Remembering what I love in the hills of Northern Baltimore County — FranklyStein

bike rideBack before I had kids, I biked. I started riding in college to get rid of the Freshman 15 and just kept biking because I loved it.

I met my husband on Cycle Across Maryland, a weeklong trip around the state, and we started biking together. We'd ride with friends every weekend — day-long rides we'd map out ourselves as well as organized overnight rides. The summer before we got married, we biked across the country. On a trip to Germany to visit friends after several miscarriages, we rented bikes, strapped on our bags, and biked down the Mosel River Valley for a couple of days.

But after we had kids, there wasn't time to bike. We started running more. It was faster and more time efficient. Our bikes sat in the basement gathering dust and a bit of rust.

A year an a half ago, I started having heal pain (plantar fasciitis) and running hurt. So I dusted off my bike and started riding again. A friend's husband invited me to ride with a group of his friends — at 6 in the morning. I had to leave my house in the dark to meet them, but I was done in time to take the kids to school. I started remembering why I loved biking so much.

This past weekend, I went on an organized ride with a couple of my biking friends. We rode 65 miles — the longest I've ridden since that trip down the Mosel River nearly 20 years ago. It was hilly and hard but an amazing ride and a beautiful day. I felt like I'd found a piece of myself again.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 17, Lilly, 16, Adam, 16, and Jonah, 11.