Bickford is a graduate of Lawrence High School in Fairfield, Maine where he began his climb to stardom under the direction of his late Coach, David F.Martin. He then went on to Northeastern University and was elected to the Northeastern University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991. He was also inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. Bickford still holds the Maine 2 mile record, with a time of 9:09.5, which he set in 1975 at the Dartmouth Invitational. In 1977, Bickford set and still holds one of Northeastern University's longest standing track records in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, with a time of 8:33.6.