Alpe, thanks for posting that great story (I'd never heard of Freddie before). It's well after dark here in Oz at the moment, and I'm comfortable on my couch waiting for the Tour coverage to start, but that story makes me want to grab my bike and head out for a few laps around the neighbourhood just for the fun of it.
I'm glad you guys liked it. There was a post in the racing forum about why not just hand the Tour win to the rider with the best VO2 Max, well, because sometimes human beings like Freddie come along who probably have a VO2 Max in the upper 90's, that just aren't interested in racing. And he reminds me that there's much more to a bicycle than winning races. For a lot of people it is a way of life.
Just to give an idea how far Freddie has ridden, at my peak I rode and raced 8,800 miles in one year. Pretty normal for an amateur racer or cycling die hard. A Cat 1 friend who did long rides, clocked over 12,000, which impressed me at the time. Freddie was riding over 50,000 a year in the 80's, and "down" to about 35,000 a year in his 40's.
Here's another amazing stat:Daniel Chew is a former RAAM racer and bicycling endurance athlete. He's hoping to hit 1,000,000 before he can't ride anymore, and thinks he'll get there in his late 70's. Freddie had ridden that by the age of 33, and is now somewhere around 1.5 million. He'll probably top 3 million by the time he's 75.
There's often bickering about the validity of athletes and charitable causes. I don't want to get into talking about anyone else here, so hopefully no one will. But if there ever was a person to believe in, and is true as blue, it's Freddie and his efforts to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Not trying to push anything at all here, but in the event someone does want to get involved or donate, there's a link at the bottom there.
I'm from South Jersey, just outside Philly, but have never heard of the guy.
There was the other case, though, of "Hairball Bob," who had more hair on his body than a gorilla and who road a ton of miles, but somehow always maintained his stocky build which I never figured out. And he always road atthe same pace, 18mph. He was friends with Bill, owner of Mr. Bill's Bicycles, who gave him his nickname "Hairball Bob." So your article naturally reminded me of "Hairball Bob," who I hadn't thought about for years, at least since the early 90's.
Must be the water in South Jersey. In any case, sounds like a script for Dustin Haufman and Tom Cruise.
Freddie is almost 50 and is a little stocky now, though he still rides a ton. But photos of him back in the 80's showed an extremely fit athlete. I mean, anyone hammering out back to back to back double centuries, solo, on a touring bike...
Thanks for posting, i remember reading about Freddie years ago and i was really moved. However they left out a great part of the story that was in one of the other articles on him.
Freddie is a very nice guy and people really love him. The story goes that a leading womens team was in his area and the coach called freddie asking him for a favor to lead the women on a long hard training ride early the next day.
Of course he would, but the next morning he was a no show. The women were wondering what was going on with this guy when he rolls up late and apologizes.
Apparently his sister who works late as a nurse called him at like 2am because her car wouldn't start. So he hops on his bike rides 25 miles to her car, finds the battery dead, straps the battery to his bike rides 25 miles home, charges the battery, puts it back on his bike, rides back to the car, fixes it and then rides home. By now it is daylight and he is late to the womens ride. they expect him to tell them the route and go home, but no!
Even though he has well over a hundred miles in his legs and almost no sleep, he leads them on the ride. They quoted a couple of the women saying he had to keep backing off so they could catch up. Apparently he only knew one speed, they said it was close to 25mph.
I wish they made a movie so he could receive the recognition he truly deserves, what an inspiring person. A Big thanks for starting this thread,
I wish the cycling community would pay tribute to this amazing individual.
Maybe instead of a bike to work week it could be FREDDIE HOFFMAN WEEK?
Then instead of all the negative crap we see on tv every local station could do a feel good piece on this individual who truly took lemons and made lemonade.