Enjoy outdoor activities this summer!

For two and a half years, the outdoors has been a sanctuary. It was relatively easy there to maintain social distancing and mask-wearing discipline could take a break.

“It has been the oasis,” noted James Hanlon, golf pro at Farms Country Club in Wallingford, at the start of the pandemic in 2020, when golf was one of the few activities not to be completely abandoned for security reasons. “People are excited to be outside.”

If more people are spending more time outdoors now due to a pandemic-driven trend, that’s not a bad development. The outdoors has a way of promoting healthy approaches.

It was the invigorating aspect of a summer vacation on Cape Cod that led Melissa Martucci to recently open a bicycle business near the Southington Linear Trail. “It was a beautiful way to explore and it was very liberating,” she told the Record-Journal.

Mel’s Bike Rental will expand weekends into summer hours after June 24, offering classic-style cruiser bikes for rent. This is an opportunity that many people might find tempting.

Barbara Coleman-Hekeler, president of the Southington Chamber of Commerce, told the RJ that the bike rental shop will be influential in ‘getting people outdoors in a healthier way, moving and doing practice.

“We’ve been so sequestered for the past two years that it’s nice to see a company come in and help people do this,” she said.

The opportunity for outdoor recreation was available before the pandemic, of course, and those in Connecticut are fortunate to find that opportunity not far away and in so many directions, be it linear trails, terrain golf, beaches, state parks or hiking trails.

The past few years have helped show the value of these opportunities and how lucky people are to have them available.