Tom was an avid bike rider from an early age. At age 14 he owned a Miyata mountain bike, which he rode around town extensively, in the mountains, offroad, in the mud, and in places you wouldn’t think a bike could go. He not only rode bikes, but he fixed them, disassembled and reassembled them, and modified them. In his teens, he was making repairs and modifications to bicycles that are usually only attempted by professionals.
He rode his bike everywhere around Santa Monica and was always looking for challenging places to ride (such as muddy empty lots, parks, etc.). As he got older, he spent a lot of time in the mountains riding on fire roads and trails, some of them very marginal and challenging for biking.
Recently, when I was going through some of the letters Tom sent me years ago, I found a hand-drawn map that Tom had made for me, which was labelled “Final Bike Route.” I remember this as his final project in the spring of 1987 (although I’m not absolutely sure of the date) for his PE class at Samohi (he was a graduating senior that spring). The map shows the starting point (the boy’s gym at Samohi), and then maps the route through Santa Monica and finally to Will Rogers State Park, just north of Sunset Boulevard. Quite a ride.
Here is a description of Tom’s route to Will Rogers. Starting from the Boy’s Gym, Tom rode to Michigan Ave., then left on 7th, crossing the Santa Monica freeway on the walkway. He took 7th north to Marguerita, turned right, and took Marguerita to 14th. At 14th St. he turned right and went to Carlyle Ave., turned right and rode to 26th St. He turned left on 26th, headed north, eventually crossing San Vicente. After San Vicente, 26th curves to the right and turns into Allenford Ave. He continued on Allenford to Sunset Blvd. and turned left (west). The entrance to Will Rogers Park runs north from Sunset. Tom rode through the park, past the polo field, and down the hill to the east exit back onto Sunset Blvd. He then retraced his route back to Samohi.
When I think of Tom I often see him, in my mind’s eye, on a bike riding around the streets of Santa Monica and through the mountains, a healthy and vigorous young man, with his trademark smile and easy-going love of life. I know I speak for everybody who knew Tom when I say: we love him still and miss him dearly.