FAIRFIELD, CA (BRAIN)—Tom Milton, the man behind the Selle An-Atomica road saddle, died on Sunday while riding the Devil Mountain Double century in the Bay Area. Milton was 56 years old.
Several riders attempted giving him CPR as did paramedics, but Milton didn’t respond. Milton may have died of a heart attack, authorities said.
“He was famous for bending ears,” said Larry Black, founder of Maryland’s Mt. Airy Bicycles & Fitness, who met him six years ago at a California bike show. “We were one of the first adopters of his saddle.”
Milton wasn’t only a third generation engineer, but also an avid cyclist. In 2008 Milton completed 11 California double century events, rode from Sacramento to L.A. a couple times and did 600 miles in four days.
Milton’s saddle patent (7,341,308) published in 2008 (filed in 2005) improved a molded leather bicycle saddle by providing a carefully designed slot between the nose of the saddle and the rear of the seat portion.
Selle An-Atomica completed its first year in limited release October 2005. The saddles were ridden an estimated 800,000 – 1,200,000 miles by consumers. Although Milton’s office was in Northern California, his saddles were made in Wisconsin.
What made the saddle so special was Milton himself. “Tom’s pitch,” Black said. “He had the pitch. He was convincing.”
For more on the life of Milton be sure to read the May 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.