Road biking serves as relaxing pastime for alumnus

October 22, 2015 — by Trevor Leung

For Class of 2013 graduate Todd Nguyen, who attends the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, biking has become a refuge from the pressure and stress of college.

He took up the sport at a young age under the influence of his uncle, who worked at a large bike company.

“I started biking a lot more after college started to stay in shape and [to] relieve some stress,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen has done both mountain biking and road biking, but favors road biking as he finds it to be more scenic and more satisfying.

“Road biking is pretty cool because you get to see a lot of things on your ride,” Nguyen said. “You notice more of your surroundings when you're biking as opposed to driving, and you can pretty much stop anytime if you want to check something out.”

As much as he loves biking, though, Nguyen has found it difficult to pursue his favorite pastime.

“With [college] being so hectic, it is hard to get time to bike,” Nguyen said. “I have not really biked [since] the beginning of the year.”

During breaks, however, it’s a different story. When Nguyen comes back home, he goes on bike rides with his high school pals, such as  class of 2013 graduate Chad Nachiappan and senior Naveed Riaziat.

“Biking is more fun with other people,” Nguyen said. “Going around with others feels more purposeful than going by yourself.”

Last summer, Nguyen, Riaziat and Nachiappan took a roughly 20-mile bike ride to Stanford University and back. The trip took about four hours.

“[Nguyen]’s really into biking, so he had pushed for it for a while,” Riaziat said. “[Nguyen] had done a lot more biking so he was very confident and supporting of the younger kids.”

The trip was challenging for all of them except Nachiappan, who does triathlons, and the three supported one another to complete the journey.

“[Nguyen] actually helped me out at the end because I crashed and got a giant gash on my leg about three miles from home, so he sprayed it with his first aid kit,” Riaziat said.

The three all found the trip to be worth the effort and time.

“It was challenging but lots of fun. The views, helping each other and talking on the way there made it worth it,” Riaziat said.

Nguyen has also biked to places like Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County.

“Overall, I find biking to be very satisfying,” Nguyen. “I just enjoy pedaling to new places and seeing new things.”


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