Richard with his new Firefly. © David Chiu

Richard with his new Firefly. © David Chiu

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Saturday evening more than 70 bicycle industry professionals, advocates and friends of Richard Fries came together to show their appreciation for his dedication, passion and advocacy of riding and racing bicycles.  Fries, a self-proclaimed cycling evangelist, was presented with a brand new custom built Firefly road bike at the Harpoon Brewery Tasting Room, under the guise of a fundraiser for People for Bikes.

Four months ago, Gary Thornton of Electra Bicycles and Jed Kornbluh of Sommerville Sports mentioned that Richard Fries seems to spend all of his time helping others and rarely gets the recognition that he deserves.  Thornton and Kornbluh decided to reach out to their peers, suggesting they raise money to present Fries with a new bicycle as a thank you for his continued support of all things cycling─ the response was overwhelming.  In less than five hours, they had enough donations to build Fries a custom bike, complete with S&S couplers for travel.

Pro-cyclist and long time friend of Fries, Tim Johnson, helped to surprise Richard.  Johnson was instrumental with donations, and acquiring specifications for the bike with the help of Fries’ wife and daughter.  Specs were supplied to Firefly Bicycles, based in Boston, MA, who then built the custom titanium road bike.  Parts donated by SRAM and ZIPP helped to complete the build.

Additional money collected will be donated to People for Bikes, “It’s what Richard would want”, said Thornton, “I’ve known Richard for many years and he’s always giving his time and energy to help others, whether you’re a pro, enthusiast or Best Buddies participant.”

The event also officially kicked off the 3rd Annual Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington, a 5-day 530 mile bicycle ride. The ride will depart Boston, MA on April 24th and arrive in Washington, DC on April 28th, 2013.  For more information on this event, visit

Make sure you’re subscribed to Cyclocross Magazine for Fries’s insider look at Worlds in Issue 20, coming out soon!