Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tom Milton ... You Will Be Missed

"yep, I was there."
Tom Milton, 2009 Terrible Two
Self Portrait

"Nothing perfect lasts forever.
         Except in our memories."
                  From the poster to the movie: "A River Runs Through It"

This is a place where people who loved Tom Milton may feel free to write a memory they have of him, a story, or to say goodbye to a good friend. Please share your thoughts by clicking on the "Comments" at the bottom of the tribute below. You need not be a cyclist to share a memory here.

Sadly, Tom Milton passed away while riding the Devil Mountain Double on April 24, 2010.  Tom was inducted into the California Triple Crown Hall of Fame in 2009 in recognition of him completing 50 Double Centuries in the California Triple Crown Series.  Tom loved these hard rides and he tackled the most challenging of them all as shown in his California Triple Crown History Report HERE

Tom was a gifted inventor and was the owner of Selle An-Atomica.

Debra Banks, a good friend of Tom, wrote me:
"Chuck,

It is with deep sadness that we are passing along this news. Tom Milton (Selle An-Atomica) collapsed and died of a heart attack while riding the Devil Mountain Double this past Saturday, about 3 miles from the summit of Mt. Hamilton. Lee Mitchell was on the scene, as were a number of cyclists who were the first responders. Earlier in the day, those who rode with him said he was happy, smiling, enjoying the weather, the fine company and fine day. The community was right there with him during his time of need. His girlfriend went to San Ramon Saturday evening to piece together information and collect Tom's things.

For those who knew Tom, we hope you'll remember him well. His passion for life, cycling and the betterment of both was his primary goal. He was a lover of the finer things in life and would go on about how we should all fully enjoy a fine wine, good tequila, a beautiful day, friends and worthy conversation. Whenever someone was hurt or in need, he could be counted on to assist in any manner he could. He could positively cajole a peer into riding farther or faster with his wit and support, while his smile and good humor warmed many in the middle of a long dark road. We were privileged to have known him and to have shared many of our Triple Crown roads with him.

You can send a card to the family at:
PO Box 2424
Fairfield, CA  94533

Keep riding your bikes, enjoying life and raise a glass of your finest beverage to Tom. He will be missed."

Barbara Anderson wrote on the Davis Bike Club e-mail list:
"DBCers,
I have just learned that Tom Milton died yesterday, apparently of heart-related causes, while riding the Devil Mountain Double. Tom rode many of the DBC's ultra-distance events, including numerous DCs and brevet series. Another rider on the Devil Mtn Double who rode some distance with Tom yesterday wrote an account of the day on his blog. Here's the link:

http://bikeridestories.blogspot.com/2010/04/2010-dmd.html.

I didn't know Tom well at all; all of our interaction took place over the years at the DC's pre-ride registration. I know he was an experienced rider and will be missed by the cycling community. If anyone hears of pending services, perhaps the information could be shared on this list. My sympathies to Tom's family and friends.

Barbara"

27 comments:

Chuck Bramwell said...

Craig Robertson wrote:

"Chuck,
You probably need to check with Scott Halverson to get updated details, including a more updated cause, but Tom Milton died today at Devil Mountain somewhere on the back side of Mt. Hamilton of what was initially described as a heart attack. In addition to having done many a double, Tom was also a PBP vet and was the proprietor of Selle Anatomica.
I noticed that something was wrong descending the front of Hamilton as numerous emergency vehicles came up the hill, lights and sirens on. At one of the rest stops, someone said something about a rider having a heart attack, so I asked Scott at the finish and he told me.

Craig Robertson

Chuck Bramwell said...

Kitty Goursolle wrote:

"Dear Chuck,

I am very sorry to report to you the passing of Tom Milton yesterday at the DMD. He was climbing up Mt. Hamilton and suffered a heart attack. Everyone is simply heartbroken and stunned that this could happen to such a fit individual. But our friend Isabelle Drake said that he had told her that his father had died of a heart attack and that Tom was on a very strict diet. He was well aware of his chances of going the same way too.

The night before at the registration, Tom donated a bright yellow Sella Anatomica's "for any deserving volunteer" and I joked around with Tom, showed him that my bike already had his saddle on it. He was always good humored and entertaining, even on long rides like the PBP. We rode for hours together at PBP and I listened to lots of stories from Tom. I'm sure that everyone who knew him has similar tales to tell.

As always,
your friend,
Kitty"

Chuck Bramwell said...

