Happy Birthday bellecycle!
You know the story - my niece, my glass of red wine, the evening slipping away in Amsterdam and the idea born to start an instagram account. “You like bikes,” my niece said, “Why don’t you focus on that.”
Well Happy Birthday bellecycle. Exactly two years ago, that first photo was sent off into the world and began a community of sharing around the bicycle. I had no roadmap, just a curiosity about where my bicycle can take me . . . how many miles, how many countries, how many adventure . And in two years, you’ve followed me through New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York, and further afield in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Belgium. In two years, we have shared 5700 miles on four different bicycles, and it has brought countless new adventures onto the horizon. One such adventure, taking me into the next two years is my position of Bicycle Mayor of Keene.
The Bicycle Mayor program, like bellecycle, started in Amsterdam in 2016. The program, run by BYCS, engages cycling leaders from around the world, people who are committed to promoting a future with happier, healthier cycling citizens. Currently, there are bicycle mayors in: The United States, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, India, Lebanon and The Netherlands. We are connected globally, bringing a world of innovation home. We foster ideas and share opportunities for success and innovation. Bicycle Mayors are committed to the challenging goal of having 50% of all city travel done by bike by 2030, and we do it mile by mile. We celebrate small victories, like receiving a grant for 50 helmets for children. And we share gold-medal victories, like providing earthquake relief efforts by bicycle in Mexico when vehicles could not get through. There are a million answers to the question “Where can the bicycle take us?” Simply start answering. For me, 2018 will bring a world of opportunity as I follow the points on my compass.
I’m headed north into Canada. Starting in Montreal, I’ll load up on pastry in the form of kouign amann from the Pâtisserie Au Kouign Amann. With buttered fingers, I’ll meet up with my friends at Fitz and Follwell Co. for another bike tour of the city and steal another lap on the Formula One track. I’ll soak up the awesome attitude of this great city, wandering in search of the best and the newest while clinging to countless old standards. After Montreal, I may slide into the great expanse of Canada and explore a few more cities and open spaces before dipping back into the United States, headed west.
Ultimately, the car stops in Seattle, where I’m eager to explore the city and its surrounds and feel the pulse of the place. I’ll search for its essence in coffee, culture and cuisine riding out in the early morning when the sleep of Sunday lingers over most of the city. I’ll live locally, settle in and reach out. Before Seattle, and after Canada, I imagine a few dozen pins to add to the map where I can stretch my legs out for a ride. Mackinac Island looks like a little piece of two-wheeled heaven and might be a sweet little stop over along with Glacier National Park and its untampered and untamed beauty.
My 2018 compass will be set east, toward Einbeck, Germany, possibly adding additional countries to my bucket list. I am in love with the hope of riding in the green mists and rains of Scotland and Ireland, and will always be in love with Denmark. These eastern destinations allow me to revel in the priceless beauty of being able to step off of a plane, grab a bicycle and be largely, if not entirely, on supported infrastructure and facilities granting me the freedom to focus on the amazing joy found in every passing mile.
Pointing south, I’ll count miles in New York, Massachusetts, and Washington DC. I’ll take out a bike, perhaps as early as next weekend, and I’ll ride at home, in sweet New Hampshire, if the snow and ice and truly freezing cold melt away at some point.
Growing a lot over the past two years, I will continue to maintain the bellecycle devotion to sharing the world over the handlebars. I am hopeful, that in some small way, that this site supports the infinite potential of your two-wheeled plans. Bellecycle is commuting, and running errands, and exploring with my husband and family. This blog is about taking time off to get on the bike, pushing my wheels into new neighborhoods and along greater distances. Bellecycle adds organized rides into my year such as Orchard Hill Breadwork’s infamous Dirty Pizza Ride, Boston’s Midnight Marathon Ride and Farm to Fork Fondo. It celebrates the food and drink of life with the best donuts, coffee, chocolate, beer, pizza and general awesomeness. Whether I am taking in the night air of the big city, foraging for delectibles or exploring the old and madly loved rail trails in New Hampshire, I am bellecycle. I love to ride, and I am dedicated to sharing the journey.
Thank you for taking a moment to celebrate these past two years. Let’s keep asking ourselves, “Where can the bicycle take us?”