In Memoriam: Phil Gagnon
The Siskiyou Velo Bike Club lost a well-loved member on December 4, 2021. Phil Gagnon passed away unexpectedly during a bike ride with two friends along the Applegate River. The cause of death was natural causes; it was not due to a motor vehicle accident. He was 90 years old.
Phil was a past President of the SV Bike Club (2011-2013). He initiated the “Slo-Mo” (leisurely-paced) cycling group that rode Saturdays. This group morphed into the “Trikers” rides on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Still considered a leisurely-paced ride, the Trikers group consists of people with e-assist trikes. According to Cookie Webb, chatting and laughing with Phil during a coffee stop was a highlight of many of his rides.
In addition to leading Saturday rides, Phil coordinated multi-day rides in Oregon and out of state. He loved planning where to stay and what the routes would be. Often riders stayed in one or more motels along the way. Sometimes riders carried their gear and camped along the route. Ken Kelley fondly remembers a 6-day trip with Phil on the International Selkirk Loop through Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia. They carried all their camping gear; it rained only one day(!) and everyone had a great time.
Ken Kelly remembers Phil as always making “you feel so welcome… He was friendly and never had a cross word for anyone.” He seemed to know everyone in the club. He was always curious about new places, which probably inspired him to lead cycling/camping trips. In his former life, Phil had been a graphic designer in advertising. A gifted artist since childhood, in recent years he was especially active in the Urban Sketchers of Ashland – you can find the group on Facebook – and also in a calligraphy group.
Phil died doing what he loved – riding his trike along a beautiful road on a gorgeous day with friends. We will miss his warm and generous heart and the good times we had riding with him.
– Written by Lisa Brill