Dan Hertlein wrote:

"Sad news Chuck. More, I’m afraid.

Not sure if you heard but Tom Milton died of what looks like a heart attack on yesterday’s DMD. I was driving SAG and was on the scene. Here is a description I wrote out for a forum I belong to…

Many have you read about my extremely tough 200 mile bike ride I did last week. It was the event's "staff" ride. The event, called the Devil Mountain Double Century" actually occurred yesterday. I was driving my mini-van as a SAG support vehicle on the course. (BTW. SAG means Support and Gear). All was well in the first part of the day. I fixed numerous flats and chain repairs.

After lunch, I was headed up the back side of Mt. Hamilton. This section is very steep. There is a five mile climb, where the mile numbers are painted on the road, which makes the climb particularly annoying. At the 2 mile mark (at mile 130 on the route), there was a sign on the road indicating water 2 miles. I decided to stop and hand out water at the sign because I'm usually running on empty at this point so I thought I'd provide some additional support. Many, but not all, cyclists stopped to take me up on my offer. Temps were about 80. I've been out there when it was pushing 100 so it was actually very beautiful out. A cyclist came by and asked if I had an en energy bar. I was all out I told her and decided to hop in the van and drive to the water stop to get a bar. On the way back, the same gal said a guy was in need of help at the spot I was at earlier. I rushed down there.

There was a friend of mine who was applying CPR to a fallen cyclist and continued until the sheriff arrived , who took over. A medivac helicopter was called in but since it was in a very remote section of the mountain, they had to be trucked in from a couple of miles. Eventually, fire department showed up and they called it about an hour in. The cyclist, Tom Milton was 56. I did not know him personally, but had a connection. Tom was a very seasoned rider. As a matter of fact, I mentioned in my earlier post about last week’s ride that I preferred a specific saddle, a Selle An-Atomica which me and Kathryn use on all of our bikes. That was Tom's company. He has done this ride many times and has done many ultra-endurance rides in the past.

He was riding strong. He was actually about three hours ahead of where I was at the same spot last week. The only negative comment he was heard to say was at lunch, 15 miles from where he died. He said he was not looking forward to the upcoming climb because he felt he had gone out too fast and had nothing in his tank. Tom was riding at about 5 miles an hour and apparently died of a massive heart attack. He was riding alone when he fell off the bike.

It was extremely sad as I watched this man die. His girlfriend, whom he lived with, of course was in shock at the end of the ride. She had been contacted by the rider organizers and she came to the start/finish point.. She usually rides these rides with him, but yesterday was not for some reason.

RIP Tom.

Dan Hertlein
http://danhertlein.com/
http://www.mixednutsband.com/
http://danhertlein.com/dansalcpage.htm"

Chuck Bramwell said...

Paul Duren wrote:

"I am sure by now you heard about Tom Milton on the DMD yesterday. He had a heart attack on the climb up the backside of Mt Hamilton. I was at the rest stop about mile or so away. We heard various things but in talking with the folks who were there, attempts were made immediately to revive him. Unfortunately the area is remote and it took a long time to get help to him. Not sure it would have made a difference."

Chuck Bramwell said...

Karen Thompson wrote:

"Sorry to be passing on some sad news . ..

Link to Mercury News Article

It was widely believed that this story refers to Tom Milton."

pedalforever@hotmail.com said...

I met Tom at PBP in 2007 (the rainy year). Of course Tom was on one of Craig Calfee's unique bamboo bikes and was riding his Selle Anatomica saddle. I ran out of water early on in the night and Tom was carrying a 2 liter extra bottle of water and filled my bottle up. We passed each other off and on over this 750 mile ride. Tom had a great sense of humor and had me laughing about something whenever I ran into him.

I have seen Tom on the road since PBP at double centuries and brevets. We ran into some sketchy people in the night on one of the San Diego brevets. Tom asked me if I was ready to pick it up and get the heck out of there. I said yes and was so glad that I was with Tom during that section.

I always looked forward to running into Tom because he was smart and interesting and the miles seemed to melt away chatting with him. I will miss his wonderful smile and great sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

What should have been a glorious day ended with a conflicted feeling.

Weather was perfect, all was going well. I awoke before 4am, "worked" Diablo summit and Patterson Pass, then drove SAG until 1am+.

The last thing any support person wants to encounter on a ride is a rider who cannot finish.

Bringing up the rear, I stumbled onto the aftermath.

