Thursday, January 29, 2009

Too soon..

To the family, I'm sorry to have found out today about Tom. I saw Tom regularly at the Wednesday night track workouts and at Edwards Health Club a few years back. Outside of him being a phenomenal biker/runner, I remember that large welcoming smile he greeted me with every time I saw him. With that large smile and a firm strong hand shake, he made you feel good about yourself...a quality that not everyone has.

We love you Tom and we miss you badly.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Video slideshow

I did the best I could with the photos I had to work with.

If you think this will work, please pass on to the rest of the list and family members.

-It was truly a labor of love, we miss him so much.

Star McAleese
Star Design/Graphic Design

NOTE: If you would like a DVD of this, Star will make them available for $10.00, to cover the cost of materials, packaging and postage. The quality will be much improved over YouTube. Email Star to order:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

From Hal Carlson

I believe there were five of us that started that 200 mile bike ride some years back, Tom, Terry, Brad, Brad's old business partner, and I. We started at 1 a.m. in the morning so we could "finish up" with the Sims Ride. Even at that time in the morning Tom was smiling and with his always positive nature helped us all finish. It was great to see him again at some of the Wednesday night track workouts this past year. Tom will truly be missed from this point forward and in my book will always be a member of the "Hammer" "Hammer" "Hammer" Club. Say Hi to Chuck for me Tom … Hal.

Our Friend Tom

My name is Brad Kampschroeder. Tom knew me as “Kampy”. He must have made it up because he is the only person who has ever called me that. Like many of you here, I came to know Tom through running and cycling. There is a bond among runners and cyclists that is tempered by long hours of training together, on countless miles of asphalt and trails. We talked about everything from our training regimen, to work, to politics, to our love lives, to the latest techno-gadgets for our bikes. I have long maintained that endurance athletes lose their sense of shame around each other. In fact, there is no bodily function that isn’t fair game for conversation during a run or ride.

It was in these long conversations that it became abundantly clear how much Tom loved his family. He always had a place in his heart for Joanne. He beamed with pride when he talked about what his kids Brad, Stevey, and Corey were up to. He was proud of their accomplishments, and stood by their side in the face of adversity. We rode the roller coaster of their growing up through Tom’s stories. By the way, I’ve got a lot of dirt on Stevey . . . something about a car.

It would sound like an exaggeration for me to say that Tom Swatek is the most generous person I have ever known. But it’s true. He would give you delicious baked goods that he made himself. Quick story: Tom always toted all his stuff around in a bag. And somewhere in that bag was sure to be an old banana. Not a banana that you or I would eat, but an over-ripened banana. He gobbled those old bananas up like candy. We said, “Dude- those bananas are barely fit to use for banana bread.” A week later Tom shows up with banana bread. The early batches were just “okay”, but they got better, and he kept bringing them. His most recent batches of banana bread were some of the best I've ever had. Then there were the “gems” he pulled from the garbage - he always had one picked out just for you. “Kampy- I thought of you when I found this,” wearing his trademark grin as he held up a bike part. “Can you believe people throw this stuff away?” Tom would give you the shirt off his back, but most of all he was generous with his time. Whether it was moving furniture, a fix-it project, or just a little moral support during a difficult time; Tom was there. When our good friend Marta Bush died, Tom would go over to play with Spencer during the weeks and months that followed. He set up an obstacle course in the basement, American Gladiator style, much to Spencer’s delight. He was even generous to his dog. When Merlot was dying, Tom sensed that she became distressed if he came home from work and left again for a long workout. Tom changed his workout schedule to a shortened run right after work so he could be at home with her, uninterrupted.

Tom was a garbage man, but he was also a renaissance man. He enjoyed music, cooking, current events, art, and science, to name a few. He was always curious, always learning, always eager to try something new. Most recently he aspired to become proficient at a European form of bicycle racing called cyclocross, which is basically racing a road bike on an off-road course with obstacles. It requires a lot of special technique and he was ready to learn.

