On Friday, July 1, we’ll be dedicating our ride to our good friend, John Klemm. Friday is John’s birthday. It also is the day that we’ll be tackling our highest climb: Monarch Pass, at 11,312 feet.This pass is just shy of 3,000 feet higher than our Sierra summit at Carson Pass. Our highest summit prior to this was Cedar Breaks, Utah, at 10,500 feet. Monarch Pass, which sits on the southern end of the Sawatch range, also has the distinction of sitting on the continental divide.
Unlike previous dedication posts in memory of people who have succumbed to GBM, this ride is dedicated to a friend of ours who has, at far too young an age, suffered from a debilitating health issue. We’re fortunate and happy that John is still with us, making us laugh and being a joy to be around.
John suffered a stroke in March of 2010. He was in his mid 50s. Two years later he suffered a second stroke that has left him mostly wheelchair bound, and, even worse, he suffers from a hearing aphasia that prevents him from processing sounds, essentially leaving him deaf.
John and his husband, Lynn, have been our close friends for over 30 years. We’ve been lucky to work with them both at Stanford for a number of years, where, besides doing really creative and awesome work, we managed to have a lot of fun and pull off a lot of shenanigans. And never get into serious trouble!
We so admire John and Lynn for the grace and humor with which they address the many challenges of their post-stroke life. John had been an active cyclist pre-stroke, and is one of the inspirations for our journey. We know he’d have joined us for a leg of this ride, and we think about him often along the way, wishing that he and Lynn could be with us on our adventure.
Just to add to the fun of tomorrow’s climb, we’ll get to do it in pouring rain. John, as we climb the peak tomorrow, we’ll be thinking of you and the grace and patience you bring to life.
If you’d like to help us raise research funds to fight GBM, please visit Help Us Cure Brain Cancer.