In the first installment of our "Blast from the Past" blog series, we're catching up with former TPF4Y board member Damon Richards, who was on the selection committee to hire our Executive Director Laura Dodds when she came on board back in March of 2008.
Graduating in 1984 with a degree in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Damon co-founded and led Port-to-Port Consulting for 21 years before it merged with Desktop Resources to create Spectrum Technology in January of 2013. He then retired in September of that year and has since done some consulting work on IT related issues, enjoyed a lot of bicycle riding, and focused on "maintaining a passing grade in Retirement 101."
With such a passion for biking (he's completed a solo ride around lake Michigan as well as another all the way across the USA), he began volunteering with Freewheelin' Community Bikes in December 2014. As he became more involved, Damon wanted to inspire the kids to keep riding, so he added a riding requirement to the Earn-A-Bike program in the summer of 2015 and suggested training the kids to ride a century (a 100 mile bike ride) earlier this year.
"I'm expecting to take ten kids to the Rollfast Gran Fondo on September 18th in Carmel, where they will complete their first 100 mile ride," Damon said. "But the most exciting part is that the kids will be on new road bicycles that they earned through their riding efforts."
While Freewheelin' has already secured financial support from the CIBA Foundation, Rollfast, and Clif Bar & Company, the group is still in need of funding to cover expenses for their training and the event itself. If you'd like to support Damon and the students as they look forward to their first century ride, click here to make a donation.
Damon is excited to continue his involvement with Freewheelin', which now includes serving on their board as well as expanding the Century Club and developing a touring program for next year where the final activity will be a multi-day ride that includes camping. He also participates in morning runs with Back on My Feet Indianapolis and serves as a fourth grade tour leader at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May of each year.
Once they became empty nesters, Damon and his wife Susie moved downtown to the Old Northside, where they discovered their love of downtown living. They've been urbanites for four years.