How quickly things change. The man I spoke about only this morning has passed away. Gerry had gone to the hospital with severe chest pain a couple of weeks ago. It turned out he had pneumonia and was put on a ventilator. When his blood work came back, he was diagnosed with leukemia. He left us yesterday on his 71st birthday.
Gerry was so full of life it is hard to believe he is gone. I was fortunate enough to meet him last July when I went on the Big Ride Pacific Coast. Gerry was a veteran of these fund-raising rides, and he welcomed us newbies with open arms. I very fortunate to ride with him for much of the second week and really get to know him. He had done the ride a couple years previously, and always knew where the next ice cream shop was. My wife got to meet him at the finish line in San Francisco, and latched on to him immediately.
I rode with Gerry again this year on the Big Ride Glacier trip. He helped to talk me into this ride, and I am so glad he did. It was another wonderful experience, and I got to meet more of his riding friends. Gerry did the Ride Across America a couple of times, so his circle of friends is large and spread throughout the country. I know he was an avid skier as well, so I know there are many more great friends of his I haven't met.
Gerry welcomed so many people into that special heart of his. He was full of positive energy and always had a child-like twinkle in his eyes. I am a much better man having known him and the world was a better place with him around. I am so glad you came into my life, and I will miss seeing you out on the road. I'll just plain miss you.
You can see the slide show full size here.