Do you like bike riding? We do! Last week we traveled to Central Park in Manhattan to ride bikes with Mike Richter from the New York Rangers. Richter was the goalie for the 1994 Stanley Cup-winning New York Rangers and he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. These days he is also the spokesman for the Great Cycle Challenge. The Great Cycle Challenge is a fundraiser to help children with cancer. He is encouraging everyone to participate in this challenge, and if you want more information visit greatcyclechallenge.com
We had an opportunity to speak with him before our bike ride began. Of course we wanted to know how it felt to win the Stanley Cup. Mike said that winning the Stanley Cup felt better than he had ever imagined! When it was Mike’s turn to take home the Stanley Cup, he put it right next to him in bed, and put it under the covers. He said he acted like it was a human being. Hailing a cab in New York City with the cup under his arm the next day, someone passed him on the street and asked if that was the real Stanley Cup.
When we asked who his favorite New York Rangers player is now, he answered that it was Henrik Lundqvist and Ryan McDonagh. Mike also has an award named after him, the Mike Richter Award, and it is awarded to the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. He said he was honored to have an award named after him and he thinks it is amazing.
At around age 40, Mike did something else amazing. He went back to finish college! We asked him how it felt going to Yale University at age 40. He told us it’s never too late to go back to school and learn. He also said that he wasn’t even the oldest person there. Mike went back to college because he was drafted to the NHL before he could finish at the University of Wisconsin. He never finished so he went back to college to get his degree.
After we interviewed Mike, it was time to bike. We biked around the Lower Loop bike path in Central Park. At one point, Mike had to set off in another direction because he had another interview to get to, but we kept on biking. We rode past the big reservoir in the park, and we rode past the big carousel. It was very cool. We made our way back to the beginning of the loop and hopped off there. We walked our bikes up a hill, and put them back where we had rented them before. What a fun day we had, and it inspired us to take part in the Great Cycle Challenge.