Tom Kattus aka TK
What attracted you to Eliel?
Before the first BWR I did, Ryan approached me with a special BWR kit that Eliel made for the event. It was the day before and I was a bit skeptical about wearing a brand new kit that I had never worn, on an epic 132 mile day; I threw caution to the wind and went for it. It was the best fitting and most comfortable kit I had ever worn. Pair that with the amazing and fun crew that make up the Team at Eliel, and there's no turning back!
What about bikes brings you joy?
The lifelong friends I've made while riding. Sharing epic rides and exploring new territories and terrains with my friends. Using my bike to raise awareness and funds for many great charities. The fitness and endorphin highs the bike brings me. And for sure, the stability of my mental health the bike helps me to maintain.
How does riding make you a better person?
Riding helps me maintain balance, both mentally and physically. I think riding helps me set a good example for others, i.e. through my charity work on the bike, the etiquette I follow when I ride, the friendly vibe I foster, and the love I do my best to spread. I mean heck, my nickname is the Pope; I need to live up to some high standards.
Which rider inspires you the most?
Now that's a loaded question, there are so many! The first person that came to mind, is Andre Kajlich. I met Andre at Malibu Gran Fondo several years ago when he rolled up next to me on his Hand-Cycle; Andre has no legs, he's all heart! This guy was unreal, he was rolling along with us at 30 mph, and crushed it all day. He and I became friends and he stayed at my house for a week before he started RAAM. He's the first solo Hand Cyclist to complete RAAM, but most importantly, he's kind, he's generous and he's a great human being. He inspires me!
What are your goals for the future? On and off the bike...
On the bike, I want to continue to positively impact peoples lives through the charities I support and through my actions. I also want to stay healthy and continue to explore the world on two wheels with friends and family.
Off the bike I want to continue to contribute to making the world a kinder and more inclusive place to live. The divided world we live in right now is not healthy. I strive to be more tolerant of those that don't see the world through my lens. Love, caring and kindness need to win, and I believe they will.
What is important to you?
Family, friends, a healthy earth, my fellow human beings, wellbeing. Helping those in need and spreading kindness and love as far and wide as I can. Being there for those that are in need, whatever that need may be.
In that pack of skateboarding, surfing, BMXers you see hanging out by the beach is a kid who will someday become a favorite rider in the pack you ride with. So be careful making generalizations.
Tom Kattus was that grom who surfed every day and rode a skateboard around town. And, were it not for a life changing diagnosis as a Type 1 diabetic, who knows where his life would taken him? Instead, it lead him to the bicycle. That’s when he briefly became that dude who shows up for a local club ride wearing cut-offs and Vans and stays with the leaders on the Sunday ride. It didn’t take long before he was hooked on the sport of bike racing and became the lycra-clad rider attacking off the front.
As a bike racer, he learned the technical side of cycling. Designed and patented The BreakAway Bar. Which lead to a long career in the cycling industry with Cannondale, Zoot, and Campagnolo.
But with a T-1 diagnosis of his own and a cancer diagnosis in his family, he felt there had to be more to cycling than selling the bikes. He liked the power that the bicycle has to raise money to help people. As a member of the Pablove Foundation board and a founding member of the Michael P. Nosco Foundation board, he has been able to help create cycling-oriented fundraising rides to benefit families impacted by life-threatening disease or injury. (We’re proud to say that The Breakfast Burrito Ride raises funds for both foundation.) He also founded the Campy Holiday Ride/Toy Drive to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego which collects truckloads of toys for hospital-bound children.