I am a Bike Club volunteer

Darryl Baskin, Associate Broker, eXp Realty

Darryl Baskin"Bike Club"

It's just two words, four letters each.

Within those eight letters are meaningful connections, empowering mentorships and a deeper meaning for students and volunteers alike.

For volunteer Darryl Baskin, it gives his busy life a deeper sense of purpose while connecting his past with a hopeful future.

Baskin volunteers at Kendall-Whittier. Like how many other Bike Club volunteers started, odd connections come from several places at once. Serendipity brought him to Bike Club. One conversation led to another which led to a chance encounter at the perfect time. That was three years ago.

At about that same time, Baskin was discovering the power of bicycles on his own with the help of his eight children. He saw first-hand the transformative power of cycling. Baskin had five kids at home and they were mostly middle-school-aged. Some of the issues that come with middle school started arising too.

"We were having various crises with the kids," said Baskin. "The coming of age stuff. Feeling confident."

Being physically active immediately benefited Baskin and his family. He saw how it improves a child's mood and self-esteem.

They went to various cycling events together. And if one sibling was not ready to go, it would impact all of them. "They started working together instead of against each other. They started helping each other organizationally in getting out the door," said Baskin.

Darryl BaskinBaskin says cycling for his family is, "the most valuable and biggest impact of anything I've done with my kids."

One of the strengths of Bike Club, says Baskin, is how it helps kids learn.

"I believe we learn from experiences around other people. These are lessons you can't sit around and instruct from a class. The observation they see from adults, not to instruct them but to ride alongside them," said Baskin.

"That's the magic of Bike Club. You unplug and you do something as an activity that helps you grow individually and socially while stepping outside your typical comfort zone."

A beautiful thing about Bike Club, says Baskin, is how it strengthens the kids emotionally.

"It provides self-confidence that helps in all facets of their lives."

As with any lesson, sometimes you don't know if what you are teaching is landing. But the act of simply being present is a lesson shared, says Baskin.

"Time with kids is so valuable," said Baskin. "Bike Club is a one-on-one experience. It fills gaps. You can't replace that stuff. It's part of how kids grow."

Baskin says many kids don't get that experience with adults. His own experience with his father was invaluable but too short.

"I had an amazing father," said Baskin. They spent time hunting and fishing. Baskin spent a lot of time simply in his dad's presence who was a preacher.

Baskin's father passed away when he was 18 years old.

"What impact did my dad have on me? When I leave the school, I'm leaving an imprint. I could be gone tomorrow. The only thing that will remain is the impact I've left on the next generation.

Children are the only thing that will live on," said Baskin.

Somedays he would tag along with his dad to the hospital where his father would minister to those sick or dying. Baskin says that his experience has helped him understand the fragility of life and the empty pursuit of wealth.

Darryl Baskin"Early in my life I became aware that one day we're here and the next day we could be gone," said Baskin.

For Baskin, Bike Club adds a deeper meaning to his life. "I don't feel like I am serving a purpose if I am just bringing home a paycheck. When I finish my day [at Bike Club] I feel I've contributed to something more than my bottom line."

Baskin says volunteering answers deeper questions about life and what it ultimately means. "When you include more meaningful goals…" Baskin paused, thinking about what Bike Club means to him.

"Bike Club is a way to put action to that meaning," said Baskin.

If you would like to put action into a deeper meaning or just spend time with kids riding bikes, please contact us.

Read more volunteer stories

Stories by: Andy Wheeler
Photography by: Melissa Lukenbaugh