Brian Chewter’s Death Great Loss to HCC and his family

Back in 2018 with the LRT scheduled to start construction (and tear up King St fopr a couple of years) and Brian in his mid 60’s – it seemed a good time to retire. He bought a nice two storey in downtown Simcoe and commuted for a while pending ths tore closure detouring by Indian Trail on Tuesdays to help run the TT. Brian was probably the longest standing member of the club though his honourary status was belated in being awarded.

Living in Simcoe opened up some great super quiet roads for riding and getting away from the stress of running a business would probably quiten these stomach pains he was experiencing. It was not to be. Shortly after the shop was closed the “stomach pains” were diagnosed as 4th stage pancreatic cancer. Brantford hospital put him chemo etc and thus he spent the better part of a year suffering from the cancer and a treatment which ultimatley could not win. Not the retirement he had planned.

Brian died August and was cremated at White Chapel. Chewter is survived by his children Lauren, Marley, Erin and Allison, and five grandchildren. He is also survived by his former wife Kim, brother Mark and sister Michelle.

HCC at short notice i running a Memorial 15TT on White Swan Saturday Sept 12th. The family have indicated they will be organizing a Celebration of Life some time in the not too distant future.

The following is an obituary written by the Spectator.

Olympic cyclist Brian Chewter rode for Canada in Munich and Montreal

DNBy Daniel NolanObituary WriterMon., Aug. 24, 2020timer4 min. read

Brian Chewter was born to cycle.

What else can you say about a man who could recount to a Spectator reporter the type of tricycle he had as a kid — chain drive with hand brakes that he called the quickest trike around.

He progressed to a CCM Voyager 10-speed bike when he was in his teens — his mother got it for him for Christmas — and wound up cycling for Canada in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

Later, he operated a popular cycling shop in central Hamilton, serving customers from all over Hamilton and as far away as Guelph and Kitchener. Even up to a few years ago, he was up at 5 a.m. and pedalled out from his apartment above the shop, up the escarpment to the east Mountain, past the Hamilton airport, through Ancaster and back home.

It was gruelling two-hour workout, but Chewter would not have it any other way.

Brian Chewter opened Central Cycle and Sport near the corner of Cannon and Mary streets in December 1999.

“If you slack off, biking gets really hard,” Chewter told The Spectator in 2016.

“It’s a cruel sport.”

Chewter, a longtime member of the Hamilton Cycle Club, died on July 26 of pancreatic cancer in Simcoe. He was 66.

Chewter was a recognized senior statesman in the cycling community. He helped advance the sport and mentored many aspiring cyclists.

He was one of four VIP cyclists, including Steve Bauer, Curt Harnett and Mark Walters, who attended the unveiling of a historic plaque on March 27, 2013, at the Sydenham Hill lookout for fellow Olympic cyclist Clara Hughes. Hughes, who won two bronze cycling medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, trained on the hill and the plaque renamed the hill as “Clara’s Climb.”

Daughter Erin Chewter said, despite her father’s cycling achievements, he was a man without pretence.

“He didn’t covet much,” said the 32-year-old graduate student who worked as a bike mechanic at her father’s shop for a decade before she went to university.

“He loved cycling. He loved his bikes. He loved cars, but he didn’t covet the latest technology. He was sort of a classic family-business-type guy. He treated everyone equally, whether they were spending thousands of dollars or just buying a $200 bike.”

“He wasn’t very showy. He was very humble.”

Brian Chewter racing in the 1970s.

Chewter was born Feb. 2, 1954, to Gordon and Marjorie Chewter. He grew up on the west Mountain and attended the old Mohawk Trail one-room schoolhouse (he liked to tell his family he was in its last class before it closed) and Westmount Secondary School.

His father operated the family plastering business, C. Chewter and Son, which had been started by his grandfather. His mother worked at the downtown Eaton’s department store, the business where she bought her son that 10-speed bike.

That was when he was 13. His first organized race was the Good Friday race, typically the first sanctioned race of the season. He was determined to show the more than two dozen other juniors what he could do.

“I broke away from the pack and rode out in front the whole race,” he told The Spec in 2012.

“Then, on the last hill, I was out of gas. and they caught up and blew by me like I was standing still. I was young, but I learned something about bike racing that day.”

Within a few years, Chewter was a member of the Canadian Cycling Team and won races across Canada, the United States and Europe. Then came the Olympics.

Munich was marred — a Palestinian terrorist group executed 11 Israeli athletes.

Brian Chewter closed his business, Centre Cycle and Sport, in 2018 after a couple of years of health troubles and moved to Simcoe.

“They were in the next building over, just a couple of hundred feet away,” Chewter recalled. “Everything got locked down.”

In Munich, he came 23rd in the team time trials — a now defunct 4-man, 100-kilometre race — and 52nd in the individual road race. His team placed 16th in the team time trials at the 1976 Montreal Games.

After those Games, Chewter joined the family business, which he eventually ended up running. He was in the trade for 20 years, but his dream was a bike shop. He sold the business to an employee.

“Plastering was my grandfather’s choice,” Chewter said.

He opened Central Cycle and Sport near the corner of Cannon and Mary streets in December 1999. He sold all levels of bikes, from those for children to professional racing models. He relocated around 2001 to a larger building on King Street East, near Sherman Avenue. He closed the business in 2018 after a couple of years of health troubles and moved to Simcoe.

Brian Chewter operated a popular cycling shop in central Hamilton, serving customers from all over Hamilton and as far away as Guelph and Kitchener.

Matthew McKinnon worked at the bike shop between 2010 and 2018. He called Chewter his mentor and will miss hearing his stories such as riding with Jocelyn Lovell, almost winning the Tour de Montreal, the “disgusting” hotels he stayed in and his beloved childhood trike.

“Brian didn’t complain about anything,” said the 25-year-old. “He would just do everything he could. He’d start his day at 5 a.m. He would come down and fix bikes. I would come in at 9 a.m. and he had already gone for a ride and done everything. I was, ‘Oh My Goodness.’”

“He is someone I learned everything from and I would say, hands down, the best person I ever met.”

Chewter is survived by his children Lauren, Marley, Erin and Allison, and five grandchildren. He is also survived by his former wife Kim, brother Mark and sister Michelle.