this. I loved hearing the stories of you and your brother. My thoughts are with you and your family. Miss you and hope we can catch up soon.
I am so so sorry for your loss. No words that can describe this sadness..
I live in the neighborhood, I think I saw Chris almost everyday. My dog, is a rescue and a bit scared of other people, his name is Ûle. Chris always tried to get contact with him. He always said: He Ule! While Ule never really gave any response (mostly cause Cash loved balls, so the ball was always around and Ule is super scared of balls haha). But he never gave up, and completely understood his fears but just wanted to get contact with him, that showed how much he loved dogs. When the common best friend they have Zeno was there aswell he was always happy to see him. And I was always aswell. We had some small talks in the morning and gave some good advices. I also remember so well, when I was walking with Ule and Zeno and his owner, we saw Chris biking on his bakfiets with Cash in the front, and Zeno RAN towards them. Cars and bikes and other traffic didn’t exist anymore, cause Zeno HAD.TO.BE with Chris and Cash. That was real love..
Unfortunately I couldn’t be there today in the park at te memorial cause I’m out of the country. But I wanted to let you know that he will be missed by so many people. He made days of so many people good. What a nice and sweet, shiny, optimistic person he was.
I wish you all all the best and a big big hug from us.
Ûle and Elise
It was like 5-7 years ago that we met at Uzbek Plof party in Rembrandtpark, Amsterdam. We talked about Eurasia, sport, language leraning, etc. We also talked about Shohei Ohtani then. It is hard to find someone to talk about baseball in NL. You had the true aura of a person who was doing one’s own extraordinary things, and you were a truly international intelectual. Too sad that I met you only once, as I left NL soon after that day. We miss you all.
I’m heartbroken for you. I am incredibly sorry for your loss. I know we don’t speak at all but I do remember spending time with you in NYC and we talked about Chris, cycling and being sisters with wonderful brothers. Please reach out anytime, grief is a lonely moving target and I’d be happy to listen, process, whatever you might need.
I’m lucky I met him I’m lucky I considered him a friend more than any kind of colleague. He was the most Scottish American I ever met or am ever likely to meet. He could write up a storm, he wrote one of the best articles ever published in Cycle Sport (on Tirreno-Adriatico) and always had droll, astonishing insights. He made me laugh. I loved photos of that dog too. Last time we exchanged emails I said I would come over to Amsterdam to play tourists.
I’ve got nothing but tears and lots of swear words from this point, so I’ll stop. Good guy.
So sorry to hear this. I remember Chris from high school in Fresno and then had reacquainted on Facebook since I work in Monterey area where he went to language school. Too soon. Peace to you all.
We are saddened to hear of our nephew Cris passing. Please accept our sincere sympathy to all. It seemed like we hardly ever saw him as an adult . He had a very interesting life doing things he wanted to do. May God heal your sorrow and give you many happy memories.
I met Chris when we were fellow graduate students back in 2005. Even at that time, his many adventures around the globe and unconventional style distinguished him from the rest of the crowd — in the best possible way. Chris was truly a rugged individualist and someone who left a big impression on everyone he met. Condolences to his family and all who knew him.
Chris was such an intelligent and funny guy. I remember him going around with a camcorder during one Christmas where our entire family was together and he did “interviews” with each of us like he was a tv reporter. He was absolutely hilarious with his quick wit and impromptu responses. We all laughed and enjoyed his antics. He was a true free spirit and I will miss him very much.
I met Chris several times, most often at the Tour of Denmark. He was always happy to chat, talking about cycling and telling stories of his eclectic past. And he was a great listener, too.
May he rest in peace.
Brooke, I am so sorry to hear of Chris’ death. You and your family have my sympathies, truly.
I work as an Episcopal priest here in Brooklyn, and I haven’t had contact with Chris for years — though heard of his doings occasionally through mutual friends in Amsterdam. I met him in 1998 when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the south of Kyrgyzstan; he stood out in Osh as a westerner, as did I, but he stood out among the expats for his generosity, curiosity, and general sparkle. We all found him intriguing, kind, and very smart.
