Cyclist of the Month: Tom Mayer

2007 is just around the corner; New Year’s resolutions are not far away. Tom Mayer has a fitness plan that can inspire anyone, whether you are preparing for your first Cascade Affiliated International Tour or qualifying for the National Senior Games.

Age: 63
Occupation: joyfully retired librarian administrator for Snohomish County
Hometown: Stockton, CA
Alma Mater: Western Washington, University of Washington, Cal Berkeley
Residence: Edmonds, WA
Bike: Seven Titanium

How did you become involved in Cascade Bicycle Club?
I joined around 2000; in 2001, I tried a group ride, after experiencing much anxiety, but I loved it. My cycling took a quantum leap riding with others.

What was your anxiety?
You show up for your first ride feeling not worthy. Can I ride with the group? Can I ride the pace? You discover you can, it’s all really fun.

The MUMPS ride was my first Club activity – with Don and Ellen – who were very supportive. Until then, I had ridden only with my wife, Jeanne Thorsen.

What have you gained from your membership?
Friendships from riding together…the camaraderie is what I enjoy the most. I am in awe of the people who volunteer and work for the Club.

Any volunteer or community activities?
I’ve lead some of the CTS [Cascade Training Series] rides, some MUMPS rides, and, last year, the HPC [High Performance Cycling started by Tom Meloy] every other Thursday.

I flipped pancakes for the Edmonds Bicycle Advisory Group [] at the start of the Kitsap Color Classic this year. Now, I go to their monthly meetings.

How did you and Jeanne start cycling?
We’ve been riding together for 12 – 15 years. We were both runners. When my knees blew up, I started riding more and she joined me.

When you can hear your knees when you walk down the stairs, you know it’s time to quit [running]. So far, I’ve been able to ride pain free. In good weather, I ride 200 – 250 miles per week.

And in poor weather?
We’re doing Cycle U.’s InCycling 201 Class – a five-month series of indoor spin classes at Magnuson Park. It’s the first winter that I’ve moved indoors.

We also belong to Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds. I avoid riding in the wet; being retired, I can avoid the weather. This year, I did not want to fight; the prospect of getting fitter through the class is very appealing to me.

Fitness is a core part of your lifestyle then?
I’m a gym rat. I go three to four times per week. I do weights and the occasional spin class. This year, I competed in the Senior Games in Olympia.

Tell us more about the Senior Games.
I heard about the Senior Games from a friend who competes in Tucson every year. Each state holds regional competitions; in Washington – Port Angeles, Seattle, Olympia, and I’m sure the east side host Games. Olympia was the official site where you can qualify for the National Games Championships.

Games are open to anyone over 50 – male or female. I competed in the 2005 National Games when it was very small and informal; this year, it was much more crowded. In 2007, National Games Championships will be held in Louisville, KY; in 2009, Nationals will be in the Bay Area.

How did you compete?
I rode the 5k and 10k time trials; I did not ride the 40k road race because it was raining (do you see a theme?!). There’s a criterium, but I don’t do those because I dislike the sight of blood.

I got whipped by a bunch of 60 and 61 year olds, and I missed a turn in the 10k.

What are your favorite rides?
There’s no pretty way to get out of the burbs into Snohomish Valley. Often, I head to Logboom Park; we just rode Whidbey Island last week. Anything where we go fast (“fast” is a very relative term!)

We did the Cascade New Zealand tour earlier this year and it was, by far, our best trip. We‘re investigating the 2007 Cascade International Tours. Next year, we plan to ride Bryce and Zion.

We like to be pampered when we tour; sleeping and eating well is a priority. The best ride is one where you ride real hard, stay warm and dry, and sleep in your own bed at night.

When people ask me what I do, I tell them “I ride my bike.”

Start your New Year’s training early. Learn more about the Senior Games at: and Cycle University’s InCycling 201 and other classes can be found at:

Send comments and nominations for cyclist of the month to: