Eric was a good dude, as all my Quebecois BMXer friends are. I met him in 1993 at the infamous Oklahoma BS contest that Mat Hoffman did the demo on the 26-foot ramp. A van-load of French-Canadian riders met a van-load of Western-Canadian riders. On that trip, Yannik DuBois, Stephane Lavigne, Pedro Dos Santos and Eric Gagne (or “Little Eric”, as he was introduced to us) met Dom Mach, Simon Barry, Rob Sigaty, The Warlord, and myself. Although I haven’t talked to The Warlord for awhile, all of those guys are still in my life. At least they all were.
Little Eric was the translation of “ ‘Ti-Cul” that was given to the Anglos. There are two sources for this: one is that there were two Erics in the Montreal scene in the early 1990s (one big, one small); the other is the literal translation – “Little Ass”. This is not to say that Eric was a jerk or an asshole. Not al all. More like a smart-ass. Mischievous. Silly. Fun.
Stephane Lavigne, JF Campeau, and myself went to Eric’s service this past Friday night. It was not merely a sad event, but also a bit of a celebration of his life. Lots of BMX pictures, and a framed GT Air Show jersey were prominently displayed. There must have been 150 -200 people there. And while there were tears, there was much more laughter and smiles. When your nickname is “Little Ass”, there are going to be some good stories to share.
And, indeed, Big Eric (former Hoffman Bikes rider Rick Maltais) came by to pay his respects to ‘Ti-Cul.