This morning I felt stumped.
While we love the area and being closer to family, the move to New Hampshire has been tough for us both in our careers. Nash gets antsy spending 8 hours in a cubicle instead of wrenching on mountain bikes, and my jump from a content writing job (co-workers, free meals, health benefits) to a freelancer (Ikea desk, toast for lunch, talking to houseplants) has been a bit bumpy too. I’ve been pretty good at ‘staying in the chair’ to write, but some days, I do so grumpily, longing for health insurance, and wondering how to seduce editors with a well-crafted pitch instead of emailing into the void.
Today was one of those days. It was also 50 degrees, and maybe one of the last bike-friendly days of the winter. So I committed to writing more tonight, pulled up a few maps and went to explore the Monadnock region via bike.
The route was through Dublin, Harrisville and around Skatutakee Lake, then back down into Peterborough. (If you’re picturing tiny, quaint New England towns, you’re right.) At first, it was a bit of an uphill slog on a highway with an 8-inch shoulder (yikes!), but after I turned into Dublin about 10 miles in, the roads cleared out and the scenery was incredible. Hancock Rd lead me along the perimeter of two gorgeous lakes and then bombed me down a treacherously paved but gorgeous road that ran alongside the Nubanusit River.
Road biking in New England is particularly fun because it’s not that common. Most of the roads don’t have shoulders, and the pavement is like a patchwork quilt of bygone frostheaves. But the scenery swallows up any number of infrastructure flaws. As I raced through the woods next to this roaring, rocky, N.C. Wyeth-esque river, I realize that I wouldn’t trade our time in New England for anything (not even health benefits). After several miles of flying alongside the river, we split ways and I headed uphill to a gorgeous wooded farm with a rare overlook to Mt. Monadnock and the nearby region. The road was empty and silent, except for a horse stomping around in the mud nearby. My nose was running, and I felt elated.
I pushed home and arrived in my studio feeling grateful, windblown, and ready to write. In the shower, I had a few more ideas — a magazine I’d forgotten about, and an idea about tiny homes that I hadn’t explored.
Plus another article that may never get further than this blog, which is: want to fall in love with your home? Get on a bike.