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
12/30/2021 at 9:02AM
Many of us "mature" cyclists knew Phil and had the privilege of his company on the road, at coffee shops, and elsewhere over the years. A few years ago when Phil was still riding a recumbent, he would draft some of us until he would lose us on downhills. I also got to know him and his wife, Ann, through their philanthropy. They generously contributed to Rogue Community Health when I was on their board of directors. Early last summer he and Ann rode up on their companion trikes in front of our house while my wife and I were doing yard work. We enjoyed a friendly chat. Although Phil will be missed, to be sure, I can only hope to be so fortunate to exit in style like he did when my time is up.
2/12/2022 at 3:00PM
I wanted to thank you for the thoughtful memoriam on Phil, my brother. He often emailed me describing his latest bike tour and mentioned all of you on the trip. He surely enjoyed his bike rides with all of you. He also enjoyed sketching the trips route. He looked forward to his Sat. Bike rides and he could not have planned his death any better, doing what he loved with all of you.
I have all his sketched routes and wonder if you would like to have them for future rides.
Let me know.
Thanks , David Phil's brother in Maine
2/14/2022 at 10:21AM
Thank you all for sharing your wonderful thoughts of my father. What a great club. My wife Hue and I had the pleasure of riding with this group, led by my father, in mid October. I think We did a 24 mile ride or so. We have up right bicycles and were in the rear of the pack that was led by my father. Great ride with wonderful sights. We stopped for coffee and were able to get to know a few of the regular riders. Such fun people and so enthusiastic. Hue took pictures of us all and I will post them later. My Dad was a very energetic person that was passionet about his hobbies. He had many and without a doubt he loved riding with his group of friends the most. Like a lot of you said, he died while doing what he loved the most. Thank you all for being there for him. Stephen Gagnon .