My Heroes: You are Never Too Old to Make a Difference

One has to ask why a 75 year-old cancer survivor with two artificial hips, who continues to have a successful career in venture capital and was Vice-Chair of one of the largest American banks, isn’t relaxing and enjoying life. Yes, you won’t find Bob Frick and his wife, Barbara, living a life of leisure. Instead the twosome and their 70 year-old friend, Len Holmes, are trying to change the lives of those less fortunate one mile at a time.

Len Holmes, Barbara Frick, & Bob Frick with their Habitatmobile featuring major contributors to Cycle of Hope II

Bob and his friend, 70- year-old Len Holmes, plan to ride the 3,000 mile Lewis and Clark trail from Seaside, Oregan to St. Louis, Missouri. They departed from from Oregon June 11th. Their second day on the road, June 12th, was a 68 mile ride in the rain with the spray of water, bugs, and mud from passing logging trucks making it a wet and tough kick-off. The two are being supported by Barbara who will monitor the ride from the team vehicle over the 60+ day trip and will join the ride from time to time. They’ve named this trip  The Cycle of Hope II.

Bob and Len on a Training Ride

Why the insanity? Bob, Barbara, and Len are hoping their efforts will raise $200,000 for two houses for the Habitat for Humanity Family. It’s an organization that both Barbara and Bob have been supporting for many years, building homes for those less fortunate all around the globe. Currently, Bob sits on the board of the HFH. (See a RebelMom article featuring Habitat for Humanity)

“… I am a big believer that Habitat is an excellent way to provide decent housing for low/moderate income families in an effective and efficient way. It is not a charity in the sense that we give away houses to needy families.  Each new home owner  family invests hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their Habitat house, must pay closing costs, and  pass rigid loan underwriting standards.  We have a low level of delinquent and foreclosed loans, ” says Bob.

$30,000 check from Charles Schwab for The Cylce of Hope II. Thank you!

Back in 2008, Bob biked 3,300 miles from California to Florida with Barbara supporting the ride in the team vehicle and the two raised $90,000 for HFH. Those funds went to Habitat East Bay in the San Francisco Bay Area as will the money raised from The Cycle of Hope II.

I’ve known Bob Frick for almost a decade. He was a professor at a San Franciso university and I was a visiting student.   I remember he was an inspiration and force to be reckoned with back then… When we first met he was on crutches following a hip replacement and he told me that the following year he was planning to hike Mauna Loa (Mauna Loa is the tallest mountain in the world, but half is underwater.) with Barbara, one son and a former student.  We have continued to stay in touch and he has been very generous with his time and contacts, mentoring and advising both me and my husband, along with countless of other students and young entrepreneurs.

Prior to writing this article and just a few short weeks before his ride, Bob had surgery for a hernia

And while the athletic feats of him and his wife have impressed me (hiking and biking across England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, hiking Kilimanjaro and the base camp trail of Everest plus other adventures), it is their commitment to their family, immediate community, church, students, and the multitude of charitable institutions they support that fills me with awe.

Barbara & Bob in bicycling in the rain in England

Bob, Barbara, and Len have taught me that success is not how much money you earn but the positive changes you make in the world around you.

Thank you for being an inspiration and the ideal role-model for me and countless of others.

Interested readers can follow the Cycle of Hope’s progress or make a charitable donation at the following links:

Note from the The Cycle of Hope : “Thanks to the generosity of our top sponsors, and the rider’s personal contributions, we have secured a $100,000 challenge fund. This fund will match individual donations to the ride dollar-for-dollar until we reach our $200,000 goal.”
Cycling info and photos:
Twitter Handle: @Habitatcycle2

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One Response to My Heroes: You are Never Too Old to Make a Difference

  1. I had to look twice! She looks like nana! I could see her doing that too.great article

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