Easterseals 100 Featured Rider: Rick Diefenderfer

Rick has been cycling since 2016.

He states that his favorite part of cycling is the cardio, and shares that “in 2011, the doctors found that I had 2 blockages, 95% and 90%. Cycling allows me the cardio that I need without the punishment on my knees and feet.”

Rick has been involved with Easterseals for 7 years. He started cycling for his health, but has used it to give back to the community! Specifically, he has used it to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Autism.

He shares this amazing story from his cycling journey:

“I travel extensively for my work.  Three years ago I came home from one of my trips and told my wife we had to talk.  She looked at me as if I was going to say I was leaving her.  Bad delivery on my part.  I quickly stated that, for three months I had developed a burning drive to give back.  Specifically a need to join the fight against Autism. She asked me how I was going to do that. I said that I would like to be an inspiration for others to give via riding my bicycle from Santa Monica to Manhattan. She reminded me that, although I had a bike, I haven’t ridden it in over20 years.  So, I trained for a year. 

Then I told my 80 year old mother that I was going on a coast to coast bicycle ride, she said that I was crazy and going to end up killing myself.  She wouldn’t talk to me for 3 months.  Once I started my ride, I had to call her every night to tell her I was doing well.  Two weeks into the ride I get a call from a newspaper reporter from my home town that wanted to do a story on the ride.  My mother, now proud of her son, went to the newspaper and told them of the journey.  From not talking to me to my biggest supporter.

We set up a donation page on Easterseals website.  We posted our progress everyday.  It took 34 days and we raised $18,000.”

Thank you to Rick for your dedication to the mission of Easterseals!

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