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Harpoon Point to Point Champion (May)

May 29, 2009

Last month, we chatted with Wendy Brothers, team leader of the Johnson State College Harpoon Point to Point cycling team. This month we spoke to Bob Schermer, dedicated Vermont Foodbank volunteer and Harpoon Point to Point cyclist. In 2008, Bob was awarded as the oldest rider of the 110-mile HP2P ride.

Here’s what Bob had to say…

Last year you were awarded as the oldest rider to complete the 110 mile ride. How old are you, and how long have you been riding the Point to Point?
I turned 66 in April. Last year was my first Point to Point, which I undertook with the support and encouragement of my son-in-law, Jason Reed, who has done the ride for the last 6 years. Through the pre-ride celebration at the Vermont Foodbank in Barre, I became more familiar with the mission of the food bank thanks to a friendly tour by Patrick Gilbert.

What brought you to cycling and why do you enjoy it?
I had always enjoyed running and still try to fit in a couple of miles of swimming each week. On the advice of my doctors following back surgery, I gave up running and wanted to find a source of exercise that would allow me to enjoy the Vermont countryside. I find that recreational cycling offers me the same peace of mind as running while being easier on my back.

What is your favorite leg of the ride?
I especially enjoy the scenery on route 12 between Bethel and Woodstock; although the route has some of the longer climbs, it also offers some great, extended downhills. I must also admit, however, that my favorite downhill is the final descent to the Harpoon Brewery in anticipation of a hot shower, great food, and entertainment….and a personal goal accomplished.

Why do you feel it is important to support the Vermont Foodbank? How often do you volunteer there?
Even in the best of economic times, many Vermont individuals and families struggle to afford nutritious food. Now, of course, the need to combat hunger and malnutrition is even greater. The Foodbank helps by distributing food throughout the State and turning donated produce into pre-packaged, nutritious meals. A side-effect of this effort is that surplus produce that might otherwise be discarded is put to good use.
My wife and I are both retired and try to donate our time one day each week to further the programs at the Foodbank through office work and food preparation and sorting. We have one daughter who lives in Arizona, so we also donate time to the St. Mary’s Foodbank Alliance in Phoenix when we’re visiting there.

What is your favorite Harpoon beer to drink at the end of the ride?
Quite honestly, the Harpoon root beer! While on a relaxing, warm summer day, I might enjoy an India Pale Ale, both exhaustion and age after 110 miles of cycling lead me to prefer a soft drink.

>> Check out Bob’s fundraising page on FirstGiving.com

>> More at www.harpoonbrewery.com/pointtopoint

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