Once the FB world dawned I kept up with his doings that way, and the mutual friends in Amsterdam occasionally passed along word. But though I haven’t seen him in years he immediately comes back to mind fresh, clear, and full of life.
May his memory be a blessing and may we all be healed in time.
This is such horrible news to learn that Chris has passed away.
I used to be a journalist in the world of pro cycling and that’s the context for how I knew Chris. We had a fair amount of communication via email, but I was also able to meet him in person on several occasions. The most memorable being at a week-long stage race in the US in Colorado as well as a week-long stage race in the San Luis region of Argentina.
Despite the fact that there were plenty of big-time European cycling stars at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, the overall vibe was very low-key as the race was very early in the European season. It was more a chance for the riders to put in a good bloc of mileage in sunny, warm weather and an ocean away from the pressure-cooker world of bike racing in Europe.
One of the great features of that San Luis race was that the teams & journalists stayed in the same hotel for the entire duration of the race and just made daily road trips out to the race sites with a return back to the same hotel each evening. I was able to spend a fair amount of time in a quiet part of the hotel chatting with Chris and he gave me this history of bike racing in the former Soviet Union that was just stunningly well-told and informative. I wish I had recorded it! He also provided quite the history of Kazakhstan, too, which I also wish I recorded. It covered the country as a whole and then specifically the powers that be that were backing the Astana pro cycling team.
My deepest condolences to you and your family. I’m glad to have known Chris and it’s such a shock to learn he’s no longer with us.
Chris and I met and worked together at Team Type 1 and later Novo Nordisc. He was the press agent and I was the doc. He was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. But his gift with language was frankly bizarre. He could learn any language functionally in about a week. If there were any Russians around, he’d be their best friend in no time. And the best travel companion you could imagine. He was one of my favorite people and his death comes as a total blow to me and all of us who knew him.
What a unique and wonderful man Chris was. Brilliant, funny, inquisitive, a deeply warm presence without a whiff of ego. We discussed working together again in recent weeks and I’m devastated that will never come to pass. All the best to you, Brooke, Cash, and everyone close to Chris.
I don’t have many memory’s of Chris, but do remember his dad George bringing him and his sister Brooke to the farm in Montana, when they were little. I was so proud of him for all his accomplishments, learning Russian and serving in the Army, being a journalist and racing in bicycle races. George had told me he would be coming to Montana and I was excited to be able to visit with him again and then the bad news that he had passed. Chris will be missed.
Dear Brooke & family of Chris,
My sincere condolences.
I first met Chris when he moved in the house nextdoor on the Laagte Kadijk 7 in Amsterdam.
When I disccovered his love for cycling we rode quite some kilometers around Amsterdam. Although he was way out of my league it was always fun.
I introduced him to some cycling friends. Chris became for some time a die hard part of this group of enthusiasts. There he was much liked and appreciated. And not only for his cycling skills. He took some of us to races of TeamType1 and Astana and offered us “ringside seats” and made us feel like kids in a candy shop.
As a neigbour here at the Laagte Kadijk he was loved and liked, despite being on the road most of the time.
Although he also kept some distance he never skipped a bbq and/or a beer.
Nevertheless I still remember a few conversations in which he told me about his past, about (world)politics and his sometimes lonesome live. After he bought his appartement at the Haarlemmermeerstraat I visited him once or twice.
Since then I only followed him on LinkedIn.
Untill the sad news of last week.
My wife, Hilde, and I have fond memories of Chris as a neighbour and as a person.
I wish you lots of strength and may the notion that Chris was somebody to be proud of lighten this loss a bit.
I have such great memories of Chris. As a baby , small child, teenager and then an adult. I am sorry for your loss. A parent should never have to bury their child. Take care and may your memories get you thru this hardship. Hugs and love
Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. My heart is broken but your words are helping it to heal. Chris was my son, first born, and taken much too soon.