I didn't know Tom personally, but had heard his name many times. He clearly was a Cal Triple Crown regular and rider of high regard.

I arrived home around 3am, beat, yet searched the internet on Tom, and was struck by his recent induction to the TOC Hall of Fame last September. That was good news/bad news, mostly good.

I spoke with a friend who worked registration today (non-DC addict), and she fondly remembered him. That says a lot.

If I have to go, this would be my choice.

==================

In light of this, Please remember Mark Dehanke. Also, note that Kermit Ganier is a medical miracle, and thank you K for driving up the length of the state to support a fellow ride.

Jesse

Chuck Bramwell said...

Mark King wrote on the Davis Bike Club e-mail list:

"I am so sorry to hear of this news. I rode with Tom up to the junction on
Saturday and he was a real pleasure to talk with. He was absolutely full of
the joys of cycling in the gorgeous spring sunshine. It was hard to imagine
anyone more at peace or happier with what he was doing. We only spent 10 or
so miles together but he certainly uplifted my spirits. I will remember him
for his positive attitude and brilliant gold hubs glistening in the
California sun.

Mark King"

mjj said...

I met Tom for the first time on the SFR 400K on 3/27 at the Hopland checkpoint. I had recently bought three of his saddles and we chatted about how to get the best out of them. He struck me immediately as an honest straight-up person who would be a fine companion. We rode in a paceline down to Santa Rosa and I dropped of on Chalk Hill while Tom was still going strong. We met up again at Petaluma and rode back to the finish as a "gang of eight". Tom had games and stories to keep us going in the dark. I was really impressed with what a strong rider he was and what a great personality he had. I met him again at the SFR Fleche breakfast and I told him I had just ridden on my Selle Anatomica for the first time and it had been great! I could tell he was so happy to make someone else's day. I'm so sad that he is gone. It's sobering that someone so fit and outwardly healthy could die like that, but as others have noted, he was doing what he loved at the time and probably knew little about it. I actually stopped at the scene while someone was administering CPR but didn't recognize Tom from my position on the road. It was a real shock when Sean Smith told me it was Tom at the Crothers rest stop. I didn't know him long but I know I'll miss him - such a great guy.

willy in pacifica said...

I rode with Tom last weekend at the Davis 400k. He and I played leapfrog all day. He would get into the control before me but I would leave earlier. Then he and a few others would wiz by me just before the next control and we would do this all day long.

Eventually at the last control he slowed down and a group of six of us rode a peaceful final 30 miles together. It was the nicest 30 miles of the day just riding along chatting with others knowing the ride was almost over.


I first met Tom over the phone when I was looking to buy one of his saddles. I eventrually got to meet him face to face at PBP as he was handing out Sella An Atomica pins to all the bikes using his saddle. When I lined up for the start of PBP he, Isabella Drake and I were all together so we made a pact to stay together for the first night in the rain so we could keep an eye out for each other. I remember each of us calling out the others names to be sure we were all within shouting distance in case one of us had a flat.


Once the sun came up we continued to ride together and he and I stopped a few time along the route for coffee and food. He was riding his Banboo Calfee and I was on my fancy Vanilla. Whenever we pulled into a control we would get a bit of a crowd around the bikes and lots of folks talking in french and pointing at our bike. Not nearly as much attention as the guy riding the onion 2 speed bike thou.


We lost each other at Ludeac and I do not think I saw him again until the finish.


He was always in a great mood and would even howl at the moon on occasion.


I will deffinaltly miss Tom and will ride the rest of my brevets with him in my heart.


Willy

Chuck Bramwell said...

Bill Oetinger wrote:

"Chuck--


Tony Lee--whose name you will recognize from the CTC Stage Race--sent this note to our chat list after hearing about Tom. (Several of our club members were at DMD and saw what was going on there and let us know about it.)

It is an e-mail of Tom's that I had forwarded to our club list last summer, after the Terrible Two. Tom wrote nicely to thank us for the support on the ride, which he completed in a very respectable time of 14:50. After sending Tom's note to the chat list, I'm not sure I kept it, but Tony did, and he found it and shared it again. You can see when you read it how Tom's kind nature shows through, and also in the captions he attached to the 100+ photos he took while riding the TT that day. There is a link to the photos at the bottom of his note.

I didn't know Tom well, but our paths crossed every so often on the doubles circuit and around the larger bike community. I know him more by reputation, as everyone has always had nice things to say about him.

