Remembering Rowan Jimenez

In the summer of 2016, I asked who wanted to try riding the Morro Bay Lighthouse Century with me in October (100-mile bike ride up the Pacific Coast Highway) . Rowan raised his hand and told me that the ride would mark the anniversary of his double lung transplant, and that he liked to celebrate each anniversary by doing something physically difficult — it was his way of showing that not only had he stayed alive against the odds, but that he was fully embracing life, living every experience to the max.

On Black Hill in Morro Bay with Rowan
Rowan riding up from Fairfax

Our kids had gone through elementary school together, but I’d never really gotten to know him. Over the next few months, we did a series of training rides together, all over the East Bay, plus an unforgettable climb to the top of Mt. Tamalpais in dense fog. In the course of those rides, through all kinds of weather, through intense sweat and crazy descents, I got to know Rowan and was blown away daily by his relentless joy and optimism, his profound appreciation for his lung donor, and for the second chance at life he’d been gifted. Rowan became a sort of role model for me, an example of how we all ought to be living.

After finishing the hardest part of the Morro Bay Lighthouse Century, with Rowan and Jim.

That October, we traveled to Morro Bay together and shared a hotel, then rode with another friend the next morning. Rowan wasn’t the fastest guy on the course – he was riding with the lungs of a 16-year-old girl! – but he was steady and determined, and there was never any question that he’d finish. The minute his odometer rolled over to that 100-mile mark, we stopped and high-fived each other and he let out a huge whoop of joy.

Rowan on Mt. Tam

When I heard the news today that Rowan had passed, I broke down in my wife’s arms. This cruel world has taken one of our brightest beacons. I’ll remember you forever Rowan – thanks for sharing that incredible adventure with me, and for sharing your bounty of optimism with all of us.

Rowan on one of our training rides

4 Replies to “Remembering Rowan Jimenez”

  1. Scot, that was such a heartfelt commentary on
    your friend and biking buddy. Rowan was an inspiration to you and all who knew him. Although I did not get to meet him I feel like I know him and he holds a special place in my heart. Although your relationship with him was short he left you with a wonderful gift of his passion for life, one that you also carry and share with others. Your memories of him will not die, but only become stronger as you model his life and pass it on to all you know. Your spirits will always be entwined and you are very fortunate to have shared some time together. You are birds of a feather as you carry on his legacy of the love for life.

  2. Scot, though I never met Rowan, it was always apparent through your your comments what a special person he was. And that incredible smile said it all. I am glad you had the honor of having him in your life. So sorry he is gone. So happy you had him in your life. Mom

  3. Scot, this is Kaya Jimenez, Rowan’s daughter. I was searching my dad’s name up on the internet for the billionth time to see if I could find something special, maybe an article I never knew about, a picture I had never seen, whatever it was, and I came across this. I would just like to say this is so beautifully worded and is such a genuine representation of Rowan’s essence. I broke down during and after reading this, and will continue to come back to this when remembering and grieving. <3

    Kaya

  4. Hi Kaya! Great to hear from you, and so sorry I didn’t see your comment until now. I still think about Rowan a lot, and really wish we could ride together one more time. He was such a cool guy, such a positive force. I really appreciated having him in my life.

    I am so, so sorry that you lost your father. And not just any father – the incredible Rowan Jimenez! Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for your heart, or if you just need someone to talk to.

    Peace.

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