Brooke: I’m so sorry to read this. (((BIG HUG))) As they say, may his memory be a blessing. Lots of love to you all, Kevin
Dear Brooke and family,
My sincere condolences. I am shocked by the news. I only hung out with him a couple of weekends, but I was really impressed with his intelligence. So sad.
Chris we will miss you. I will always remember your humor and sarcasm. Rest in peace my friend
It was great getting to know you, Chris. We had a wonderful time in China. I remember two Russian girls who couldn’t believe that you weren’t Russian – you had no accent at all! I will never forget the stories you shared with us. Rest in peace, my friend. You touched the lives of so many, and you will be deeply missed. Condolences to family and friends…
I’ve never met anybody like Chris. I didn’t know him well at all but our few interactions left a lasting impression. He was curious about how everything, everyone and every system worked – a true man of the world. Intelligent to a point you wouldn’t imagine possible, he seemed capable of empathy towards every point of view while letting you know the harsh reality of how the world was. Above all he was friendly. Sending love and strength to all of his family and friends. I’m so sorry.
Dear Brooke and family,
I am a neighbour next door at the Haarlemmermeerstraat.
I really coulnd ‘t make it this morning but heard and saw the video of the memorial in the Vondelpark.
I only knew Chris from small talk on the stoop, in most cases he was on his way with Cash, And I must say, I truly regret not having know him better, as I have learned about his wonderfull and intersting life only now., And now is too late.
I am soo truly very sorry for you.
I do hope , I/ we, as neighbors can assist, some way in the future.
I wish you all strength for now,
best wiskhs, Anik
I am so sorry to hear about Chris. I am the IG person behind Speedy the Aussie and we always looked forward to his and Cash’s adventures. My heart hurts for Cash as he probably cannot understand. Hugs to all and especially Cash. Ride free our IG friend.
Chris was my roommate during several races in 2014. We shared long discussions about life in general. I had a special attachment with him even we lost from vue. Think we are from the same “planet”. Lots of thoughts for his beloved and the dog. So sad we cannot meet again and follow the discussion.
Dear family and friends of Chris,
I met Chris and Cash many times in the Rembrandtpark and Vondelpark when I walked with our dog. Such a nice guy, always friendly and playing with the dogs, always interested. It’s a great shock to hear he’s no longer among us. I wish you all the strength in dealing with this loss. He will be missed! Magteld
My wife and I were stationed with Chris in Germany. I remember his unequaled enthusiasm and charm. He was amazing at leading cadences during Company runs! Spent a lot of time with Chris exploring Germany and surrounding countries, sampling local food and beverages, and experiencing life! We’re truly saddened.
I am so sorry for the loss of my nephew Chris. It is so sad not to be able to see him again. My family and I were fortunate to have been able to spend time with Chris and get to know him better when he attended the U of Montana. He always had a smile and often a “witty comment.
Well miss you Chris
So sorry to hear about nephew Chris’s passing. It’s so sad not to be able to see him again. My family and I were able to spend time with Chris and get to know him better when he attended the U of Montana.
Ill always remember his smile and often a
witty comment to go with it. We’ll miss you Chris.
I’m so very sorry for your loss Brooke. I’m Faye Baldwin’s youngest daughter Amy. Chris was a good cousin. I’ll never forget he drove me to the family reunion the day after my 21st birthday. I was hungover and he was so kind to me. Both Brooke and Chris had been fun cousins. You must have been a wonderful mom. Sending my prayers as you hold those special memories close. 💕
My wife and I had the pleasure of staying with Chris in Amsterdam, he accidentally found out that we had booked the hotel for the time when Chris and I were to go racing with the Astana team. Crazy Kazakhs, my apartment will be free for a week, and you are throwing money around! That week in Amsterdam is one of my wife’s best memories. When we both returned from the race, Chris settled down on the first floor for the night, and Tatyana and I on the second. In the morning we heard him wandering down the room back and forth until he begged – guys, I need to go to the toilet.! The toilet was only on our floor! 🙂 Goodbye Chris
I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Chris during his time as a Russian translator supporting arms control treaty missions in Votkinsk, Russia. He was exceptional at this and our entire team benefited immensely from his skills. Chris lived his love of cycling even all the way out there, biking for miles and miles with a Russian escort van chugging behind him. It was a great priviledge to work and know him. Please accept my condolences.
