Tom must have been born on a bike. Some of the earliest stories of his childhood were centered around exploring the world from the seat of his two-wheeler. He earned his first wages riding a bike on a paper delivery route for The State Newspaper. During his college years, he was a bicycle delivery boy in downtown Atlanta.
When Tom became a father he discovered that he could spend quality time with his family while incorporating his passion for cycling with fundraising efforts for worthy causes. All three of our children, Rob, Ryan and Becca became his partner in these efforts. Various charities that they supported included the Tour de Cure (Juvenile Diabetes), Ms150 (Multiple Sclorosis), Hinds Feet Farm (a camp for children with brain injuries) and The Big Ride (brain injury awareness). As Tom’s wife, I had long since given up riding with Tom (he was too fast) and became the team’s cook and SAG support leader.
Tom loved to gather friends and family together to train and compete to see who could raise the most money for charitable causes. Competition for “Top Banana” was fierce but when Tom developed solicitation letters (addressed from the children) to encourage friends and family to give generously he always came out in the lead.
Tom was team captain for the BellSouth Cycling team and then, AT&T cycling team. He organized training rides, marked routes and designed the cycling jerseys. Tom would enlist sponsors to place their logos on the jerseys in exchange for donations to offset the cost of the shirts. He could be very convincing. The team participated in numerous safety fairs for the public where they demonstrated bicycle safety practices and gave away helmets to children.
Tom believed that we should live life to the fullest, each and every day. Tom’s example to family and friends was to work hard, play hard and love God and family with all your heart. His favorite mantra was the following: When life’s trials become a bit much to endure, God told us not to worry, be happy, He is in control. Keep the wind at your back and ride, baby, ride.
– Sherri Hoskins Harrison