My favorite quality of Tom’s was his acceptance of people, regardless of who they were. I honestly never heard him utter a bad word about anyone. Even when a group of us would start laying into someone who wasn’t there to defend himself . . .Tom’s contribution to the conversation? A smile and, “C’mon he isn’t that bad- he’s got some redeeming qualities.” And so it went, for the entire 14 years I knew Tom. He could find the best in a person, a reason to like everyone.

So as we gather here trying to make sense of how tragedy can take down that strong body you see in the pictures and the larger-than-life personality that went with it, I ask you to join me in resolving to be a little more like Tom. Take care of your body, take time for someone who needs you, accept people for who they are, grab hold of every day with the smile and vigor that is Tom Swatek. With a little of him in each of us, the world will surely be a better place.

Friday, January 9, 2009

We are confirmed for Ballydoyle's tonight. You will need to tell the front door that you are reserved for the Cathedral Room to avoid paying a cover charge. this is from the owner:

Jim:You and your guests are confirmed for the Cathedral Room this evening with an anticipated arrival time of 9PM. CASH BAR. Please have your guests let our doorman know that they are here for the gathering in the Cathedral Room so a Cover Charge is not assessed.I will not be in this evening, but you will have a server assigned to your group that can take drink and/or food orders.Enjoy your evening.
Warmest regards,Eve DunnDirector, Special EventsBallydoyle Irish Pub
How about meeting up at Ballydoyle's after the service to tell more stories and have a brew in honor of him. It's been said that Tom's been know to tip a few there.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Peddle stroke high and to the right

I see many people mentioning Tom's crazy peddle stroke. I don't remember how he said it happened but at some point he had broke his pelvis, I'm sure Mike will remember how. Imagine that broken pelvis and all, and he could still hammer with the best!

From Kris Hartner

Per Rich's request, here are a couple of the photos from our training ride in Madison in 2003. Sorry, aren't high res. Here are my notes from that day:

-It was June 7th, 2003. 79 mile ride. Had never ridden over 50 miles in my life.
-Androo showed up with two water bottles, no cages on his bike and nothing else to eat or drink
-Witnessed, first hand, Rich's scary habit of veering into the oncoming lane of traffic. Tom told me not to worry, that he'd seen Rich do it many times before and he hadn't been hit yet.
-Rich blew a tire at the bottom of a very steep hill and managed to maintain control of the bike. If I'm not mistaken, Tom helped Rich replace the flat.
-At the beginning of the second lap, Tom put the hammer down (I believe there was a bit too much dawdling around at the halfway break at the Mobil station for Tom's liking). I decided to go with him. Mistake! I would hang on his wheel as long as I could, he'd get a couple hundred yards ahead and then slow down until I caught back up. Then we'd hammer again. Repeat. Repeat.
-Cramped so hard with three miles to go, had to jump off my bike. Took several minutes to get back on my bike because every time I lifted my leg over the top tube, it would cramp again.
-When I finally got back, Tom was there, rested and waiting to go for a run.
-While driving home, my legs cramped so bad in the first five minutes, had to pull over, move to the back of the van and had Gary drive the rest of the way.

Tom taught me many lessons that day - nutrition, hydration, pacing, etc. But the one thing that I always thought was so cool was that he wasn't even training for IMW, he was there to be with friends and lend a helping hand. The definition of a true friend. We'll miss you Tom.

Kris Hartner

Black Dogs in the mud...from Becky Mokelke (Malecki)

One of my very favorite memories of Tommy, Uncle Tom, or Tomas was a few summers back. Anyone remember Green Valley flooded? Tom decided we should go out for our run even though it was completely mud. Before Tom's dog Merlot was really having a hard time we took her and my dog Chicago out into the overflowing river and threw sticks for the dogs until they were exhausted. Merlot and Chicago sure did have a great time!

