We were delighted that Terry could be a Polka Dot sponsor of the 2021 Richard’s Ride event, organized by the Richard Tom Foundation on October 9th, here in Vermont. Richard’s Ride brings the Vermont cycling community together to celebrate Richard’s life, as well as our shared enthusiasm for cycling and all that it adds to our lives.
The event offered something for everyone, from short family rides to quite challenging gravel rides, and plenty of options in between. The weather cooperated fully too, providing great conditions for cycling in an unusually warm October.
Several members of “Team Terry” participated, opting for different rides to enjoy some wonderful fall cycling on Vermont’s beautiful back roads.
All roads led back to Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond, Vermont, with plenty of sustenance provided by generous sponsors and volunteers, ready to revive hungry riders.
On the way there were options to explore paved road or gravel routes from 15 to 70 miles, with serious climbs thrown in. Trail lovers could opt for a 10k or 20k technical MTB ride, following Cochran’s challenging trails and single track, while kids and families had a selection of short but scenic rides to choose from.
The Richard Tom Foundation was created to promote the joy of cycling, and safer roads
The story behind the Foundation begins in 2015, when Richard’s loss sent shockwaves through Vermont’s cycling community, and far beyond. The Foundation’s website does not dwell on that tragedy, instead focusing on the legacy of generosity, kindness, and love of cycling that Richard Tom left behind.
Tom Broido explains more about the Richard Tom Foundation’s mission and programs
The Richard Tom Foundation (RTF) was founded in 2015, and has become an integral part of Vermont cycling in a short period of time. There are several factors which have resulted in RTF’s success:
The first is because Richard Tom was such a loved and respected member of our cycling community. From decades of leading cycling tours, and being a knowledgeable bike shop staff member, he was well known and appreciated. RTF has embraced Richard’s joy of cycling and boundless energy, to create a foundation where the many aspects of cycling culture can interact and result in positive change.
RTF’s efforts result in getting people on bikes who otherwise would not have the means to do so. This ranges from school age kids receiving scholarships to attend mountain bike camps, to individuals receiving bikes for transportation and recreation via our Bikes For Friends program, in partnership with local bike shops.
We also support the local race community by supporting local youth racers, and being the Title Sponsor of the Richard Tom Foundation Burlington Criterium, which caps off the final day of the Green Mountain Stage Race, the long running and largest Pro/Am stage race east of the Mississippi.
In the middle of the Criterium race day, RTF puts on the free Kids’ Crit where 9-11 year olds can ride the closed course in downtown Burlington!
RTF’s support and partnership with Local Motion works to make roads safe for all who use them, and to run their Bike Smart program bringing bikes to schools to teach children how to ride safely.
Richard’s Ride is our annual fundraiser and is a unique event due to the number of different types of riding opportunities offered. With 70, 30, 15 and 5 mile road rides, there is something for everyone, from hammerheads to families.
A 40 & 50 mile unsupported and unmarked gravel ride attracts those seeking a bit more adventure on Vermont’s quiet dirt roads. The ride is staged out of Cochran’s Ski Area, a community mainstay where our riders can also enjoy mountain bike trails right from the base lodge.
Richard’s Ride is supported and sponsored by many local businesses who also supply the many Vermont products providing rider nutrition.
The success of Richard’s Ride, and RTF as a whole, grows from this community spirit, the essence of Richard Tom: road racers, gravel riders, mountain bikers, casual riders, families and local businesses can all get together and enjoy being outdoors in Vermont and spending time together!
The Richard Tom Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of cyclists of all ages. They strive to ensure that resources are readily available for everyone to discover the adventure and joy of cycling.
RTF also supports educational and advocacy programs to advance the cause of safe roads for all who use them.
For more information please visit the Richard Tom Foundation website.
John Williams says
Excellent article – thanks so much!