Faces in the Crowd: Chris Leung | SierraSun.com

Faces in the Crowd: Chris Leung

Name: Chris Leung

Age: 20

Occupation: Many

Place of birth: Cary Grove, Ill.

Moved to Truckee: 1999

He can be found at the center of important town meetings, early morning rendezvous and late afternoon lunches.

Whenever vital decisions are made, he is there. Twenty-year-old Chris Leung can be found on most days in the middle of Truckee action – behind the counter at Wild Cherries Coffee House.

Two years ago, Leung packed up and headed west from Illinois in search of a place that few mid-Westerners could imagine. The combination of world-class downhill courses, endless single track trails for kamikaze two-wheelers and legendary snowboarding venues like Sugar Bowl put this old railroad town on the map, and is the reason Leung decided to stick around.

When asked how long he planned on staying in the area, his answer was simply, “I am going to live here forever.”

Since the age of 5, Leung has become quite accustomed to the way life looks from his perch on a bike seat, competing in downhill races all over the country and in Canada. When he first rolled into town on Old Highway 40, he worked at Donner Ski Ranch doing everything from lift operations to sales. Today, he still frequents DSR but in a slightly different capacity.

Leung has taken his years of downhill experience and used it to design new courses at area resorts like the Ranch. While he is hoping to “make it big” on the downhill circuit, he is optimistic about working on courses in the area to draw the nation’s biggest events to the basin.

The Truckee-Tahoe area already boasts some of the most renowned courses in the country and serves as the host for mountain bike races of all varieties throughout the summer months. On the days when Leung is not serving up lattes or talking to locals at Wild Cherries, you can be sure to find him out on the mountain snowboarding or biking.

After living in Truckee for two years and working at Wild Cherries for nine months, Leung has nothing but positive things to say about life in the mountains.

“You get to know everyone in this town working here (Wild Cherries), especially all the cops which makes my life easier,” laughed Leung.

While maintaining a good rapport with local officials may not be the biggest occupational perk, it sure helps when Leung and his packed house of roommates throw one of their legendary parties.

This youngest child of three can be found most days at the Coffee House – but don’t rely on his picture because his hair color has a tendency to change with the season.

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