Gosh, I just can't believe that he is gone. Just Monday he said he was going to stop by my parents house to drop off Christmas gifts for the kids. I keep thinking of all of the things Tom, his daughter Corey and my family did together, you really don't realize how interwoven your friendship has become with someone until you are the only one left standing holding the dog leash huh?

About 3 weeks ago, I called him last minute to ask him to watch my dog and of course he said no problem. I get to his house and what does he have for me but one of those dumpster gems that Jane was talking about! Cracked me up! He hands me a bottle of Dawn dish soap and says hey come look I'm finally finishing the basement bathroom!

Tom was just a good guy, never had anything bad to say, never judging anyone and always there to help. Many times when people die everyone says "oh he was such a good guy" but Tom truly was. I don't know any other way to say it. Joanne DT and I were talking tonight and she said that they just don't make 'em like Tom and I said yes they do his daughter Corey has the same heart as Tom.

God Bless you Tom and all who are missing him. Thank you for making me part of your life, I'm honored to have called you a friend.

Here you go, Tom!

I promised Tom I would embarrass him with this picture someday.

Be at peace, brother. Your running and biking family loves you.

from Tammy D

It's rare that you meet someone who seems to be truly happy all of the time. Tom radiated happiness and goodness. He will be sorely missed.

from Kathy Kent

As a good friend at the club told me...he tells his grandchildren when they are sad (that school is over or that the soccer season has ended, or that vacation is coming to an end, etc..) to not be sad that it's over, but to be happy that it happened in the first place. So, whenever something sad happens such as the loss of a friend, try not to be sad, but (as we've all stated) to be happy that Tom came into each of our lives. Pay it forward.

Photo from Star McAleese

Here is one from the Mattoon Ironman where he cheered on Mike

Newspaper article about this tragedy

from Lindsay (RedDog)

I can say that riding with Tom and the guys made me a better cyclist. I learned to love going on those rides with the guys, trying to keep up, then eventually getting faster. Tom always picked my brain on what I was doing to train for whatever the upcoming race was that I was doing. When I got my new KM40 1 week before IM FL, I got a flat on the last training ride. Tom and Brad helped me fix it, because of course I was stressed about this going into my first Ironman. Tom was always laughing, and new how to make you feel better.

I just saw Tom this fall at a cyclocross race in St. Charles. It had been a while since I have seen him, but it was just like I had last seen him yesterday. He was raving about how hard cyclocross was, but he loved it and we were talking about how cool cyclocross bikes are.

He will be greatly missed.

from Jim Bey (dogfish)

we are planning on getting all together after the service to hook up for a beer. more details to follow. i think tom would like the fact that we got together at a bar for a few beers in honor of him.

From Mike Mcaleese

I have been a Friend to Tom along time.. anyways the local paper here in Downers Grove is going to Run a article about Tom , Jan 17th I believe The Reporter would like to interview some of his friends and get some great stories about him.. If you can pass this on that would be Great... Here is Her information:

Catherine Leyden 630-589-4435 or

From Maria Roca-Bey (Squirl #2)

For the past day I haven't been able to stop thinking about Tom and how he was always smiling. I can still hear the sound of him laughing. Every time I would run into Tom, I would stop to talk to him and catch up on things. That's the kind of person Tom was, not just someone who says "hello" in passing, but a guy who always had something funny or interesting to share and he wanted to know how you were too. He truly cared about his friends. If you knew Tom at all, you were his friend.

There aren't many guys I can think of, other than Tom, who could hold their own with a bunch of chicks on trainers watching The Bachelor...

from Michelle Sims-Lisek (Squirl #1)

Thoughts of mine that stand out about Tom (forgive the repeats:)

Whoever he was with, he enjoyed. He was a weekly regular of "Spin Flicks". A pack of us (in contrast to the Nightie Night, usually all women except him) would squeeze into my tiny basement with our trainers and spin, usually watching the latest episode of The Bachelor. I can picture Tom, shoulder to shoulder with the girls, bandana on his head, watching the TV intently and grinning at our catty commentary.

