Naperville Bike Club: The Joy of Riding

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The Naperville Bike Club is a relaxing, social and healthy group that enjoys riding in the country, even on the Fourth of July.

It’s the fourth of July. Many people are crowding around grills or dipping their feet in the pool. But the Naperville Bike Club is here… at the Fourth of July Century, hosted by the Joliet Bike Club.

Don Gulotta: It’s good. You see a lot of people that you road with at other events. So we meet back up with them. We meet other clubs there, also. So yeah, it’s fun.

The Club

Don Gulotta is the vice president of the Naperville Bike Club – in existence since the 1980’s.

Daryl Monge is the president. Has been for two year. And he enjoyes the easy nature of it.

Daryl Monge: There’s actually no obligations – it’s, hey, come out and ride backs, we all love it.

Dues are only 25 a person per year. Or 35 for a family. There’s roughly 120 people in the club and guests are always coming on bike rides.

Daryl Monge: Our club encourages guests, so I just showed up for a ride. And I was worried because I was just beginning to ride. And they were like, we’re riding at this speed and we’re going 20 miles or something and I’m like “Oh, no… I wonder if I can do that”

The Gear

In fact, 20 is a minor blip now, with Monge and his fellow club members recent riding 100! Something that wouldn’t be possible without the right gear.

Daryl Monge: The first thing is, is the shorts. Because it has the padding. And that makes.. (laughter) we like the padding.

And while he jokes about the padding in the shorts, the need for good equipment is real. Just like in any other sport.

Daryl Monge: You want to go out, you want to ride you want to be comfortable, you don’t want to injury anything. But that’s one of the things I like about the bicycling – one, I’m a terrible runner, never been a good runner. And also, it’s real low impact.

The clubs, as Monge says, is mostly made up from retirees. Much like Gulotta.

Don Gulotta: I started when I retired – I retired 4 years ago. So I decided to get a road bike and join the club. And experience being together with other people, going different places – you know, we go on coffee rides, go get pie somewhere, ride out into the country for 23 miles.

Daryl Monge: No matter what your age, you’re kind of growing into something new. And that’s always exciting. Like, oh man, there’s something cool – oh now I get to learn about that. So you’re really enjoying more than just the ride but learning and getting exercise and enjoying the whole thing.

Enjoying it – whether it’s 20 miles, 100 miles, on a morning in September or on the fourth of july

Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman