Naperville resident looks to help kids bike their way to success

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“As a kid, I had so much fun biking with my dad in the forest preserves. It’s why I got into biking because it’s something I want to do in college and have fun in general. I feel like kids should have those opportunities to get out when their parent can’t take them,” said Bike Club Instructor Varun Vaid.

Recent Naperville North graduate Varun Vaid wants to share his enjoyment and knowledge of bike riding with local youths who want to get outside in the summer but may lack the guidance or opportunity. Now he’s giving kids ages 9-13 a fun experience spending time outdoors and grow their interest in cycling. Baid started The Biking Club this summer, where he rides with kids on local trails like Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve, Green Valley, and Whalen Lake.

“I just love seeing kids who are already friends, and they’re making new friends and getting the chance to have all these play dates and get outside and do all these things they wouldn’t normally have the chance to do,” said Vaid.

Promoting fun while biking

Vaid will take the kids out for bike rides for about five to six miles in groups of up to six participants. In addition, the rides themselves, playing games like football and ultimate frisbee along the way will also be on the docket. Like so many, the COVID-19 pandemic had a prominent impact when Vaid was a freshman at Naperville North, keeping him quarantined in his home for extended periods of time. He wants to keep kids out of the same predicament and promote exercise and movement.

“I spent so much time inside, and I don’t remember any of it. So, I want kids to be able to reflect on things they did as a kid,” Vaid recalled.

Staying active is key

Being active and participating in athletics has been an important part of Varun’s life beyond bike riding. Vaid was a Naperville North boys water polo team member for several years, including being named a captain of the Huskies’ State qualifying team this spring

Classes take place in the evening all summer from 5 pm to 6:30, and you can sign up on the Biking Club website. No matter how many kids sign up or how far the rides will go, Vaid is hoping to make sure the kids make this summer as memorable as possible.

“My parents always signed me up for these random camps, and I remember having so much fun. You realize that the world isn’t all that serious. It’s not full of crazy people doing crazy things.” It can be as simple as going on a bike ride in the forest preserve, and that’s just something you look back on for a very long time,” said Vaid.

If all goes well, Vaid hopes to return to teaching the Bike Club next summer, but in the meantime, the former Huskie is ready to hit the trails over the next two months.

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