He could bake. He almost always showed up for Spin Flicks with homemade brownies or another baked good- usually still warm from the oven. One time he stopped by my house a couple hours before a cookout to bring over some of his homemade goodies. He knew he would be late to the cookout, and wanted to make sure everyone would have some brownies in case he didn't get there in time.

He particularly loved hanging out with Brad, and referred to him as "Kampy".

He swept the roads for us before training rides for IMW 2002. I know several people have already mentioned this, but I have to mention it again. I think it captures the essence of Tom. Spending his weekend morning trying to keep us all safe and riding fast.

I'm honored to have had Tom as a friend, and am heartbroken that he's gone. He's a perfect example of why I feel so lucky to have this circle of friends...

photo found by Eric Ott

some pics from Brad

from Rich Jecha (Hornet)

Speaking of Pics of Tom........ When Droo and I and Kris H were training for the Wis 03 Ironman Turbo came up to sag our ride and shoot some photo's. Tom came up with us to share a great day. Of course he was ahead of the Droo and I, with Kris, .. and those two were killing each other up ahead. Turbo Took an amazing shot of Tom on the way up the hill heading into Mt Horeb (of course all by himself ahead of all of us). Typical Tom with all his idiosyncrasies (like the finger sticking out and of course the "shit eatin grin".

I thought I had that photo and looked for it for hours last night but can't find it. I know (hope) somebody's got it. Maybe someone can get ahold of Turbo and get it from him. Could be printed poster size for his wake, everyone should be able to see this one. What say you Brad?

from Kris Hartner

I have the photo - I'll forward it to everyone tonight when I get home. It's good that Tom smiled a lot, because I know there
weren't many happy expressions coming from my face during that training ride in Madison!
As I've been telling our employees the bad news, even though some of them didn't know him really well,
they all said basicallyl the same thing "he was always in a good mood and smiling."
Pretty amazing to think of all the people he touched in such a positive way, even people he only met once or twice.


from Terry Lueders

I have the same pedal stroke as Tom. Someone opened a car door on me many years ago.

Tom has helped me many times and always with that famous smile. He was there to help me on that night we start our 200 mile ride. I was in trouble at the 40 mile mark, after 15 minutes with Tom, I finished the ride.

I ran into Tom a few weeks ago. I was really happy to see him with that famous smile and concern for my well-being. I left Tom that night with a new attitude. If only I could go back in time and give Tom a hug for being such a great friend.

Terry Lueders

from Liz Attig (Kibbles)

Eric and I were reminicing last night about Tom. We remembered his pedal stroke too. How funny. Any sweeping the roads...

Tom was a great guy. I don't ever think I saw him in a bad mood. He was always smiling. For all I know, he may have had a terrible day, but he never let on when I saw him. I don't remember when I first met Tom, but it was probably on one of my first rides with the Rocket Dogs. Eric said that the first time he met Tom, he thought that he was putting on a front, with his kindness, his smile.... Obviously he got to know him and this wasn't the case, but it just goes to show that there really aren't many people like him that you meet in your lifetime. Like Kim mentioned, he was alway interested in how you were doing and what you were up to. I can still hear him saying, "Kibbles," whenever he randomly ran into me. He was probabably one of the only people that still called me that.

Great idea about the binder Jim. I was thinking that his kids probably didn't know how much his dad ment to other people, or how much he'll be missed. Sometimes you think know a person, but you only meet them or know them in a certain light. Unfortunately, sometimes you don't come to learn the full scope of who they are until they are gone. I'm sure it would mean a lot to them to hear all the kind words we have and all the great memories we share. I wanted to find a picture of Tom last night. I had a hard time processing the information and thought it would help me. I'm glad these emails got started, becuase I think its helped me even more. But the binder makes me think that maybe we could also include some photos we have of Tom. Maybe at races or at parties, or whatever. Do you have any that you could include?

from Jane Abe

Here are some pictures of Tom from when he helped the Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry move into our new office.

