“I still feel guilty leaving work or coming in late to go biking,” he said, “but I have a wife and I have a secretary who support me, and they have a different viewpoint.”
“I’d been in business for 35 years, and up until my early 50s, I had to be involved in everything,” he said. “I was convinced of that. So once I had to step away, all of the sudden I found out how much more capable my people were ... It was just me who was holding them back.”
Johnston mayor and attorney with Nyemaster Goode law firm
Catrike recumbent tricycle
Recreational trail riding
A way to enjoy Johnston’s recreational trails and spend time with her husband
Paula Dierenfeld is serious about her fitness regimen. She runs six miles many mornings, does strength training at Kosama fitness center and joins her husband, Dave Roederer, for long walks for fitness. Bicycling, she does for fun.
“We do the riding of our bicycles for leisure,” said Dierenfeld, who often can be seen with her husband tooling along Johnston’s trails on their Catrikes, which, strictly speaking are recumbent tricycles. “It’s a nice relaxing way to get out and take a ride through the wooded areas. We do it when we want to spend some leisure time together.”
Dierenfeld said the couple bought the trikes about six or seven years ago. When they began dating, both were avid runners, but after Roederer began to experience back problems, they looked at the recumbent tricycles as another way they could exercise together.
“We got a pair of those and just kind of got into it,” she said. “It was something that we could have fun on and we have really enjoyed them.”
Dierenfeld said although the city of Johnston doesn’t yet have a wellness program for its employees, “I try to lead by example and to encourage everyone to find some form of exercise that works for them.”
To that end, she started a Mayor’s Bike Ride two years ago, which local businesses support. The event is not a fundraiser, just a fun way for residents to get together and ride the city’s trail system. She said participation in the ride tripled from its first to second year.
“We’re pretty proud of the trail system in Johnston,” she said. And with recent emphasis on connecting existing trails in Central Iowa, she said, “we can literally get on our bicycles in Johnston and ride all the way to Gray’s Lake and beyond.”
Executive vice president, Middendorf Insurance Associates
Mountain bike equipped with road tires for easier pedaling on paved surfaces and a trailer bike attachment
Recreational family outings
Trent Middendorf and his wife, Sarah, of Clive, got into bicycling as a young couple when they lived in Madison, Wis., which he describes as a “heavy biking community.”
When they decided to move back to Iowa in 2006 and Trent joined his father’s insurance brokerage, “we had two little kids, so biking went into the background,” he said.
But it didn’t go out of the picture completely. “We’re both in the office all day and biking in the evening is something we enjoy,” he said. But now they ride Clive trails with two little
ones in tow. Kai, 5, rides the trailer bike with his dad. Daughter
Fiona, 3, rides in a bicycle buggy pulled behind mom’s bike.
This summer Sarah, a commercial underwriter with Chubb Insurance, is training to ride the bicycle leg of a triathlon, so she gets up early to ride as well.
Middendorf and his father recently attended a luncheon for business leaders who are interested in encouraging bicycling by employees.
for his own schedule. He needs a car to meet with clients throughout the day, and his office doesn’t have shower facilities, which he would need if he were to ride to and from work.
Chief marketing officer, Principal Financial Group Inc.
A fast and refreshing way to get to meetings downtown.
Mary O’Keefe knows that exercise and wellness are important. She’s not discounting that one bit when she says that she bikes for a very functional reason: It’s the quickest way to get around downtown.
The chief marketing officer for Principal Financial Group Inc. spends much of her week meeting with various business and community groups, often in downtown Des Moines.
So in 2010, when the B-cycle program came to downtown and a rack of B-cycles was placed right outside her office, O’Keefe was an early adopter. “The benefit to me is that it’s the fastest way to get around.” said O’Keefe. She said she can get almost anywhere she needs to be downtown in about 15 minutes, compared with the half-hour it would take her to get her car out of the garage, drive to the location of her meeting and find a place to park.
O’Keefe’s preferred forms of exercise are riding horses and walking, but as a busy executive, she doesn’t have a lot of extra time for exercise. “I could be in meetings nine hours a day,” she said, “and it’s hard to get up any earlier than 5:30 a.m. ... That‘s where every little bit helps.”
O’Keefe said she wants to model health at any fitness level. “People see a 57-year-old woman, a little overweight, who doesn’t necessarily excel at fitness,” she said. “I think it’s important to show that you can do a little bit at a time.”
There now are six B-cycle stands around downtown. The bikes come with an attached bicycle lock and have a large basket in which you can stow a purse or briefcase. “There are times I thought I should borrow a little dog,” joked O’Keefe. “Like Toto.”