Rockingham man pedals for exercise, views

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BRATTLEBORO — As 176 cyclists made their way from Brussels to Paris during the Tour de France last month, Allan Reardon was circumnavigating Vermont on his Specialized Allez bike.

"I wanted to do a ride where there was no destination. I just wanted to enjoy the sights," said the 60-year-old man from Rockingham. "I love riding in Vermont. I started up Route 5 and went through 11 of the 13 counties."

He covered 528 miles during his six-day ride around the state's border, stopping for two days in Burlington to rest.

Three weeks later, Reardon participated in the "Ride to end Hunger" that started and ended at the base of Mount Ascutney. That 100-mile course went along White River, passed Silver Lake in Barnard, and even went across the 150-year-old Cornish-Windsor covered bridge — the longest wooden covered bridge in the country.

"I figured if I'm going to be out riding, I might as well do it for a good cause. I was doing it with like-minded people, who loved to ride and cared enough to ride to help others. I enjoyed meeting riders from all over New England," Reardon stated.

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The full-time mechanic became serious about riding when he was volunteering at the Bellows Falls Bike Project seven or eight years ago. He worked on bikes in their shop and would also do things such as decorate childrens' bikes for the Fourth of July Parade in Saxtons River.

"I started to get hooked the more I rode. I liked how I got stronger and I liked how it made me feel better," said Reardon, who now bikes 150-200 miles per week.

He has also ridden to Boston and back for his daughter's graduation and even pedaled to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. last year.

"The Hall was all I could have imagined it would be when I was 7 or 8 and first wanted to go there. It was a 50-year-old dream of mine," Reardon noted. "I liked seeing the Red Sox players, like (Carlton) Fisk and (Carl) Yastrzemski, during the tour."

The next goal for Reardon is a 200-mile bicycle ride, which is also known as a Double Century.


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