On Labor Day, cycling fans will gather downtown to watch the Burlington Criterium, the last stage of the four-day Green Mountain Stage Race. Although Tom Broido of Hinesburg enjoys watching the serious racers, his focus will be on a group of children who will take part in the fifth annual Kids’ Crit, sponsored by the non-profit Richard Tom Foun-dation.
“Richard Tom was a Hinesburg resident who lost his life cycling when he was hit by a car within a mile of his home,” Broido said. “Richard was a well-known and loved member of the Vermont cycling community who worked for a dec-ade at Vermont Bicycle Tours and another decade at Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness.”
Shortly after Tom’s death in the spring of 2015, a group of roughly 200 cyclists gathered at CVU for a memorial ride. Several decided it was important to keep his memory alive and the Richard Tom Foundation was born with Broido as a member of the board of directors.
“A group of people started talking about how we should respond and what could be done,” Broido said. “It was a combination of people who wanted to honor his legacy and also promote and advocate for safe roads in Vermont and make resources available so people, particularly kids, could discover the joy and adventure of cycling.”
The foundation sponsors an annual event in May called Richard’s Ride which is designed to bring the cycling communi-ty together and to serve as the foundation’s primary fundraiser. Some of the funds are donated to Local Motion which is Vermont’s leading bicycle/pedestrian advocacy group. Other money is provided in the form of grants to kids in need so they can attend mountain bike camps at Catamount Outdoor Family Center and to Little Bellas, a non-profit organi-zation designed to help girls ages 7 to 16 realize their potential through cycling.
The Burlington Criterium is organized by the Green Mountain Bicycle Club and the Kids’ Crit is a non-competitive, free event which will take place at 12:25 p.m., between the competitive races. The event has grown since its inception and last year 60 kids took part. Broido praised Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo and former Tour de France riders Ted King and Andy Bishop for providing the lead-out for the kids. The local race team, 1K2GO, also provides assistance.
The 63-year-old Broido has been a Hinesburg resident since 1986. He uses his Masters degree in Natural Resource Planning from UVM in his job running the Vermont branch of ATC Group Services, a national environmental health and safety consulting firm. In addition to his work on the board of the Richard Tom Foundation, he helps maintain a section of the Long Trail for the Green Mountain Club and every Friday during the winter he skis with kids in the after-school program at Cochran’s Ski area. In warmer weather, he bicycles two to three times a week and close to 3,000 miles a year.
“Richard meant so much to the cycling community for many people, including me.” Broido said. “He was my go-to guy at the bike shop and he treated all customers the same whether it was a kid buying their first $200 bike or a racer choosing a $10,000 racing bike. Having an event for kids and sponsoring kids seemed like the perfect thing to do in his honor. The looks on the kids’ faces as they ride shows you everything you need to know.”