Zen and the art of bicycling to work

( CNN) No possession of my childhood bestowed more freedom to me than my bicycle.

The circumference of my life on any devoted day increased tenfold when I traded in pedestrianism for pedals. On weekdays, I would ride 2 miles each way to school in Baltimore on my beloved Orioles-colored orange and black Team Murray BMX. On weekends, I tore it up it up with a Goonies-like tribe of friends taking over the neighborhood with our wheels and collective imagination. Occasionally, I would rise before the daybreak and take long, thrilling solo rides through virtually empty city streets that smelled like fresh bread, and liberty.

When my spouse and I moved to New York, I commuted to work on a Dahon Boardwalk D8 folding bicycle that fit under our tiny dining room table in our tiny East Village studio. I pedaled in the different regions of the narrow waist of Manhattan island though Greenwich Village and up along the Hudson River, parking it under the desk of my cubicle at Random House.

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