He’s a pretty badass entrepreneur with a major adventure traveling addiction and a mission to make a difference in the world. I recently had the chance to touch base with him right as he was beginning his Southern Tier Special Bike Tour from San Diego to Key West, raising awareness for the Special Olympics.
His goal is to raise $15,000 that he will then give back to the local organizations he is visiting during the ride.
This journey all started in 2014 when Tom decided to “live all out” and take the ultimate leap: quitting his job.
He opened Tom Foolery Outdoors – an adventure sporting goods store – and created a work schedule that allowed him to work remotely and follow his travel bliss wherever it may lead.
“We all only have one chance at life. For me, I wanted to be active, I wanted to have more fun with life. It’s a choice to be happy…live simply…be active. Why fall into the norm because that’s the way it’s supposed to be? I think you can do better. We all have that ability to choose it.”
He admitted that he’s never worked harder in his life than these past two years, giving up some sacrifices that a set salary might provide. But he said that he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I can go cycling all day and then work all night if I want. My idea of a day off [on this bicycle tour] is running my business remotely from a hotel room or campsite. I’m actually planning this huge event in August, but why do I have to sit in Ohio to do that?”
Now, he keeps his possessions to a minimum (mostly adventure gear) and is living up to his personal pledge to do at least one big adventure each year.
In 2015, he spent 30 days kayaking around the Florida Keys.
In 2016, the romanticism of an American-style cross-country bicycle trip called to him. He answered the call and is currently following American Cycling Association’s Southern Tier route. But that’s not all: he is stopping in each state he visits to spend time with a local Special Olympics athlete, shedding light on a cause that he is truly passionate about.
He wants to document the life and times of Special Olympics participants. And he wants to promote and inspire others to pursue adventure travel, bicycle touring and volunteer work. It’s his mission to be kind, be happy and be active – and cycling across the United States this year is just one small part of that.