Tom Bruni was killed in a bike/car accident Saturday afternoon. Thoughts as
tears too powerful to hold fall before me.
For those who may not have known Tom, he was about as kind as any man could be. He had a home-based but highly popular machine shop, frame and bike shop in his Baltimore home, and a very dedicated following of customers in the region. His following approached that of a cult.
Among the things that set Tom apart from any other dealer and many fellow men was his generosity. Not just a volunteer at charitable events, not just his ability and willingness to aid other dealers who knew far less, but his ability to jump into any situation and make it better.
A former professional jeweler and industrial consultant, Bruni's love and passion for bicycles and those that love them, along with encouragement from those who knew Tom could truly 'build the better bike' drove him to start expanding his craft of building his own bikes to help others get more out of their lives.
While many of us 'mainstream' dealers bought and sold goods for our mainstay, there are many who just didn't have the time nor the desire to deal with the small things that really count, those tiny things that don't generate profits.
Tom liked those challenges. It could be midnight or 7 AM and if a customer or dealer was stuck or in trouble, Tom might just have to roll out of bed, go to the shop, and help someone out.
Tom's artistry was unprecedented in the area, and his innovations were numerous. He was never afraid to try new things or re-invent old ideas to make them better.
An unparalleled wealth of knowledge, Bruni was frequently called upon by fellow dealers and customers of all shops for answers to plaguing issues.
His innovations included one of the first and most interesting leading link front fork suspension systems, a special system to take bikes apart for travel, a swing arm that pivoted around the bottom bracket, and others too numerous to mention..
Among his noted specialties and passions were tandem bikes, triplet bikes (for three people) Special needs, women, custom fits, and travel bikes.
Tom Bruni was an avid participant in the Baltimore Kinetic sculpture races and shows, an extremely time consuming devotion that serves to help bring the sport of bicycling and the art and science of bicycle engineering to the attention of the public.
Tom was an avid bike tourist that generously donated his time and effort to organize rides for local, regional, and national clubs, and to host special events to make the world a better place for cyclist and non-cyclist alike.
Tom and wife, Theresa Spadaro were advocates for a healthier and more sustainable planet and had an uncanny ability to keep people awake in the current events and area of national, local, and global politics.
Tom was local bicycle advocate in a city that has had its challenges for our sport.
The only family member I know is Tom's dear wife Theresa Spadaro, a cyclist, advocate, supportive, dedicated, and loving wife. Theresa's an accomplished graphic artist whose work appears on the bodies of thousands of cyclists who wear the T shirts, Jerseys, and patches she has designed for many years. Her artwork and illustrations have appeared in cycling publications and she is a dedicated cycling advocate and rider.
I'll miss Tom and I'm sure we will be getting together to remember him now and forever more.
Ride On, Tom, we'll miss you.