May they bring a big smile to your face!!!

Jane E. Abe, IOM
VP Busienss Development
Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry

from Jim Bey (Dogfish)

i have a funny story about the time i cut off a garbage truck in downers grove. i was leaving a customer and was on highland road. i pulled out in my saturn with tribey license plates and cut off this garbage truck. next thing i know, this a-hole is on my bumper honking and screaming out the window. i turned and took off down this road...there's no way a garbage truck is going to follow me down a side road going 55 mph, um...wrong.. he did. i turned into a parking lot hoping to ditch him, and sure enough he followed me in and blocked me. i kept thinking this guy is going to kick my ass, all of a sudden tom comes out of the truck and says.. "thought i was going to rough you up huh?" i remember the sigh of relief that it was tom, and laughed and ask how long we would have followed me? he said until he caught up.

i will cherish my rides with tom. i remember riding with him and he had that rear view mirror on his helmet that a lot of roadies use. everytime he would take the lead on me, if my head dropped for one second, he was gone. i thought he used that mirror to warn us about vehicles, which he did with a very strong and loud voice when he saw one, but that little bugger would get a head of you and watch your face with his eye to see if you were hurting, or trying to make a move on him. if he saw weakness, he would hammer. if he saw you hurting and trying to pass him, he would put the pedal down. he loved every minute of a ride. whether going up reservation hill or hammering down schlap, he was always smiling. Tom was a strong as an ox and although he would hammer you on a ride, he would never leave you behind. he took a lot of ribing from us tri-geeks about his roadie mirror, and he always laughed it off. but one thing is certain, he will still be watching, maybe not with his roadie mirror, but i will hear him when someone yells "car back" "car up" "CLEAR!"

i will miss you tom. you reminded me a lot of chuck carroll....someone who loved life and the people who made his life. now chuck has a running partner!

from Dave Irion (SuperDave)

Yep, it was a group effort; we all pitched in to buy Tom a pair of studded mountain bike tires for his 50th – brought on by that memorable night at Springbrook.

Tom was extremely tough. I don’t know how he could train as hard as he did with the job he had.

And he was extremely nice. I really appreciated his smiling face when he took time out of his day to visit me in the hospital last May.

One thing I remember about Tom (an odd memory) is how his right knee jutted out at the top of his peddle stroke! Tom was the only person I could identify on a bike 100 yards away. I think he said his leg got screwed up when he ran into someone’s open car door. He told me someone opened a car door on him just as he was passing a parked car, during a race I think! When he told me about this, it was like… these things happen.


from Jim Weiss

I remember that ride, it was just like you described, all of a sudden we were wondering where he went. No complaints, nothing, I couldn’t believe he kept going as long as he did.

All these stories remind me that the things we do each day are our legacy and memories that we are giving to our friends and family. That Carly Simon song “anticipation” got way overplayed for that stupid ketchup commercial, but the line in there which says “These are the good old days”, is pretty profound.

He will be missed. Hard to find a face that’s always smiling.


from Kim Weeks

Though I did not know Tom very well, my memory of him revolved around a few evenings crowded in Michelle’s basement, riding the trainers and watching The Bachelor. We did butch it up once and watch the Italian Job, but Tom seemed happy to be there no matter what was on the tube. Every time I saw him after that—even fairly recently when he stopped by the Naperville Running Co -- he was genuinely interested in what was going on in my training (or lack thereof) and took a minute to chat. You’re right, Rich, it’s hard to get your head around a tragedy like this, but I guess I am reminded of the privilege we have in our lives of knowing, if briefly, truly good people.

