It hasn’t been the best month-and-a-half here at Cyclocosm. More accurately, you might say it hasn’t been the best month and a half for your humble narrator personally, but open-ended complaints make for poor reading.
So let me just say that it was a very nice break from the recent routine to see my friend, Ernest Gagnon getting some serious press coverage for the riding he’s put in over the past year-and-a-half.
The article is no exaggeration—in the fall of 2010, I started riding with a guy who was scared of his own shadow and could barely get out his car; it’s kind of tough to believe that today he’s the same guy who knocks off three-hour rides and is better at line selection than most Cat 3 ‘cross racers I know.
There have been enormous strides outside of racing, too. Working your way through the jam-packed beer garden at DC’s Standard at the peak of happy hour, or schlepping an over-sized custom 29er on the Metro are tasks that make me, at 5’8″ and 170lbs, feel endlessly awkward. To see them so ably navigated by a guy of Ernest’s size, who spent a decade holed up in his apartment, held hostage by his own anxiety, was as impressive as watching him cruise any muddy off-camber.
All the improvements aside, Ernest is just a good guy and a great friend. People have a tendency to get caught up in their own problems, no matter how middling they actually are—bad results, lousy equipment, difficulty training, etc. To see a guy like Ernest, who’s overcome more than most of us will ever have to face, be fired up to simply throw his leg over a bike makes me happier every time we get out for a spin together.