Is it an indication of a lack of saddle time that I find myself entwined in an internet imbroglio? I think that we can all vote a solid yes on that, but straight to the point now. Bullying is quite out of favor these days. Also, transmitting music into the open air on a bike trail is at best a very curious behavior. These two phenomena intersect in the story of Ernest Gagnon and the creator of the “Loudest Portable Speaker for the Active Lifestyle”- Boombotix.
Never could there be a better hero to villain dichotomy than a man with a heart full of courage, riding for his life and a company that seeks to disrupt the serenity of the trail. In a culture where the Go Pro camera is becoming ubiquitous on every helmet, and the cyclometer is replaced by an app that encourages reckless competition and cutting corners the following scenario is now a reality.
“Dude, I had my Go Pro on my handlebars pointed at my face so I could see myself biting my bottom lip when I railed that berm. I KOM’ed the connector trail because Nickelback came on my belt speaker so I just pinned it.”
Hmmm, might be time to get a little further into the forest on my rides.
So, this company posted an ad to a popular social media platform utilizing Mr. Gagnon’s image as an example of a rider who is without a belt-speaker and therefore “Putzing along the fire roads” as opposed to the dude with the belt speaker “bombing the single track.”
As you will read in the above link to Mr. Gagnon’s name, he is a hero and symbol of courage for many. He took up cycling at 570 lbs, not specifically to lose weight, but because in his heart he longed to be a cyclocross racer. He can tell his story quite well without my help and I encourage you to read it if you are interested. Ernest has endured bullying before, and this was just the latest sad attempt. He posted a copy of the ad with a request for some support, so I picked up the phone and called Belt-Speaker, and guess who answered the phone? The other guy in the picture, quite unaware his image was being used to denigrate Mr. Gagnon’s. I explained that seeing as how Mr. Gagnon and I have never met, and I would be considered for lack of any other term, a fan of Mr.
Gagnon’s, he might should inform his boss to put on the waders, because the shit was most certainly flowing downhill their way fast.
And the shit has flowed.
So the internet is a complex organism, and we are but tiny mites on her ass.
Long may she scratch.