Len Vreeland
July 7, 1929—September 7, 2005

 

Leonard T. Vreeland, 76, of Allentown, died Sept. 7, 2005. He was the husband of Mona (Guerra) Vreeland. They were married for 15 years last February. Born in Danielsville, he was a son of the late Alonzo M. and Agnes (Binder) Vreeland. He retired from the accounting department of Bethlehem Steel Corp. During his retirement, he owned Lens Slate Roof Repair and Broken Spoke Bike Shop, Allentown. He was one of the founders of the Lehigh Valley Wheelman Association in 1961. He was a district representative for the Amateur Bicycle League of America. He was instrumental with Bob Rodale in the planning of the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. He volunteered a lot of his time and equipment to introduce children to the correct and safe way of riding and racing on a track which is continued today through the Air Products Program. On October 12, 1975, on opening day at the Velodrome, he set a new world record of 717.7 miles in 24 hours for riding a bicycle on rollers. He was involved in the planning and racing in the Race Across PA to benefit the Don Yatko Cancer Memorial Fund, where the slogan was, No Pain, No Gain. He attempted to set a record for the Trans-America Bicycle Race. He wanted to beat a previous record set by John Marino in 1978 of 13 days, 1 hour and 30 minutes. His first attempt, at the age of 50, was on June 15, 1980, when he departed from New York City with a police escort through the Holland Tunnel on his way to California. At the same time, Marino left California for New York City. On June 22, 1980, at 8:43 a.m., he met John near Florence, Kansas. On June 25, 1980, at 2:06 a.m. in Tucumcari, New Mexico, strong head winds forced Len to abort his efforts to set a new record. On June 22, 1982, at 12:00 a.m., he made his second Trans-America Bicycle Race ride. He departed from California and headed for New York City, a total of 2872 miles. He arrived in New York City on July 7, 1982, on his 52nd birthday. He had finished the journey in 14 days, setting a new world record for riding a recumbent bicycle across America. Survivors: Wife; daughters, Susan M. Yatko, Chris Garton, Sara Vreeland; stepdaughter, Melissa Sabbar; sons, Thomas, Jesse; brothers, Lawrence, Theodore, Alonzo M. Jr.; sister, Marie Vreeland; eight grandchildren.

Arrangements: David J. Boyko Funeral Home, Macungie.

Contributions: In lieu of flowers, to Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund, 19 W. Chestnut St., Macungie 18062.

Published in the Morning Call on 9/10/2005.

 




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