I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother, Chris. I never knew Chris, but I know how close you two were. Just reading others stories of him, it’s clear that he really made every minute count. What a cool life he lived. His experiences are only dreams for most people. He sounded like such an amazing human.
I’m here for you, if you ever need to talk.
I was so fortunate to be introduced to Chris when we were both trainees at Reuters. We stayed in touch over the very many years since – including and memorably when we both happened to be in the same city and we shared a delicious Caribbean-Japanese fusion inspired dinner and talked for hours about cycling and travel. Chris always challenged me to think differently about the world. His storytelling was funny and profound, and the generosity with which he shared his perspectives and experiences is something I will always be grateful for. My condolences to all who loved him.
Sorry for your loss. My condolences. I worked with Chris for a few years in London while at Reuters. He was different, but in a good way. Always had time to chat and always liked going off on a tangent. He questioned everything. He wanted to learn more about a topic or a person. He was interested in anything you had to say. He enjoy mischief. We kept in touch on LinkedIn and occasionally chatted. I’ll miss him and his uniqueness. Such a sad loss to all who knew him or would get to know him in the future.
I offer my deepest condolences to Chris’s family. I worked with Chris in Moscow at Reuters. His Russian was excellent; I have never met an American with better Russian. He was a truly independent thinker, a fascinating colleague and had a wicked sense of humour. I remember most of all his coverage of Khodorkovsky (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/khodorkovsky-chita-chris-baldwin?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_ios&utm_campaign=share_via) Over the past few years we would sometimes discuss the intricacies of Russian – especially difficult sentences – and he always had an astounding knowledge. Deeply shocked and deeply sad. RIP Chris.
I am shocked to hear Chris passed away. I knew him from the shelter for Ukrainian refugees in Amsterdam where he was a voluntary English teacher. Always full of energy and enthousiasm. We will miss him very much.
I am so sorry to hear about Chris. We worked together for a while in London, when Chris was at Reuters many years ago. He was smart, funny and enthusiastic, as well as a lovely colleague.
So sorry for your loss, Brooke. Chris was a colleague and friend at Reuters, and I was always impressed with his knowledge, his love for cycling, and his readiness to have a good time. He lived a full life, and I am so sad I won’t be seeing him again. My deepest condolences to your family.
We are truly sorry for the loss of Chris, we were colleagues in the cycling world, he was full of life! Heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
Oh, I’m so sorry. My thoughts are with you Brooke.
I’m so sorry your loss, Brooke. This is such a nice write up. I only had the chance to meet Chris once, but he struck me as someone who was very spirited and carving out a path in life that was uniquely his own. My condolences to your and your family.
What a shock to hear Chris passed away. I knew him from the shelter for Ukrainian refugees in Amsterdam, where he taught the refugees English. Always full of energy and enthousiastic. We will miss his positivity and precense.
Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear this! Please accept my deepest condolences. I worked with Chris at Reuters. We talked a lot about the state of the world. He told me stories of his days in Russia, his passion for cycling, theories on fitness. He was a thoughtful, engaging, witty and really rather wonderful colleague. Then he went off managing comms in the cycling world where he would occasionally message me about that world. I was hoping we’d cross paths again and feel very fortunate to have shared a camaraderie with such a gentleman, a good journalist, a fine human being. Best wishes to you Brooke and your whole family. Paul Casciato
What tragic news, and thank you for sharing. Chris and I knew each other from his days in Moscow and shared a love for the Russian language and culture, fitness, and adventure. Chris was insightful, intelligent, witty, and competitive. The best times were spent talking politics, international relations, and fitness strategies, while trying to one up each other on who knew more on a subject— Chris usually won! I remember frequenting Kvartera 44 with him for food, drinks, and live music. We would surprise the locals there by having in-depth conversations with them in Russian. We stayed in touch over the years and caught up in person too in London and Amsterdam. Having common ties with him in Montana and Washington always struck me on what a small world it is. For the family surviving Chris, you should take heart in knowing that Chris was an awesome person who did the right things for the right reasons. May he rest in peace. Please accept my condolences for your loss.
