Happy Birthday Fred!

Many of you may know the remarkable Fred Kresse, who has been a resident of Needham for almost 50 years. Among the many remarkable things Fred has done, he has been an avid cyclist and member of the Charles River Wheelmen.

Fred (middle, in blue jacket) and his entourage at around the 15 mile mark

Also pictured: John Mannix, Andy Brand, Mark Dionne, Jim Dunlea (front), Fred Kresse, Peter DiMarzio, Kayo DeOliveira, Susan Silvia

For the past decade or more, Fred has ridden his age each year on or around his birthday (October 20th). This year, with a target of 81 miles, Fred carefully trained throughout the summer, logging training rides of 50 miles a few times, and one over 60. Throughout, Fred had great support and companionship - a measure not only of the remarkably friendly and supportive cycling community, but of Fred himself, who engenders that kind of response.

This year, the original designated date was Saturday, October 1st, but with a forecast of rain and wind, Fred wisely postponed the event to the following week. So, on the morning of October 8th, Fred met eight companions in the parking lot behind Starbucks and headed out to the wilds of Dover, Westwood, Medfield, Norfolk and perhaps other towns. Fred and his posse follow pretty much the same route each year, finding creative ways to tack exactly one mile on each time. Many of his cohorts quietly (but admiringly) complain that Fred managed to choose one of the most hilly rotes possible. Indeed, the trip through Dover (Strawberry Hill) into Westwood did seem to take some gratuitous turns toward steep hills, when the natural instinct is to steer in the other direction.

This year as before, the trip was a rousing success. Fred completed the journey in under eight hours, taking a couple healthy breaks in the middle. It must be said that, though he started with eight companions, he ended with only three. The rest of us are left, huffing and puffing, aspiring to the longevity that Fred so nobly embraces.

Hale Fred! And Happy Birthday.