Join Today

Tom Haunty (above right) and Joe Mamayek (above left) have been friends since they were students at Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay, WI. Since then, Tom has made his home in Middleton, WI, and is now a senior partner at a respected financial planning firm. Joe moved to Boston, MA, and is now a design principal and VP at a successful architecture firm. This year they’re getting together again to take on the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Ride Across Wisconsin (RAW)!


An important bond Tom and Joe have shared since early in their friendship is a drive to embrace physical challenges. In high school they were both on the track team and shared other athletic interests. 

Now they challenge themselves through events such as the Ride Across Wisconsin. The 2024 edition of RAW will be Tom’s third and Joe’s first. 

Tom smiles at the end of his first Ride Across Wisconsin.

Joe is no stranger to cycling challenges. He’s taken on the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb four times (See image at the top of the page on the right of Joe on what’s called the toughest hill climb in the U.S.) The race features a 7.6-mile route with an average grade of 12% — the grade the last 50 yards is 22%! (Editor’s note: Cripes!) Joe has also finished the two-day, 190-mile Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) three times.

Joe takes in the breathtaking scenery during one of his 190-mile Massachusetts rides.

So, what inspired you to take on the 2024 RAW?

Tom: “I only started cycling in 2015 and was encouraged by more experienced riders to take on the challenge of RAW. Joe is an experienced rider with more base miles – he has even climbed Mt. Washington, so I’ll be chasing him. The opposite was true 42+ years ago when I led him around high school track practices — or at least that’s how I remember it!”

Joe: “Anytime I get a chance to beat Tom, I’ll jump on it! Honestly, Tom reached out and I feel honored to ride with him in our home state.”

What are your highlights of past epic rides, and what do you look forward to about being part of this year’s RAW?

Tom: “I enjoy meeting new cyclists on the ride and the hours of good conversation. I’ve enjoyed learning how to paceline, riding with the wind 25 m.p.h.+, leading a paceline, and having the strength and endurance to finish. One particular highlight for me is starting out in the pitch black, with the cool morning air riding out from the Dells.”

Joe: “It’s the sights, the sounds, the awesome landscapes, but most of all, getting to know the personalities of other riders and having conversations that lead to new friendships.”

“Another cool thing that brings Tom and me together is the fact that we both have sons with special needs. My son, Whitman, is an inspiration. He has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) and is mildly involved with the syndrome. Although non-verbal, his receptive language is very good. He can communicate with anyone. He’ll ride for hours in the neighborhood making social connections with the neighbors and kids. He’s the unofficial ‘mayor’ of Melrose!”

Joe and his son Whitman pause during a ride together at home in Melrose.

“The freedom on the bike gives Whit a super level of confidence that can be seen in his attitude/emotional state — he just radiates with pride. He’s an extremely strong rider and will often join me on 20-mile road/trail rides. Certainly, these moments allow me to reflect on the opportunities (not the challenges/liabilities) and to find that balance that is so needed in life.”

Why should others, regardless of age, take on this Wisconsin cycling challenge?

Tom: “It’s an opportunity to train and get into real top shape to make it through RAW.”

Joe: “This type of epic ride allows for a better awareness of self, your machine and your environment. In cycling, there’s a sense of freedom, which is seldom felt to the same degree in other activities — embrace it and get lost in the fun!”

Joe and Tom with riding friends – Tom (in fluorescent yellow jersey) and Joe (in white jersey) ready for the road.

Both of you are taking advantage of the benefits of the VIP registration for RAW. Why participate as a VIP?

Joe: “This will be a challenging ride, so any convenience in comfort or ease in transitions from point-to-point will be greatly appreciated.”

Tom: “The RAW VIP service is awesome, and I can concentrate on riding and not on trip logistics. Plus, the funds raised from VIP registrations benefit the cycling advocacy work of the Bike Fed.”

Why is supporting the Wisconsin Bike Fed important to you?

Tom: “Cycling has been the single biggest catalyst for my improving health. I want everyone to experience the fitness, friendships and freedom of cycling.”

Joe: “It’s very important to support an organization like the Bike Fed as it promotes bike awareness and safety throughout the state. For me, it also speaks to the sustainability/resiliency of our communities.”

“Simply put, it allows diverse experiences, knowledge sharing of history + place, and it promotes deep and authentic connections with people and their communities.”

Bike Fed Note: Our thanks to Tom and Joe for providing inspiration (and laughs along the way while sharing their stories and photos with us!), plus talented Bike Fed member/volunteer writer Doug Freeman for preparing this online story, of how two great friends can take on an epic challenge…together.

Do you want to learn more about Ride Across Wisconsin and how you can create incredible memories?

Visit, invite a friend, register to participate, and start training!