I'm sure all of us wish for more years than Tom was given, but on the other hand, most of us also wish to go out doing something we love--in this case riding our bike--while still close to the top of our game. Not that Tom had much choice in the matter, but it may count as some consolation to think in those terms: making a good, quick exit on a bright and happy day.

Bill



> From: "MCM SA Inc."
> Terrible Two 2009
>
> WOW. Thanks for the weather!
>
> I finished a fourth TT yesterday. Not sure about my sanity, but there it is. I came, I conquered, I went home not feeling much like a conqueror!
>
> This is the first time I had not passed through the afternoon under scorching, searing, mind numbing heat. Skaggs Springs is not that hard when not fighting mother nature for elemental human survival through this section of the course. TT is still one of the most demanding distance rides on the planet, which makes the club’s support key to riders' success. Organization and coordination of and by all the volunteers is something to behold. I challenge any other club in the nation to turn out the number of such well organized supporters. This makes finishing TT a pleasure. As a rider I might consider myself a failure for not finishing, considering the number and caliber of volunteer staff who have given up days, weeks, or months in some cases so I can come torture myself for a day!
>
> I sure hope riders linger in the stops, taking time to visit with and thank volunteers they encounter. I felt guilty with valet services set up to take my bike, water bottles, and anything else I may need so that I might relax and refresh. Heartfelt thanks go out to folks behind the scenes and on the front lines. Makes the pain and suffering of this day somewhat bearable. If only there were volunteers to ride my bike and transport me to the top of Rancheria Wall and Ft Ross Rd…
>
>
> Thanks again for a wonderful day.
>
> Regards,
> Tom Milton
> MCM Selle An-Atomica, Inc.
> 707.372.6540
>
> PS: 100+ ride photos are posted here: http://picasaweb.google.com/SelleTom/2009TerribleTwo#

Matt said...

I met Tom at the La Wheelmen's annual x-mas day ride in 2006. We quickly became friends and kept in touch thereafter. He was without a doubt, one of the most interesting people I have ever met while cycling.

Tom, my friend, you will be missed!

Regards,

Matt & Jeni Turgeon

Garth Powell said...

Chuck,

It's such a tragic loss....He was such an kind and exceptional person.

I met Tom four years ago during my first doubles season. We rode the last 40 miles of the Solvang fall Double together, and it was the highlight of my day! He was a wealth of information on all things to do with distance cycling and he became a mentor who would encourage and always help with any advice he could when we'd see each other on the doubles circuits or through occasional e-mail exchanges.

On that first ride I was overjoyed to find a riding partner who kept a brisk pace, but that was just easy enough to allow us to chat when we weren't climbing. We were both engineers by day, but we spent nearly two hours deconstructing James Joyce and other heady literature on that ride (my kind of people)!

He was also very congratulatory that I'd just completed my first California Triple Crown. I ask how many he'd racked up so far, and he explained that on a good year he'd ride EVERY DOUBLE ON THE CTC SCHEDULE!

Tom said "oh, anyone could do it - the most challenging thing is working out the time to do that around family and work.".....unbelievable.

Though I saw him last at the 2009 Terrible Two, the vision of Tom I will never shake is what a phenomenal descender he was! At the 2008 Central Coast Double, I watched him SCREAM down Santa Rosa Creek Road while I tapped my brakes and dodged and maneuvered the craters and reverse cambers of one of the CTC's worst technical descents.

Many know of Tom through his products of course, the saddles he made were not only works of art but the only thing that kept some ultra-distance riders from abandoning cycling!

He will be missed.

Rest in Peace Tom

Garth Powell
Santa Rosa Cycling Club

Chuck Bramwell said...

Mike Berry wrote on the San Diego Rando e-mail list:

"The following is an excerpt from the Rivendell Web site and written by Grant. Tom
rode in our Dudley's 300K in 2009.

Mike



Tom Milton of Selle An-Atomica saddles comes by once a month or so to get another set of wheels by Rich here, and was by about four days ago to pick up another set, his fifth. You know what's coming. About halfway thru Saturday's local Devil Mountain Double Century, as tough and hilly as double centuries get, Tom died of a heart attack. Tom appeared to be in his late 50s, or early 60s. He was about 6-1 or so, weighed about 165, and was an experienced high-mileage rider, tackling centuries, doubles, and brevets. He looked super bicycle-fit.

