Quietly and without any fanfare or elbowing others for the spotlight, Phil Meglasson has done more over the past thirty years for local mountain biking than any single person. He’s been a subtle force whose work has benefited the lives of all mountain bike riders from beginners to seasoned pros.
He is the Phil of Phil’s Trailhead fame but trust me he was shy about accepting that honor. For Phil, working on his own away from the crowd is his way.
His way meant the creation of the Mrazek Trail and its continued maintenance.
His way has meant endless hours of work on the trails at Horse Ridge, the Maston and every trail that fans out from the trailhead that bears his name.
Phil was there at the founding of COTA and he remains fresh in my memory for pulling out a fold-up saw from his pack during rides and sawing down limps that had grown over to cover a trail.
But even more than Phil’s trail layout, creation and maintenance legacy is his long history of riding. Phil loves to ride and ride he does with anyone who has the time and wants to go with a guy who knows where all the great rides are at any given time of the year.
I first met Phil thirty years ago when I’d purchased my first multi-geared true mountain bike and he’d acquired a mountain bike at an auction of assets from the defunct Rashneesh Purim community in Fossil.
Thus ensued years of exploring every old double-track road, single-track trail and game trail in Central Oregon.
Exploring led to racing and expanding our riding horizions well outside of Bend and Central Oregon.
All the while, Phil took it all in stride never once thumping his chest or boasting. He just got the job done.
This past Wednesday, a group of longtime riding friends gathered at a party to honor his 69th birthday.
There was beer (Thanks to Don Leet of Sunnyside Sports), food and plenty of reminiscing among a group of Phil’s colleagues who form the bedrock on which the local mountain bike community was formed.
Typically, Phil was a bit taken aback by the attention. And in a rare moment, he was stunned when he was presented a very cool carbonfiber frame Giant “Anthem” mountain bike.
The bike, thanks to the help of Giant team member Adam Craig, was a fitting tribute and will have a thousands miles on it before year is out I’m sure.
So happy 69 Phil, you’ve been an inspiration, a pioneer and a tireless worker. Without you, I wonder if we’d have the trail system we now have. You’re the best and a true example of giving back to the community.