Rx: take one bike ride as needed for anxiety/stress
On January 2nd of this year, I took my 13 year old samoyed, Khyber, for fiber optic- guided laparoscopic laser surgery at the University of Florida’s School of Veterinary Medicine. I had anticipated 2-3 day trip, but poor Khyber had complications that required emergency major abdominal surgery, and I ended up staying in Gainesville for an entire week
I had packed a folding bike in my van at the last minute, although I didn’t think that I would have occasion to use it. It’s lightweight and folds up small, so it was no trouble.
The UF Veterinary School is a world class facility, with state of the art veterinary care. I cannot say enough good things about them. Although I was in Gainesville while the undergraduates were still on vacation, I was pleased to see that the bicycle racks at the veterinary school were all in use, and I remarked on that. The veterinary surgeon who handled my dog’s care, and his intern, as it turned out, are both bicycle riders. They recommended some local trails and encouraged me to get out and ride. My dog was in excellent hands, and was too doped up on post-surgery methadone to have much response to my presence. And my anxiety and restlessness weren’t helping. The doc (vet in this case) was right. When there is nothing you can do but wait and worry, a good bike ride is a an excellent prescription!
I headed out on my little folder, a Downtube Nova, through the nearly deserted UF campus and around town. The day was cold, clear, and beautiful. It felt good to ride.
I was charmed by the funky, eclectic decor.
My kind of place!
I bought a Mr. Goodbike T-shirt and a purple Knog lock. The staff were pleasant, friendly and helpful.
I had not previously thought about it, but realized that, to me, a bike shop is a comfortable, feel-good place, like a local coffee shop or a bar or hardware store or diner is for some people. And a bike ride to a bike shop is a double dose of feel-good.
My dog made an excellent recovery. As for me, I wouldn’t underestimate the value of a therapeutic bike ride. Take one as needed.