Its a long time ago (28 years to be exact)...
Joe Tosi had just retired from his day job (working for the State of CT) and was trying to get into peak form for the nationals that year, with his sights set on the time trial. A long way of saying he was training quite a bit. While out riding, a tractor trailer passed by very close. But worse, the levers that swing up from the underside to give a footing I believe for those doing work on the trailer were not secured. A lever was up, it caught him, and when the truck passed, he was pushed in front of the rear wheels and died instantly.
For those who knew him, and for all of New England (and New York area too) cycling this was a devestating loss. Joe was an increadible ambasador for bicycle racing and cycling in general. He spent countless hours providing coaching and tips to everyone who came his way. He had regular rides from his house, and he was encouraging to those who were both great and those who were mere wannabies such as myself; and he treated everyone with respect regardless of their talents.
For a great reference to Joe Tosi, read the introduction to Peter Nye's Hearts of Lions. The introduction has a quote from him that provided the title of the book.
While many of us "know the secret", others may not; Bicycle Racing on the track in the early part of the 20th century was unbelievably popular throughout the world, and the American Riders were the best. Many of the folks on this list are part of this heritage (Ted Ernst). Others enjoyed "one degree seperation" from these riders of legend and were mentored by people who learned from the masters of that special time.
So if your not up to speed on this, read Hearts of Lions, get Jeff Groman's book on the 6 day races, and relish in the notion that bicycle racing was once one of the top spectator sports in America.
Mike Kone in Boulder CO USA
> So, painful though it must be to relate it, what happened to Joe Tosi?
\r?\n> Charles Andrews
\r?\n> Los Angeles