Bigtrees/Fuzzy passed last night
One of ours left us for a better place last night. Bigtrees (name taken after his favorite trail in JMP) or Fuzzy (his adoptive Marin nickname) lost his valiant fight against cancer. I take comfort in that he was surrounded by all his friends right until the end.
I met Eric 10 years ago during one of those weekly night rides posted on MTBR. We were doing a timed hill climb at Chabot on Brandon. He lived in the east bay back then. We quickly befriended and started riding together on a regular basis. Eric introduced me to the joys of riding singletrack (I was a noob perfectly happy to ride Chabot fireroads back then). I distinctly remember how scared I was going down Cinderella the first time he took me through Joaquin Miller Park.
In 2005, we even raced at Sea Otter. We then went to Downieville for the first time with EBrider (whom we also met on this board), and had a great time realizing how much faster than us Mark Weir went.
Eric and EBrider clowning on the way up
Eric Steve 2005.jpg
Eric, EBrider, some stranger and I at Packer Saddle.
Eric taking a fall at the waterfall.
Eric fall Dville 2005.jpg
Eric loved riding and enjoyed the social aspect as much as the ride itself. He was always ready for a break and some BSing, which really worked out well for my slow self. That same year, we did an IMBA epic ride in Tahoe (Tahoe City to Western States to Watson lake to TRT back down to Tahoe City). I bonked miserably before Watson lake so we took a nap by the lake. Good times.
Hereís Eric during that ride:
Eric Tahoe 8-28-05 14.jpg
Eric glass trail 8-28-05 28.jpg
He later moved to Marin, and we kept in contact regularly even if we could not ride together as much. He would often send me the tales of his epic night rides around Marin by e-mail . He showed me around his backyard behind China Camp. Eric loved tight single track that required finesse and power. He was a great aggressive technical rider, and one of his favorite rides was Oat Hill. While we talked about him showing me around, we unfortunately never got around to it.
When he got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 3 years ago, he decided that he would fight and keep living. He rode with our group in the Sierra in 2012 and 2013. While he was not as strong as he once was, he was as determined as ever to get to the top to enjoy a sweet downhill.
Pics from our 2012 and 2013 rides.
His fight with cancer got a bit of coverage after MBA wrote an article about him early this year (April edition I think). He broke his wrist earlier this year and did not make it to our 2014 get together. Even after cancer started getting the upper hand over the summer, he maintained his desire to enjoy the moment and his friends. I was lucky enough to go see him a couple times recently and both times, his small apartment was filled with people hanging out and taking care of him.
He was a good guy and an inspiration all the way to the end. Iím better off for having known him and sad to see him gone.
So long Bigtrees.
Eric above Tahoe 8-28-05 23.jpg
Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun
This is so terribly sad. I was lucky enough to ride with Eric a few times. He always had such a great attitude. He will be missed. Life is short and precious, we often forget that.
Thanks for posting. I enjoyed meeting Eric and spending time with him on our last couple of Tahoe trips. He had a warm and easy spirit, and was really just a genuine good guy.
Rest in Peace Eric. Cheers to good pants and a life well sorted.
I rode with Eric a few times at JMP, great person.
RIP Eric, hope your riding sweet endless singletrack!
Farewell my friend. You will be missed.
Sorry to hear. We rode together years ago.
Sad news but a nice look back on a well lived life. My condolences to family and friends.
I'm not sure how this works.
Condolences to his family and friends. May he ride hero dirt for the rest of eternity.
You know he inspired a lot of people who never met him, including myself.
Gone way too soon. I was fortunate enough to share a few rides with him and it was always a privilege. The riding he did the last couple years should be an inspiration for many.
Are we putting air in the tires today?
Sorry to hear the bad news, but it sounds like he led a good life.
(Ride in Peace)
Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger. ~ E. Abbey
One more fun tidbit about Eric. He came to CA by riding his bike with a couple friends from NY in the late 70s.
Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun
My condolences to all family and friends.
As for the rest of us, great riding buds are worth their weight in gold.
I met Eric many years ago on a Team Hamana night ride in Marin...those fuzzy shorts. Even though I really didn't know him, his story is heart breaking. My father is battling prostate cancer too...I know his day will come soon. Life is short people, enjoy it while you can.
Thanks for sharing Eric's story. I only knew him through your stories and those on MTBR, but I still feel like we all lost a friend. Nicely written piece.
My condolences to his friends and family.
Poaching Demo...that's why we can't have nice things...
I rode with Eric a few times ,he was always in good spirits . I hope he's riding hero dirt somewhere .
Ride on to endless singletrack Fuzzy. You will be missed.
love + magic
Thanks Zorg for the beautiful write-up; I hope to see you again soon!
There's so much to say but right now I don't really have the energy to type it. The last few months have been really hard but it has been an enormous privilege to be a part of a community that gave its all, all for Fuzzy. My husband Brian said it well:
Fuzzy brought magic to everything he did - rides, food, song, dance, LIFE. There are so many who will live twice as long and yet not live half as much. The older I get the more valuable - and rare - I realize these lessons are.
Yesterday was one of if not the most humbling experience of my life - guiding a dear friend into the other side. I will never forget his infectious soul and caring demeanor. All he wanted was to make those around him happy and share what he could. He taught me a whole other way to enjoy the mountain bike. Make each ride count, make it magical.
Fuzzy passed peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends who loved him so much. We were all with him and he knew he was not alone, and that we will carry him with us forever. I have to give a special shout-out to Ken and Dana - their devotion to Fuzzy over the past few months has been one of the most moving things I've ever witnessed. With their care, and that of his larger community, I'm confident that we did everything in our power to improve both the quality and quantity of his final months.
Some of my fav photos from the past few months:
Rush Creek party stop:
Smiles at China Camp:
Riding in Sedona (Ken, Dana, Brian, and Hunter took him to Sedona 2 weeks ago for a "bucket list" trip - deserving of its own post)
Video from Sedona:
Fuzzy on Vimeo
Video from the last ride I did with him, a few weeks ago in China Camp:
I love you, Fuzzy. I miss you. Thank you for everything, and please keep an eye on us when we're out there. I'll see you on the other side (I bet it's all awesome, technical downhill there).
If anyone is interested in attending a celebration of Fuzzy's life this Thursday evening, please PM me.
Originally Posted by jbt56
nevermind, I fixed the video link
Last edited by Piranha426; 10-29-2014 at 01:03 AM.
Reason: I'm tired
Originally Posted by jbt56
Thank you for sharing. I wish knew him.
Fuzzy sure sounds like a guy all us would have been better off knowing. So hard to see somebody go but it was his time. I wish I had known him because reading what you are all saying about him, I would have liked him a bunch. To the people who took care of him in his final months and moments, God bless you. I am sure he was comforted to have you loving him and putting him at ease in his final time. Sometimes it is the chance meeting with a fellow rider that can change your life, sounds like Fuzzy met a lot of people and did just that. Life is short, take the time to live it like Fuzzy did.
They never made the "Slowster"
Hope he is poaching some great tracks up there
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