from Kathy Kent

I always try to ride long on my birthday (May 29) and the weather usually cooperates. This year, JoAnn and I had been riding with Tom in May on Thursday mornings, when I mentioned my birthday ride. He was excited and wanted to go. I never asked for gifts, just that people could join me for all or some of the ride. Tom couldn't make my birthday ride because of his work schedule, but when we rode on Sunday, we brought me a pair of cute pink socks and wished me a happy birthday. As my kids get older (17 and 18 years old now), Tom and I chatted about his kids and how he deals with issues like boyfriends/girlfriends sleeping over at his house. Shrub is right. Tom always gave, mostly of his time and of generosity, never asking for anything in return.

from Mark Bush (Shrub)

Last night I asked Spencer if he remembered Tom. I described Tom and we looked at a picture of the little triathlon fitted tricycle. Spencer got a big grin and asked if Tom was the guy that used to come over and play and swing me around in the blue sleeping bag. At that point I had to smile. At that point I remembered it instantly. Tom and Spencer had the basement set up like something off of the American Gladitor show. Tom had the big grin on his face. Spencer had a grin just as big. On that day, Tom made Spencer smile when Spencer needed to smile.

One thing escapes me...How did I meet Tom?

Rich Jecha (Hornet)

Story time!

So how many remember the nightie nite ride ....... it's 10 degrees out and there's 6" of fresh snow on top of ice pack out at Springbrook. Some of us a bit hesitant to venture out but Shrub calls the group to roll and we head out into the Arctic Tundra........... It was actually kind of cool. I can't remember who the whole gang was but I remember Tom for sure that night. Probably one of the only times I was ever looking at anything but his back side.

We all must have had fairly good tread on our tires, Tom, as typical was working some retreads or something. ........... Plowing through the snow and staying upright at 4 miles an hour was hard enough much less riding on slicks......... Tom couldn't keep that bike upright for 2 minutes at a time......... With a thud He'd go down and quickly saddle up again........ back down and up............ down he'd go and back up. He had to be getting beat up badly, and I'd venture a guess he wasn't sporting his typical grin at the time. One thing for sure, it was very untypical for him not to be at the head of the pack. Shrub and Irion were relentlessly pulling us along plowing through the snow and we're doing all we can to stay with these guys, heart rate about 200 and sweating like its 100 degrees........ Tom, even though handicapped was not giving up. He must have fallen 20 times. Finally He did vanish. At some point we realized he was gone and went out to try and find him ........ He'd finally had enough and checked out, car was gone.

What a trooper. I never did get a chance to ask him about that night, and what it was like working 5 hours later, bruised head to toe ....... but I do know soon after he was the proud owner of better tires........ Didn't you find him some spiked mountain bike tires for his 50th Dave?

It seems wrong that the view over the steering wheel will be the same tomorrow. The cornflakes box will be have the same logo, and the radio announcer will start his program with the same words that I'm sick of hearing. Barbara Walters has a show about some overpaid celebrity who's sick but didn't mention my garbage truck driver friend who's gone forever as he diligently and faithfully did his days work. What's wrong with this picture? I have a hard time sorting this shit out.

What I do know is that Tom was a terrific friend. He was a giver. He was an example of truly profound determination and fiber. He was a good American. He proudly stepped up to his duties as a father. He set an good example every day, ..for everyone. Something we all relate to and will no doubt carry on. Today I only wish I could have had one more chance to share a few yuks with the guy. I'd even share half of his overripe black banana this time.

Joanne DeLaTorre

Tom was more than a friend to me. He was the big brother I never had. He spent a lot of time training with me this summer helping me prepare for ironman Wisconsin. Many, many many miles. He was so generous with his time and talents. I will miss him so very much.
He was such an incredible person inside and out. He valued and loved each and every one of his family and friends. I wish you all could of seen Tom in the pool. We worked for about a year on his swim stroke. He never gave up. He dreamed of one day doing a Tri.
This is a terrible accident.


