Starting the day on a bike allows great freedom – I climb on my wheels and am off. No gas? Who cares! All I need are my bags strapped down, some solid, comfortable shoes, my helmet and there I go.
Mercifully, my ride to work is about 15 minutes with minimal hills. And, as Dover and much of New Hampshire is in the middle of a construction frenzy, I often fly past cars that are idling, stopped, waiting for the orange vested DOT worker to turn that sign from “STOP” to “SLOW.” Talk about power, that is one job I covet, but alas that is for another column.
My ride allows my head to clear, some fresh air to come into my brain and my thoughts to process before I begin my day. And I don’t necessarily dress for a ride, but I’m comfortable enough. Yesterday I rode in a skirt and was asked, “What? You rode in THAT?” And I replied, “Must I look like I rode my bike? I think not.” And the world is a much better place not having seen me in bike shorts.
My own world is a much better place while biking as I tend to arrive either early or precisely on time when I use two wheels. I tend never to get stuck in traffic. And that is a gift. My friend, Brian, takes his two wheels all over the Seacoast and basks in the joy of gently cycling past stopped cars. Brian never looks like he’s in a rush, and since I’ve known him, has never been late, never been sick and generally happy… must be those endorphins provided by pedaling.
Years ago, well into the last century, I lived over in Holland where people are practically birthed riding bikes. My first purchase upon setting up my life over there was a bike. I
bought a big Dutch bike, a white two-wheeler and I was off. It was easy to ride the streets of Limburg as the Dutch are known for their bike lanes. At one point, I even used a bike parking garage. That was fun. I parked and took the train to work, and at the end of the day, glided home.
And part of my cycle to work today involves a glide downhill on my way back home. That, in my world, is a stellar way to end the day, with wind in my face, a little sweat, some solid time to process my day before I head back to my family. I just glide. And bonus, I’ve get some exercise to boot.
So as I joyfully muse about my love of riding a two-wheeler, I invite you to try the bike-to-work option. And not close enough? Attach a bike rack to your car and go only half way. Too much to carry? Get a fabulous bike basket. Afraid your hair will get messed up? Invest in a new brush.
So many options, so much joy. And, oh yes, don’t forget the bell. There’s nothing like the ring of a bike’s bell to bring the levity back to life. Enjoy yours and enjoy the gentle musings of a joyful bike ride.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.