Tom Milton
The Tom Milton Memorial AED Fund
Tom Milton
As many of you know, tragedy struck April 24th, 2010 on the Devil Mountain Double. While climbing the back side of Hamilton, approximately 140 miles into a very hard double, Tom Milton went into cardiac arrest and died. Tom had been inducted into the Triple Crown Hall of Fame just the September before in recognition of completing 50 doubles in the series. I knew Tom for many years. He was always kind, and always had a big smile on his face. He was also very generous. The night before he passed away, he came into registration, handed over one of his superb saddles in TDF yellow (Tom had a passion for creating the ultimate long-distance saddle - I believe he succeeded), and asked that it be given to a worthy volunteer. This is not the first time he had done so with the Quackcyclists, and I learned subsequently that we were just one of many recipients of his kindness and generosity.

At Tom's memorial service I heard an idea that I have decided to pursue. There is a relatively new product available to the consumer known as an AED. AED is short for Automated External Defibrillator. I first learned of the product a few years ago when taking a CPR class. Today you will often see them in conspicuous public places (The most recent place I saw one was while disembarking a ride at Disneyland.) Almost anyone with minimal training can use the device in an emergency. Essentially, if you think someone is having a heart attack, you turn on the AED and it will walk you through the rest. The AED is advanced enough that it can actually determine if defibrillation is the correct course of action. CPR provides limited blood flow to vital organs, but it is next to impossible to restart the heart without a defibrillator.

At this point, I don't know which AED would be best for our situation. They seem to range in price between $1,100 and $3,000. If any of you have information that would help determine an appropriate unit, I would definitely appreciate your input. Just for planning purposes, I'm hoping that we could get one for under $1,500. Between Devil Mountain Double and Knoxville Fall Classic, the Quackcyclists have approximately 400 entries each year. If on the average each applicant contributed an extra $4, there would be enough to purchase one AED. As I'm sure most of you are aware, most double-century courses travel remote roads (this is of course by design) and having an AED in a SAG vehicle could be significant. Any of you that have ridden more than a few doubles are also probably aware that there is one SAG vehicle that always seems to be there -- of course I speak of Lee Mitchell and his Bikevan. If we can get the funds, I would recommend that the first AED go to Lee to become a permanent part of his support system. If as a group we are able to do more, perhaps we could put together a kit containing one or more AED's that could be passed around from ride to ride that would enable multiple SAG vehicles to be so equiped. Of course there is no guarantee that an AED would be in the right place at the right time, but I do know that several riders were with Tom performing CPR and that Lee was there shortly after he went down. There is no way to know that it would have made a difference in Tom's case, but it could have, and therefore I am pursuing this idea in Tom's memory.

There is a spot on the entry form where you can indicate the amount you would like, if any, to go towards the fund. Together perhaps we can make a difference. Thank you for your consideration.

Scott Halversen

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