Most people are intensely happy when the weather turns warm; they grab a hat, a lounge chair and head to the beach with a good book. Me? I pull my bike out of storage, grab my helmet and my kindle and start peddling. I think of it as destination reading; a fabulous way to read more and stay healthy.
So, where do I bike ? Since I live in NYC, I bike a lot on the streets. I’ll be honest, cycling in Manhattan is not for the timid. When the thought first popped into my head, I envisioned sitting upright on my bike, smiling, nodding hello to fellow bikers and all the while taking in the city sights.
As it turns out, it’s not quite that peaceful, it’s more like a video game, where all these obstacles surprise the avatar; like signs popping up and beams dropping, but there are no popping signs and no dropping beams in New York, instead it’s aggressive cars, vendor carts and construction detours. I know… it’s not the most philosophical experience and it’s challenging, but what’s a NYC biker to do? Not Bike?
I’m actually making it sound worse than it is. In spite of it all, it’s fun. But sometimes I do crave the other kind of biking- the Disney version, where I can relax and enjoy the day. The fix, I jump on a train to Princeton NJ where I have biking buddies and we wear our selves out cycling the nearby neighborhoods and the Princeton campus.
It’s easy to lose track of time. but when our stomachs start complaining, we lunch at our favorite restaurant -“A Taste of Mexico”. If you like Mexican food and you are ever in the area, try it -the food is delicious and healthy, and if not too hot, the outdoor tables are great. It doesn’t get more perfect for me! Confession: My reading is mostly on the train ride on these days, but that’s still 2 plus hours round-trip.
Although I try to be healthy, I’m completely invested in the 20% 80% rule. That’s 80% trying my best to do it right and the other 20%? Anything goes. I have a weakness for Starbucks. I can’t resist the vanilla bean scones or the chocolate madeleines and I adore anything pumpkin, so their pumpkin scones are always calling my name this time of year.
Now, what do I read? Any book you would take on vacation or to the beach is perfect. Two of my recent favorites were “A Fall Of Marigolds by Susan Meissner; an emotional story that parallels two NYC events that take place a century apart, and for mystery lovers, “The Woman in Cabin 10” by Edith Ware. It’s a good suspenseful who-done-it mystery. I haven’t see the movie yet, but I also loved “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins- a fast pasted excellent thriller.
I don’t bike much when the temps drop below 40(ish) so I’ll be sad when December rolls around and the bike goes back in storage. But reading is an anytime, anywhere activity so all is not lost. I feel empowered and inspired when I combine my love of biking with my love of reading. The enjoyment keeps getting better. As we say at PBR- Just Read.