Tom loved bicycle and riding, and after a career as an engineer, he set out to design the most comfortable saddle ever, and most riders who tried his Selle An-Atomica saddles will vouch for his success. I will, for sure. I believe he was working on some modifications to improve the saddles, but I don't know what they were.

It's been said and will be again that Tom died doing what he loved, and there may be some solace in that. But dead is the final, sad word.

Tom is the guy who made Brooks sit up and pay attention. Would Brook's new Imperial model, with the slot and all, have been resurrected from the early 1900s if Tom hadn't converted so many Brooks riders to Sella An-Atomica? We don't know, but I'd bet not.

Tom was the swaggery guy one who took on the King and inspired others to do it, too. No doubt Brooks's sales are at an all-time high, and good for Brooks (we R fans...). But Tom deserves credit for his contributions to comfort. A new Selle An-Atomica Titanico Clydesdale saddle is still, to my crotch, the all-time comfort king.

Tom Milton was a good guy, and he certainly made his mark. People die every second, but it's sad when you know the guy. We and many will miss him.

--
Mike Berry

"If you fit in, you won't stand out"

Clyde said...

I didn't know Tom personally. I may have riding with him on some of the 12 double centuries I have ridden since the Fall of 2006. It's hard to tell by the photo posted - we all kind'a look a bit alike with helmet and shades.

However, it was only 3 weeks ago that Tom showed up at the Easter morning breakfast at Crepes On Cole in SF at the end of the 2010 Fleche event.

My team captain pointed out to me who he was and we made eye contact at that moment. I remember seeing a tall well-dressed man with a smile on his face.

Sadly, when I road my bicycle passed the scene about 3 miles from the top of Mt. Hamilton, I heard later from one of our SAG drivers that it was the body of Tom Milton lying under that white sheet.

God bless his soul and bring comfort to all who loved and knew Tom.

I propose that we rename DMD to the Tom Milton DMD Memorial Classic. I will be in touch with Scott Halversen to suggest it.

Clyde said...

Just wanted Kitty and others to know that Bill Becker, my room share volunteer buddy showed me the saddle that Tom donated and explained that he has special plans for it. I'm sure you will hear about this at a later date.

Deb Banks said...

I was very close to Tom and just read through all of the comments posted here. Thank you all for enjoying Tom the way I did - by living a life worth living. I met Tom on the Grand Tour and we rode Mt. Tam together the same year. Somewhere between riding back to Malibu and heading up Mt Tam, we found each other. Along with friend Paul Guttenburg we three rode from Davis to LA in 3.5 days, and then after a day off, Tom and I rode the Borrego Double.

It's hard to imagine life without him, but I have to tell you that it makes it easier with all the love and fond remembrances collected here. Many thanks.

Chuck Bramwell said...

Lee Mitchell wrote on the Davis Bike Club list:

"Grupo,

Sad and glad to bring you this news. Tom Milton had an apparent heart attack on the Devil Mt. DC this last Saturday. He was helped by a rider and then the Deputies. No chance.

Known him for maybe 15 years. Always a fun guy, a wise mouth, ready to ride, a good guy to be around.

There will be a remembrance get-to-together this Saturday, 2-5 PM at the
Rominger West Winery place at 4602 Second Street, Suite 4, in Davis. Lift
a glass and salute.

I plan to break short my sag of the 600K brevet and be there. You are welcome.

Hugs now, folks, there may not be another chance. Lee"

Chuck Bramwell said...

Deb Banks wrote:

"What: A gathering of friends and family of Tom Milton's. A chance to say hello, tell stories, celebrate Tom's life and meet each other. He would want us to drink a nice glass of wine, so we'll be at a winery!

When: Saturday, May 1
Where: Rominger West Winery, in Davis CA
Time: 2-5:00 PM

How to get here:
Fly, bike or drive to Davis, CA. Davis is in between Sacramento and Oakland on the I-80 corridor.

Rominger West is at:
4602 Second Street, Suite 4
Davis, CA 95618
530.747.2044

Contact: Deb Banks 720 -933- 1252 with questions.
*****************************
debra banks
dbanks1935@mac.com"

rob hawks said...