Jane Abe

What a COMPLETE BLOW to hear about Tom! Life just isn't fair and I don't understand . . so with that said . . . since we are all friends of Tom (and will miss him terribly!) can we keep one another up-to-date on info (visitation, funeral, party, a run, etc.)?

What about all those bike parts, cycling shorts and gems he found on his garbage routes! I could really use one of his fabulous brownies!!!

Is there anything we want to do in his honor?

Jane E. Abe, IOM
(Tom's old non-runner, non-cyclist friend in Naperville)

from Eric Ott

I remember running into Tom at dusk out at Greene Valley Forest Preserve. I was going for a run when all of the fireflies were out doing their thing. There was Tom, getting out for a run with his dog. Always had time for a chat...I like thiking about that good stuff.


from Rich Jecha (Hornet)

Try ....... Just try, to conjure an image of Swatek in your mind that doesn't include that big shit eatin' grin on his face. .... What a great guy........... this sucks. What a comrade! I know, nuthin's fair........ but this wreaks of it.
Great memories.......... He'll really be missed.

from Andrew Schaffner (Droo)

Those are great words Mark -- I remember Tom sweeping the corner of Normantown and 103rd one morning as everyone was coming home. He had that big grin on his face .... like he always did.

I remember running into Tom one afternoon at 7 Bridges and I asked him how his training was going. Tom had stopped running and riding one summer because his dog was dying. His dog would be upset when Tom left -- so Tom stopped leaving because he loved his dog. He was getting in little workouts after work so he didn't leave the house once he came home.

I'll miss him a lot.


from Lindsay Zucco

I am so sorry to hear this. I had run into Tom randomly at a cylcocross race this fall out in St. Charles.
We chatted about some of those great rides, and he was loving doing the cyclocross.

Shrub thanks for those great thoughts. I totally remember the wheel thing in front, and sweeping the corners on the roads.

Be safe,

from Mark Bush (Shrub)

After getting the news, I went for a swim. I did a lot of thinking. I thought of all the great bike rides and runs with Tom. It used to drive me nuts when he always had to be a half a bike wheel in front. He was incredibly kind and generous. Always giving and never asking. Marta would always offer Tom something to eat or drink after a ride and he would always pass it up and then proceed to pull out a black banana and eat it. Used to freak me out until I tasted the toxic stuff he would mix in his water bottles. When Spencer was born, Tom upfitted a tricycle into a tri-bike with behind the saddle water cages and aero bars.

My last thought summarizes Tom to me. Although the thought revolves about a Sunday ride in heat of an August morning, it speaks volumes about Tom Swatek as a person...I remember when he went out one morning and swept all the corners for one of the Sunday rides. I am sure when we all ride together again the corners will be swept and Tom will have the new routes ready to go.

From Joe Scanlon (Joecool)

I always remember how excited he got to go over to Brads house and how we would just sit there for hours talking, I am sure getting on Amy's nerves.

He never accepted anything from me or anyone else this I was always aware of, but like Mark said h gave to everyone I remember how once I said I need a hard to find part to a headset of a really old Cannondale that I could not find it anywhere.Tthe next Wednesday he had two of them and a whole lot of other weird and mismatched pieces of Cannondale parts he told me he asked a bike store on his route if they had or could get and they did have it so he got them for me and there was no charge.

I always wondered if he just took it off one of his bikes or if he drove around looking for the part.

Maybe Brad remembers this because he gave them to me at his house.

A few last thoughts.

I can still remember him at Martas funeral afterwards standing there close to Mark as we all talked afterwards. Something was very soothing to me about this. I seriously could not stop looking at him standing there. He just was ready at any given moment to do something

He knew everybodys name, he talked to everyone and was so inquisitive about what you were going race this year, how is training going....etc.....

Never a bad word came from his mouth

A true team player in the sense that there was never any smack or shit thrown around.

He was a really hard worker and even a better Dad, because he always was telling what his kids were doing.

How people like him leave early and *&^^%#)(^ live to cause more destruction does not make sense to me and never will.