I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I knew Chris only a little bit, as a press officer for pro cycling teams. I think I first met him at the Tour of California, with Team Type 1. From the start, it was obvious that he was one of a kind: intelligent, perceptive, and with a sharp, dry wit that came in random asides that you might miss if you weren’t fully paying attention. I always enjoyed talking and working with him, and am shocked and saddened to hear he’s gone too soon. Love and comfort to you and the rest of the family, including sweet Cash.
It’s shocking to hear someone who was likely the healthiest among us is now gone. I served with Chris in the Army. It’s been 30 years ago now and it could have been yesterday where he was teaching me a new Russian phrase, leading one of our runs, or drinking a hefeweizen. Chris is missed. Thank you, Brooke, for letting us all know and I hope you and your family find peace.
I am very sorry for your loss.
This comes as a shock. Chris was a very interesting man. I always looked forward to our brief conversation in the Vondelpark. The topic was never trivial: we never spoke about other people (perhaps dogs), gossip, or events, but about life, dreams, and the future—a future that looked like it was going to happen with such certainty.
Dear Brooke and the Baldwin family,
I am so sorry to hear about Chris’ passing. From all that he shared on Facebook and LinkedIn, I could tell he was a wonderful brother, son and friend. I never met Chris in person but he touched my family.
Just like the other Chris Baldwin who commented, I was part of the Chris Baldwin coalition on Facebook. Our friendship started over cycling pictures. I am an avid cyclist too, and was amazed by Chris’ pictures of rides he posted on Facebook. After a while, I realized he was connected with professional cycling when I saw his pictures one day and then the next day saw the pro tour on the same routes. It was so much fun to celebrate the TDF win when he worked for Astana. Felt like we were all apart of it. He did a wonderful job capturing and sharing the moment.
Later I would often comment on the stories he posted on LinkedIn from his Reuters days. He was an amazing storyteller. I believe we both enjoyed the banter when someone would see my comment and then tease Chris by asking if he was commenting on his own work or better yet, “There are two of you?”
Please know Chris will be remembered and his memories will live on. When our son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it was Chris who reached out to me on Christmas morning when we posted a picture on Facebook of our family surrounded around our son in the hospital. He told me it would be alright and that when I was ready he had someone for me to talk to about diabetes. After a lot of encouragement from Chris, he put us in touch with Phil Southerland who guided us through the early days of dealing with diabetes, insurance, doctors and changing our lifestyle. To this day when my son Zach talks about when he was first diagnosed, he tells about dad’s friend “Chris Baldwin” who helped. I hope that puts a smile on your face. It does mine.
I never enjoyed a bike ride or a beer or a joke with Chris but I’m sure I would have enjoyed it. After reading through his obituary and the pictures you shared above, he strikes me as a modern day Earnest Hemingway. Not sure if Hemingway actually said this but I’ve read the quote several times connected with him, “Life a life that outlives you.”
To me, that sounds like Chris. I hope these stories and memories give you all peace during this time.
Deepest Sympathies from the Baldwin Family (Cleveland, Ohio)
I met Chris during our,time in the Army. We were both stationed in Wildflecken, Germany at the time when we met through our shared passion for cycling. Chris had the opportunity to meet my wife, Katrin, and he visited my wife’s family on a number of occasions while we were in Germany.
We were both discharged at about the same time, and we both ended up in Northern California, so we remained in contact while he was living in Santa Cruz, and we enjoyed riding together and just hanging out. When Chris moved to Europe for work, we stayed in touch and had the opportunity to visit each other occasionally. The last time Katrin and I saw Chris was while he was at the Tour of California in Sacramento. We will always remember him fondly for his cheeky grin, quick witted remarks, and bigger-than-live personality.
