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The Wind on your Back: On Biking, Clearing the Mind, and Letting Go

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Part of a podcast series that spotlights the passions and outside-of-work lives of Metal employees. This week, Linda Hemerik shares a peek into her life.

 

Linda is an avid biker during her off-work hours, and for today’s episode, it only seemed right to conduct our interview on two rented Citibikes, weaving in and out of the chaos of lower Manhattan. With one hand gripping the handlebar and the other holding a boom mic, I headed out from 30 Vesey Street pedaling west toward the Hudson River in an attempt to keep up with Linda and hear about her two-wheeled passion.

“I think the most relevant sensation is just a feeling of freedom,” she said once I had caught up, and then casually called out, “oh, on your right, Ty” as I nearly slammed into a group of tourists. Linda cheerfully rang her bike bell and then continued, telling me that though she loves riding with her kids, she most often bikes alone, embracing both the physical and mental components of the ride. She tackles large hills with gusto, viewing the physical exertion as a metaphor for working through a difficult problem. “Once you reach the top,” she told me, “it’s so awesome to just let go.” Indeed, this summer Linda will be embarking on her first bikepacking trip (biking and camping) around the Finger Lakes in New York state.

We turned onto the Riverside Park Bike Path and the traffic noise quieted, the landscape opened up and the sunlight shimmered on the Hudson River to our left. I pulled up beside Linda where we could talk with greater ease and she explained that her love of biking originated from her experience growing up amidst Holland’s strong cycling culture. Linda and her classmates would bike to school every day, rain or shine, with some riding many miles each way. She lovingly remembers her childhood bike, a brown Raleigh, and recalled delighting in a particular ride one afternoon through the Dutch landscape, a heavy wind in her face. “The good thing about that,” she said, “if you want to keep talking about metaphors, is when you turn around, it gets really easy to get home. The wind’s on your back!”

To listen to Linda's full story, check out this week's Downtime is Uptime podcast.

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