On July 13, Richard Vuillequez, started a 400-mile trek on his recumbent bicycle. He is 74. Why is Richard doing this? Why would anyone do this? Well, a deep-set love for the Little Theatre can inspire enough grit to move mountains, or, as the case may be, ride the Erie Canal trail, from Buffalo to Albany. Click here to learn how he's helping - and how you can help too!
Richard is riding to benefit The Little by asking members and patrons to sponsor his ride by pledging per mile. A few cents per mile will make a big difference to him out there, pedaling through the heat, humidity, bugs, bears, etc.
With your help, Richard will finish his 8-day ride, averaging 50 miles each day.
Richard is such a nice, giving guy. He loves The Little, which is why he's been training for so long so he can do this trip for us. Please consider helping out by clicking here.
Richard's Ride Timeline:
Sunday, July 13: Richard lit out from Buffalo and biked 30 miles to Lockport before stopping for lunch. He didn't need anything more than a smoothie because he was eating up miles like a recumbent road warrior. Richard's ferocity shocked even his own bike, which shed its left brakes in bravado. Who needs brakes when you have Richard? Always a man of steady caution, however, Richard thought it best to get those fixed before chewing up another 20 miles, landing him in Medina.
Monday, July 14: We didn't even hear from Richard until he had already put 20 miles behind him. He stopped for lunch in Spencerport and couldn't wait to get on the road again for Pittsford. A family man with a heart to match his iron legs, he knew who would be waiting for him there. When he rode into camp triumphant, in addition to his adoring family, several members of The Little's family, his other family, were there as well. Check out our Facebook page for pictures of that joyous encounter!
Tuesday, July 15: As he looked out of his tent, as King Richard the Lionhearted must have done, our king Richard glowered at the gathering storm clouds. Rain pelted down and lightning flashed - a challenge to our hero. But Richard's own lightning flashed back, and as soon as it was safe, he thundered down the road, devouring 20 miles in mud before his trusty recumbent slipped on the rain-washed curb, throwing him on his hip and disabling its own shifter and brake. We can only imagine the self control it took for Richard to get a lift to the next stop - Seneca Falls - for repairs. A hearty Italian dinner and two glasses of Sam Adams beer somewhat shifted his countenance and helped sooth his bruised hip. "Tomorrow," we imagine him saying to the heavens.
Wednesday, July 16: After 10 miles, Richard was going strong. He stopped to update us in Montezuma, noting the beauty of the landscape and the presence of bald eagles. We believe he found a certain kinship in these kings of the sky, as he also screams down his chosen path, independent and majestic. After 43 miles of hilly terrain behind him, Richard was glad to find respite in the tent city of Syracuse, set up at a city zoo.
Thursday, July 17: Richard woke to the roaring of lions and trumpeting of elephants as they hailed the advent of a new day. No doubt these caged beasts gloried in the freedom and physical prowess of our hero as he mounted his recumbent and tore out of there, destined for Rome. That night, the tent city hailed a new Caesar as Richard rode into camp.
Friday, July 18: Richard feasted on 40 miles on the way to Canajoharie. This was the birthplace of Susan B. Anthony, and just as she bravely and successfully fought for equality for women, Richard will bravely and successfully fight on the last 100 miles!
Saturday, July 19: Richard blazed his trail through the Mohawk Valley on his way to Schenectady, when out of nowhere, a rogue piece of wire tore a hole in his tire, rendering his trusty steed lame. Another rider helped our hero out with a new tube, and he was back on the road in no time. He rolled into camp that afternoon. The eyes of his heart were on home and hearth, but the grim, red-rimmed eyes of his head were on the hills that Saturday would bring. Never one to back down from a fight, Richard resolved to fell these giants.
Sunday, July 20: As we knew he would, Richard came to his destination, triumphant! Bugs, hills, wilderness, broken brakes, broken shifter, flat tire, sore hip, intense sun, storms, you name it. Richard beat it. 400 miles. He truly is the best.
Monday July 21: A message from Richard: Yes, I made it. Sore, very tired and happy. It was the most physically taxing thing I have ever done. With rain, mud, bugs and many hills. I have come to hate hills! But I made a lot of new friends and hopefully made a few bucks for the Little. We love this guy.
Richard and his wife Brenda live in Webster, near their children and six grandchildren.
Born in New York City, Richard ripped through school, earning a technical degree. In the 1970s, he spanned the future's horizon and started a business that harnessed the wild new phenomenon of microcomputers and digital electronics, and used them to empower students in high schools, technical schools and universities, as well as schooling tech personnel from companies around the world on how to use these newfound tools of the technological gods.
From the beginning, Richard was a force to be reckoned with.
He volunteered in the public radio and TV realm during his many years in Connecticut and New York, and served as the President of the Board of the local American Cancer Society.
Over 30 years went by, and after several businesses were started and sold, Richard and Brenda decided to leave the family homestead to be near their son Jeffrey, who lives in the Rochester area.
Richard funneled his passion for public broadcasting into WXXI, thank goodness. He is a member of WXXI and The Little's board of trustees.
Richard also serves on the Red Kettle Board for Salvation Army and has recently received an award for his volunteer services. He and Brenda also volunteer at the Webster schools, Brenda as a reading helper and Richard as a computer tutor.
Richard didn't write this - one of his fans did. He's such a great guy and he is riding for us, for The Little. Would you please consider helping him and us by supporting his ride? Please click here to help out.