It was great meeting you in Amsterdam and once again I want to express my condolences to you, Chris’s parents, family and friends.
I met Chris 3 years ago when he and Jacintha agreed to walk his dog Cash from time to time. This turned into a weekly frequency whereby Chris trusted his most precious possession to our care.
Chris and Cash were one. Cash meant the world to Chris and vice versa. A deeper connection and closer bond between the two cannot be imagined.
I am very grateful that we were allowed to be part of their friendship and that we shared so many beautiful memories together.
We will miss Chris enormously and every time we are going to meet Cash, we are meeting Chris too.
Wow, I am so sorry! I worked with Chris in Votkinsk for a couple of years. He was so driven, and so dedicated to cycling that he somehow managed to get a special stationary bike way out to the middle of Siberia and spend hours on it. I’m very sad to hear about his passing.
I have many great memories of my cousin Chris. There was always laughter and quite a few adventures.
I remember the crazy drive from Spokane to Missoula during a blizzard in January of ‘94 after a concert. The term white knuckling certainly applied as Chris gripped the steering wheel tightly as we wound our way up and then down a very snow-packed and icy Lookout Pass. The Nirvana concert was great, but the real payoff was the experience and the sighs of relief when we finally arrived back in Missoula.
There was a camping trip we took with our cousin Chip deep in the back woods somewhere in northwest Montana. I wanted to turn my vehicle around when we saw the Forest Service sign warning of the dangers of bear country. I was outvoted (although I think Chris’s dog Vanya would have voted with me), so we pressed on up the mountain on the little-used road. It wasn’t a problem that the tent was a little small for all three men and a dog because I was absolutely sleeping in the car with the doors locked. To give them more room I insisted that Vanya stay in the car with me (Vanya was one of my all-time favorite dogs and was sure to detect a 600-pound grizzly before the rest of us). We had a lot of laughs that weekend (and probably scared a few of the locals).
It was always fun when Chris and Brooke visited Montana as kids. Chris and I were in the same grade in school and even at our grandparents’ farm (no cable tv or video games!) we managed to entertain ourselves. I think it was the summer after 8th grade when he taught all the kids in my neighborhood how to breakdance (he never seemed to enjoy discussing his breakdancing past as much as I did).
Probably the most memorable time spent with Chris was our marathon road trip from Lakeside, Montana to Fresno, California in the summer of 1993. We did it in 25 straight hours. Even with us switching off driving it was exhausting. I am pretty sure the only thing that kept us awake and on the road was a song that happened to be the big hit at the time. Whenever we started to get drowsy one of us would search the radio dial and inevitably find it. Then we would belt out, in terrible Scottish accents, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. I can only imagine what people driving by at two o’clock in the morning on the interstate must have thought. After a nice visit with his mom and Mac, we took a leisurely two days for the return trip.
In an email from this past October Chris had mentioned a Montana visit and said he wanted to have a meal and talk about the old times. He even brought up the breakdancing!
I wish we could have had that meal.
I was so stunned to learn of Chris’s passing, and my deepest condolences to his family. I spent time with him in Kyrgyzstan, and found him funny, smart, amazingly curious, and wonderful to be around. His language abilities were amazing, and he worked so hard at that. I remember he asked me to go on a short mountain bike ride with him in the nearby foothills, which ended up being a brutally tough experience for me, and easy for him. He was supportive, humorous, and got me through it as I knew he would. It typified his amazing character and wonderful view on life. I will deeply miss him and will always keep Chris in my thoughts as I move through life anywhere in the world.
Sending our condolences to all who love Chris. May all the happy memories bring you great joy!!
