Bob Thompson, A Gentle Giant

| February 19, 2017 3:55 pm

Seems like it was yesterday, Bob and Kris Thompson, Jean and I were having lunch on a sunny afternoon at a League of American Bicyclist meeting in Olympia, Washington. That was nearly thirty years ago — my friendship with Bob grew with more respect and admiration each passing year. In those days, Bob would run a marathon, no, make that a Dipsea-type marathon and then joined us the very next day mountain biking at Point Reyes, on President’s Weekend. Henry Coe was Bob’s favorite and he led countless rides there, despite loosing much of his sight. To ride and navigate safely, he must have remembered every corner, every downhill, every inch of those trails, including the single tracks. One day, tears in his eyes that mercilessly had abandoned him, Bob stopped at the start of his ride and professed that he can’t see well enough to go on.

On road rides, even before Bob’s eyesight failed, Kris and Bob were riding tandem, only Bob was the Captain. Then the table was turned, Kris had to captain a specially-made Bike Friday tandem for a much taller stoker Bob. So unconventional yet so graceful! The Kris and Bob Thompson tandem led many South County Old Goat rides, went to Ragbrai, Louisiana, Virginia, Carolinas, Alaska, Canada, France, Mexico, and China.

Kris and Bob were avid ACTC volunteers. They were Captains at the Gilroy Hot Springs rest stop for over a decade and always invited the Progressive Dinner to their home, including this past year.

Bob’s photography and his video presentations were always memorable and enjoyable. Much of my own presentations are lessons from Bob during our then yearly trip to the San Francisco MacWorld conference.

Bob Thompson passed away February 16.

Bob on a French Postal Bicycle in Paris

Kris and Bob at the Col d’Illoire, Grand Canyon du Verdon

Kris and Bob in Provence, note the double-suitcase trailer

2 Responses to “Bob Thompson, A Gentle Giant”

Janene Thompson Ford wrote a comment on February 23, 2017

Bob is my brother – the best older brother a girl could wish for. I remember when we got our first bikes as kids living in Hayward. He went too fast and too far afield for me so I seldom tagged along. Nothing ever stopped Bob from enjoying bicycling. Not weather. Not rugged trails. Not health or injuries. When he got his final diagnosis – one of the first things he did was to buy a stationary bike. Sharing this interest with his wife Kris and the bike club enriched his life immeasurably. He was a storehouse of knowledge and loved doing the research when contemplating a new bike purchase. There will never be anyone quite like him Janene

Lisa Bjarke wrote a comment on February 24, 2017

Bob’s obituary was in the Morgan Hill Times today. The link to the online version is . In the print version there is information about a Celebration of Life at the family home on March 26 at 2PM

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