Warm weather brings bicycles out of garages and onto roads. There’s one group of local cyclists waking up early each Sunday to travel town on two wheels.
Naperville resident Ryan Hayes gets pumped up to cycle the open road. Hayes moved to town about two years ago from Tennessee and immediately joined the spokes bicycling club.
“Biking is definitely a great way to get a lot of exercise, burn a lot of calories without the heavy impact of running,” said Hayes. “And it’s just fun. I mean to me it’s the most fun sport there is. So it’s a blast!”
Spokes owner and long-time Naperville resident Basil Rade is an avid cyclist himself. He started the spokes bicycling club 26 years ago when he opened his shop.
“When you ride with a group, it’s much safer. It’s more fun, you get to talk to people,” said Rade. “On a windy day, like it’s been lately, you can draft and you work together. So it makes the ride more enjoyable.”
You don’t have to be the next Lance Armstrong to join a bike group. But you do need to have a comfortable bike and all the right gear before you hit the road. Important gear includes a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated during the ride, a speedometer to keep track of how fast you’re going, a bag with spare tubes inside in case of a flat tire, and of course a helmet.
Cyclists say group bike riding isn’t about competition but about fun, friendship, and fitness.
“It’s just a great ride every weekend that we get together,” said Joe Kozak, a cyclist with the Spokes Bicycling Club. “It’s a fantastic workout, lot of exercise, lot of good people that ride together and you get into a habit and a habit of fitness just becomes a great part of the weekend.”
“You probably get in all the sports, the camaraderie with the different people but when you’re riding in a big group, you get to talk to the people while you’re riding,” said Hayes. “There’s definitely a bond that’s created because everybody is pushing it pretty hard and there’s a sense of accomplishment when you get back.”
The Spokes Bicycling Club invites all bicycling enthusiasts to join them every Sunday at 8 a.m. For more information, you can call the store at (630) 961-8222.
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