17 days into a cycling tour across the United States, Tom Napa was pedalling through the longest, most hypnotizing sections of America's interior. He was only halfway to his final destination, but keeping him on track were daily and hourly mental landmarks. 3,848 miles (6,193 kilometres), chipped away a little bit at a time. He had started in Everett, Washington and was going all the way to the pocket of New Hampshire's Atlantic coast, in the town of Rye.
He hadn't always been a long-distance cyclist, though. Napa was born in Toronto and grew up in an Estonian household that moved across Canada, until 1964, when his family emigrated to Seattle. After studying at the University of Washington, he worked as a Senior Accountant for Deloitte and, at the end of his career, as CFO of Precor, the company that invented the elliptical trainer.
Though this invention catapulted the company into around 160 million USD of revenue, Precor was eventually sold by their parent company, which led to Napa retiring 21 years ago. At this time, he was already a fitness enthusiast. However, cycling hobbyists at work convinced him that the sport was something social and well-paired with his love of travelling.
Written by Vincent Teetsov, Toronto