No stopping in sight
Ann-Marie Richard turned 83 on June 8, and in celebration she rode her bicycle 83 miles. She started the tradition of biking every mile for every year at 60. At the time, she lived in her native Massachusetts and biked from Princeton to Oxford, about 25-30 miles.
“At first I just wanted to see if I could do it,” Richard said.
She began with short trips, then she rode to Oxford and drove back, and eventually took her bike for the round trip. She moved to Rugby more than a decade ago to be closer to her daughter, Caroline Doucette. People were concerned about her cycling and expressed this to Doucette, but Richard kept biking as often as she could.
Richard received her first bike when she was 16.
“I remember it was blue,” she said. “It was kind of funny. After I moved to Rugby one of my neighbors was selling some stuff, and I found a bike just like (that) one … and I got it.”
Richard doesn’t use it for her long rides. For those she uses a 21-speed bike.
Richard was concerned about this year’s ride. She had health issues earlier, which improved, but prevented her from training much. The lack of preparation didn’t slow the active octogenarian much. Richard biked 30 miles each for two days and 23 miles on the third.
“I drank 22 12-ounce bottles of Gatorade to get me through it. I could be a commercial for them,” Richard chuckled.
Richard expressed interest in starting a fundraiser for charity in the future.
“I think it would be great if I could get people to pledge money, maybe a dollar per mile, and donate it to charity,” she said.
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