Tom “Plow” Schuler is one of the best-known personalities in Wisconsin cycling. From his role organizing the Tour of America’s Dairyland and his annual Bone Ride suffer-fest ride between Milwaukee and Madison and back to his signature spring lilacs on the handlebars, pretty much everyone has a story about Tom.
Our 2018 Sports Inductee to the Wisconsin Bicycling Hall of Fame, we were extra excited to have Tom’s friend and former 7-Eleven teammate Bob “Bobke” Roll as our special guest for the festivities. Bobke shared stories from his days racing in Europe with Plow on the 7-Eleven Team, the first U.S. team to race in the Tour de France, in 1986. If you have read the book, Team 7-Eleven: How an Unsung Band of American Cyclists Took on the World and Won, you will remember Bob Roll was a standout character in a team of unlikely cycling stars. He was in great form to honor his friend that night.
Schuler was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 2007 and would have earned a spot in the Wisconsin Bicycling Hall of Fame if he did nothing more than co-found the 7-Eleven Cycling team with Jim Ochowicz in 1981. But after he retired from racing, he has continued to have a positive impact on cycling, at the local, state, national and world level.
While Schuler is a Michigan native, he has spent the last 30 plus years in Wisconsin managing teams and athletes with his firm Team Sports Inc. He has mentored more than 40 athletes who have gone on to compete in the Olympics and won national and world championships. A father of three, Schuler now lives in Milwaukee and has also helped promote the sport in the region as a partner in the Tour of America’s Dairyland and Intelligentsia Cup.
Although he has raced against legends like Bernard Hinault and won the 1987 US Pro Road Championship, Schuler remains one of the most humble and likable icons in the sport of cycling. A self-described “lifer,” Schuler still rides his bike from his Milwaukee home to his office, organizes the infamous “Bone Ride” from Milwaukee to Madison for lunch and back, and organizes a host of top-class races and charity rides.