You Can’ t Buy Happiness, But You Can Buy A Bike

You Can’ t Buy Happiness, But You Can Buy A Bike, And That’s Pretty Close

by Susan Sonnenschein,
Naples Pathways Coalition, Board of Directors

Biking, even though the word has been co-opted by motorcyclists, with visions of gnarly leather and big boots, it still means riding a bicycle to me! Cycling, on the other hand, which has a more serious, spandex image, is the current term used by younger generations.

Whatever you care to call it, biking is joy. Plain and simple. Since the beginning of the pandemic many adults have been reintroduced to the joy of biking because it’s a safe, outdoor activity. Bikes are in such high demand these days; it’s challenging to buy a new bike. Safety from COVID-19 is not the real reason biking has continued to be such a popular activity. It’s because of the joy, the feel-good endorphins, the exercise, the Vitamin D, the sunshine, the scenery, the simplicity of having no plan other than moving our bodies in the fresh air.

Biking certainly isn’t a new activity, but it’s wonderful to see so many people rediscovering how much they enjoy biking – and there are an abundance of different styles of biking. Depending upon where you live in Collier County your bike and type of biking may be very different from mine. Some have those big, sturdy, town bikes, often with cute dogs sitting demurely in a basket. There are many types of road bikes with differing degrees of skinny tires; then there are bikes with wider, knobbier tires that can get through the terrain in places like Fakahatchee Strand. There are even three-wheeled bikes that are perfect for people whose balance is not great. Personally, I have a Class 1 pedal-assist E-Bike, which allowed me to bike shortly after having Achilles tendon surgery. My safe bike routes are carefully planned so as to avoid busy roads and use safe crosswalks.

In Collier County it’s legal to bike on the sidewalk, but you must yield to pedestrians. One of my favorite loops incorporates riding
through Freedom Park, then east and back west on the sidewalk on Golden Gate Parkway to the north entrance of Gordon River
Greenway to the Naples Airport. Sometimes it’s fun to stop and watch the planes take off. There are always some old timers hanging
out to tell you about the details of some of the planes. Return route is via Baker Park, followed by coffee on Central Avenue at Narrative Coffee. I’m a fan of biking with a goal, whether it be coffee or a library trip or a quick stop at the Saturday morning Farmers Market. Whichever the route, just getting outdoors in beautiful Naples is happiness that money can’t buy.

The addition of a safe, paved multi-use pathway, Paradise Coast Trail, will be a game changer! Yes, I’m a cheerleader for great bike
trails that connect our residents to the outdoors. It may be awhile before I’ll be biking on the Paradise Coast Trail. In the meantime,
I’ll continue to enjoy the beauty of biking, wherever it takes me. I invite you to learn more about Naples Pathways Coalition by visiting our website: And please join us for a fun upcoming event:

March 13, 2022 – 16th Annual Naples Bike Brunch at Lowdermilk Park. A fundraiser bike ride with 62, 40, 20, and 5 or 10 mile routes to choose from and a great after party with a delicious food, beer, raffles, and more at the finish.



For more information about these events, to volunteer, or learn about sponsorship opportunities, please email: or call 239.777.7718.

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