Dear Brooke and family,
It was such a pleasure seeing Chris training and playing with our dog Koç in our garden. He was such a great friend of our dog, which is extremely special as our dog isn’t keen on strangers especially in our house. But Koç was always over the moon seeing Chris. He loved Chris and I think it was mutual. It was Chris’ goal to get Koç in the bakfiets (cargo bike) and I am sure that Chris would have managed eventually. With Chris determination and research he would have found a way. Every time Chris visited he came with new ideas, plans and toys. When Chris visited he always brought and shared a tangerine with Koç. I can never eat a tangerine without thinking about Chris.
Chris was also a joy to talk with during and after the training sessions. I am extremely sad that this friendship couldn’t flourish. I feel we were just at the beginning. I can’t imagine how it is for you as we knew Chris only briefly. Such an energetic, intelligent and funny guy. Taken way too soon.
But I am pleased we got to know you Brooke and were able to help you a bit in this extremely difficult period. You can trust that we will take very good care of Chris best friend and buddy, Cash. Obviously we can’t replace Chris but we will try to give him the best life without him.
Our deepest condolences. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.
I am so sorry to hear this. I don’t even know how I met Chris. We had similar experiences- I lived in Kazakhstan for the peace corps and he was biking for Astana. We shared travel stories and routes on the Silk Road via China to Kyrgyzstan. Sadly – I never had the opportunity to meet in person. He was a really great guy full of positivity and a true adventurer.
Utterly shocked & saddened. I worked with Chris at Reuters. We exchanged messages since. He seemed so very happy. All the best people leave us. RIP Chris. With best wishes Stefano
Dear Brooke, parents and family, all my condoleances for this tragic and much too young loss. I know Chris as neighbour from the Haarlemmermeerstraat. Having small conversations on the pavement about our little garden, the bakfiets or his dog. A devoted person for Cash. Nice to see this much love for his dog.
I found the gathering in the park to remind Chris heartwarming and sorrowful,. We can’t let a nice neighbour just go this way, it’s too sad. After reading these stories of such a full life, he lived it thoroughly.
Brooke, i wish you and your parents all the best in this dark period.
Know that you can ring our doorbell for any help when you are in Amsterdam.
Dear Brooke and Brooke,
My sincerest condolences for your loss. Even as a cousin I only met twice in his youth Chris was a very well known cousin. He was our worldly cousin who has been everywhere. I was proud to “brag” about my cousin who worked with one of the famous cycling groups Astana. My daughter met up with him one Christmas in England and she was impressed by him. She felt that he was an awesome person. We live in Northern California and would love to be there for a memorial if you have one. Please let me know if there will be services in the near future.
RIP Cousin Chris.
Becky “Palmer” Delos Reyes
Dear Brooke and family,
So sorry to hear of this awful news. I met Chris when he was at Reuters. As other colleagues and friends have testified, he was a big-hearted man, a traveller and adventurer, a fine journalist and a talented linguist. I hope you can take some comfort from the wonderful tributes that have been paid to him here.
I deleted my Facebook account awhile back where I had last communicated with Chris, it has been a few few years. I was just thinking of him and thought I would search Google to see if he was still in Amsterdam and maybe have the fortune of discovering a new adventure he might be on or come across a random video of him saying something hilarious. I was shocked and grateful to come across this post. To Chris’s parents and sister Brooke and of course, Cash, I’m so so so sorry for your loss ❤️. Chris was one of a kind.
Chris and I were friends in Missoula 20+ years ago. He was a customer at Bernice’s Bakery where I worked and would come in for the day old cream cheese and fruit pockets. Vanya was always with him and as we chatted out back catching up on random things, Chris would have Vanya climb the tree. No one could forget Chris and Vanya and the fascination and affection we all held for their connection and devotion. I can only imagine Cash had the same with Chris.
Chris was a brilliant guy. And really funny. He had great depth and insight that allowed him to take everything to the next level, often with hilarity. He was also really private. He could tell when something was off and although he might not say anything, he would show up at my house with a baked good or picked just to say hi and share a thought about something random he was thinking about. Then he would take off on his bike with Vanya. Although I never felt like I knew Chris really well, I knew that he was a good friend. I was really grateful for his friendship ❤️.