Here is a posting I had sent to a few email lists:

At the beginning of the year, a few days before our brevet season kicked off, I got mail from Tom asking if there was still space for him. I had very briefly met Tom in San Quentin at registration for PBP in 2007, and then even more briefly on one or another of the various double centuries in Northern California. Tom attended our first brevet and had a great time riding with us. He thought so much of the experience that he wrote me a rather lengthy note to tell me how much he enjoyed the ride, the route, and especially the club. He was taken by all the new faces that came out for our first brevet, riders that he knew were brand new to randonneuring. Those riders struck him as not quite like the usual riders we see, and he thought that was fantastic. To him it signaled a broadening appeal to a kind of riding he loved. I really appreciated his feedback.

Tom came out for our second early 200km as well, and joked about not waiting to the last minute to sign up this time, but then hilariously locked his keys in his car and had to scramble to catch up with the group that departed 15 minutes ahead of him. Instead of being upset, he laughed it off, thanked the volunteers on his way out into the rain and had a great ride. By this time he was so impressed with the riders and volunteers of SFR that he signed up for several more of our rides, doing our 300km and later our 400km. Tom and Deb joined a Fleche team and one week after our 400km he was riding through the night with his team, having a great time. After each ride he would send something to me describing how much he enjoyed the ride, or something to our email list with the same theme. As RBA it is hard to describe how great it was to get his feedback. It was always appreciative, always insightful and always helpful.

We finally found ourselves on the same brevet when a little over a week ago we participated in the Davis Bike Club's 400km. Freed of my responsibilities by riding someone else's brevet I could just concentrate on riding. Tom and Deb played leapfrog with my group all day long, and for a long stretch we rode together through the Alexander Valley. Tom and Deb were really riding well that day, and you could tell they were also enjoying all the company on the ride. Tom's group left the penultimate control on that brevet just after my group arrived. A few miles down the road, our group had ice chunks and later eggs thrown at us in two separate incidents. Upon hearing this Tom sent me mail saying how sorry he was to hear of our experience, and closed with this:

"On a kinder gentler note, it was a pleasure for Deb and I to ride with you and Charlie at times Saturday.
It is always nice to see and have time to talk with folks we know more so for their volunteering and organizing
than for their riding! Thanks again for these things you guys do for us."

On this past saturday, I was again volunteering at the first rest stop on a particularly difficult double century. I saw Tom there and when I came over to say hello, Tom shook my hand and thanked me for supporting the ride.

Tom was signed up for our 600km coming up in May. I will certainly miss his presence on the ride, and certainly also miss the expected follow up message he would send with insightful, and sometimes wry comments, consistently sent with appreciation for the efforts of our volunteers.

On your next big ride, share a little of Tom's spirit, and enjoy the heck out of the ride, the work of the volunteers, and all the riders you ride with. And then tell someone about it, don't keep it to yourself.

rob hawks
sfr rba

TexasPamRides said...

I miss my friend Tom already. I miss our "lively" discussions. I miss his reinforcements to enjoy today. I miss razzing him about his engineer thinking. I miss his intelligence and humor.

I felt I was one of the lucky ones to know him starting in 2006 when after 12 failed saddles, I bought his SA 1/2 way through our LONG and first of many phone conversations. That began a friendship I'll treasure my whole life. I became his disciple and proudly so!

Opening my big mouth and telling people they were stupid if they didn't ride this saddle! Individual sales and LBS sales ensued over the next 2 years and we finally met face to face at PBP 2007. What a moment! Tom, with his wine and cheese ready to go as he dived head-first into our Texas contingent as though he was born with us.

Two years later and many test rides later, I remain as convinced today as I was in April2006 that the SA is the way to go and I am so grateful for Tom's passion, Tom's desire, Tom's engineering, Tom's never-ending quest to do something good for and with someone else.

Initially, I couldn't ride rando rides without the SA, now it's 10,000 mile years and hard to imagine not being able to call Tom and share milestones as they happen. Really hit home Tuesday night as I re-dressed my rando-bike with a new, white SA saddle and bright green tape. I wanted to send Tom another picture. Guess I'll have that feeling for a long time.

Tom, thank you. Thank you for your friendship, your kindness, your legacy. I was one of the lucky ones and I miss you.
Pam Wright, Fort Worth, TX

TexasPamRides said...

I miss my friend Tom already. I miss our "lively" discussions. I miss his reinforcements to enjoy today. I miss razzing him about his engineer thinking. I miss his intelligence and humor.

I felt I was one of the lucky ones to know him starting in 2006 when after 12 failed saddles, I bought his SA 1/2 way through our LONG and first of many phone conversations. That began a friendship I'll treasure my whole life. I became his disciple and proudly so!

