Tom Schneider is coming to Boston, by bike, from Chicago. There is a reason for this, but we should back up a little first. Schneider grew up in Rockland, MA on the south side of metro-Boston. Tom’s parents didn’t have a car, so he and his family rode bikes to get around. At an early age, he fell in love with physical activity, eventually doing undergrad work in Exercise and Health Sciences at UMass-Boston and then a Master’s in Sports Administration at Northwestern.
After working with kids during recess at several different Chicago Public Schools, he realized what direction he wanted his career to take.
“I saw the activity level of the kids during recess, and it’s definitely not that same as when I was their age. Most kids favor technology over movement, and they’re neglecting the activity they need every day,” he says.
Now, Tom coaches basketball and trains the athletes at one of Chicago’s college prep schools. He’s a personal trainer at the Wilmette Park District. He runs fitness clinics – both pay and pro bono – for kids throughout the city. And he spends a fair amount of time developing TRUE Fit, his education and fitness program aimed at kids of all ages.
The idea of the Chicago to Boston ride came when he and his father took a bike trip from their home in Rockland to the Martha’s Vineyard ferry and back. In total, they rode about 200 miles in 24 hours. Tom knew then that riding and conducting TRUE Fit clinics along the way would be a great way to inspire kids across the country.
That’s when our friends Tony and Julia at Velosmith stepped in to sponsor Tom, providing him a Seven to ride and some much needed expertise in long-distance riding.
Julia said, “Tom’s mission to teach kids about health and fitness is indisputable, and we’re excited to support his commitment to ride from Chicago to Boston,” said Julia. “Kids need to be active and get off their devices. Tony and I battle this with our two kids daily and we stand by Tom in his efforts to teach kids to make good decisions about food, move their bodies often, and get them pumping their muscles along the way! Tom is a motivator and mentor to adults and kids alike.”
Read more about Tom’s trip in the Chicago Tribune. Donate to the cause here.