Tommy’s bike ride from Samohi in 1987, revisited


The playing field and gym at Samohi, where Tom began his bike ride in the spring of 1987

In an earlier post, I described a bike ride Tommy took as part of his PE class during the spring of his senior year in high school. At the time, he drew me a map of his planned route, which took him from the gym at Santa Monica High School north to Will Rogers State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains, and then back to the Samohi gym. I published the map and discussed it in an earlier post. Here’s the link:

I often think of Tom on that bike ride, navigating the sunny streets of Santa Monica. It’s an appropriately carefree image for a boy who approached the world with an adventurous and light-hearted spirit.

Carlyle Avenue in Santa Monica, on Tommy’s route to Will Rogers State Park.

By the time of his ride to Will Rogers, Tom was an experienced and avid cyclist. When he was 14 years old, Tom had saved up his money and bought a Miyata mountain bike. From that time forward, bicycles were an important part of his life

He rode his bike with real skill (and sometimes hair-raising bravado), but the most impressive aspect was his skill as a bicycle repairman. He could literally perform any repair on his bike, no matter how complex. At age 14, he already had the ability and confidence to take his entire bike apart — including the gears and bearings — and then reassemble it.

As a student at Cal State Northridge, Tom worked as a repair person at the university bike shop. After graduating from the university, Tom started his own bike repair business in San Luis Obispo.

Advertising flyer for Tom’s bike repair business in San Luis Obispo.

Tommy eventually followed a much different career path,  but bicycles remained important to him for the rest of his life. He spent many happy hours riding on the streets and through the mountains of southern California.











One thought on “Tommy’s bike ride from Samohi in 1987, revisited

  1. I love that story of his ride a lot Greg.  I did it many times but I used to go through Santa Monica Canyon up to Sunset.  I can’t imagine doing that today. It’s quite a climb.Fred

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