Opening my big mouth and telling people they were stupid if they didn't ride this saddle! Individual sales and LBS sales ensued over the next 2 years and we finally met face to face at PBP 2007. What a moment! Tom, with his wine and cheese ready to go as he dived head-first into our Texas contingent as though he was born with us.

Two years later and many test rides later, I remain as convinced today as I was in April2006 that the SA is the way to go and I am so grateful for Tom's passion, Tom's desire, Tom's engineering, Tom's never-ending quest to do something good for and with someone else.

Initially, I couldn't ride rando rides without the SA, now it's 10,000 mile years and hard to imagine not being able to call Tom and share milestones as they happen. Really hit home Tuesday night as I re-dressed my rando-bike with a new, white SA saddle and bright green tape. I wanted to send Tom another picture. Guess I'll have that feeling for a long time.

Tom, thank you. Thank you for your friendship, your kindness, your legacy. I was one of the lucky ones and I miss you.
Pam Wright, Fort Worth, TX

barry said...

Tom pulled me around Clear Lake from Lakeport to Clear Lake Highlands one morning when the group left me in the motel. His spirit and humor allowed me to rejoin the tour. Thanks Tom.
I was in Tokyo 2 weeks ago and taking pictures of bikes. I shot one of Tom's saddles on April 15 and thought of him.

Tim Woudenberg said...

Tom-
It was good to know you. Your adventurous attitude was infectious, and uplifting. Yep, bamboo tandems, crazy stories about rescuing the oaken timbers from a barn fated to be burned... We are gonna miss you.

If there is an afterlife, I hope you've found the bike club there and are showing them how to enjoy a good bottle of wine after a long ride.

Hope to see you when I get there.

Tim

Gilbert Moore said...

I did not know Tom personally and only spoke with him once. About a year ago I noticed the claims made on the Sella An Atomica website and decided to call and ask a few probing questions before handing my money over to the maker of the "next best thing that does not work". So, I dialed the number, left a message, and figured that I never hear from anyone. A few hours later, my phone rang, and it was Tom.

Being skeptical, as I have grown to be after year of coming up on the losing end of the hunt for bike seat nirvana, I was very pointed in my questioning. I would even say I was a bit harsh for some reason. Well, it did not matter, within a few minutes Tom had disarmed me, and engaged me in a 20-minute conversation about all things bike seat related.

Needless to say, between his intellect, interest in the topic, and humility, I was sold. He was easy to talk too, engaging, and confidence inspiring, so I bought one of his saddles.

A year later, I have four (one for each bike), and I had Tom put a Selle An Atomica slit in my B-17. His saddles are great and have changed my entire cycling experience.

When I learned of his passing, I was both saddened and shocked. We need more Tom Miltons, and he will be missed. If there is any solace that I can take from this, it is that he left us while doing what he loved. We should all be so fortunate!

Moreover, we should celebrate what he has contributed to the cycling world. He still touches many of us every time we throw a leg over our bikes. Between the loss of Tom Milton and Sheldon Brown about year ago, the bicycle world is short a few of its' riches.

Just the other day, I made it a point to order another Selle An Atomica just to ensure that I had one for the future, as I have grown to depend on his products. It arrived yesterday in a nice white bag. This is the first of the five An Atomica's that I now own, which has come in this new packaging. I took it to mean that his business must have been moving in the right direction.

Then I noticed that the date of manufacture stamped on the bag ("born on Date"), was March 24th, 2010...A month earlier.

RIP Tom. You'll be missed.

Chuck Bramwell said...

I ran across a nice e-mail from Tom dated 12/09/09:

"Chuck,

I collected your lovely Hall of Fame plaques at the PO box this week. I am most appreciative of your effort to help us feel special after all the effort made to survive and enjoy so many singularly heroic cycling events. It is my pleasure to have ridden each of these and gives me pleasure to think of doing it again! Thank you for helping us aim high and reminding me to appreciate the personal achievement.

Regards,

Tom Milton"

Steffen said...

I met Tom somewhere in France during Paris-Brest-Paris 2007. We rode a while together and talked about his bamboo calfee bike. Today I remembered Tom and the P-B-P ride while checking the internet for a bamboo bike frame for myself. I am sad and speechless to see that Tom passed away.

It was nice making his acquaintance!

R.I.P. Tom

Steffen Benter
Germany