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!