On the go

Linden Ponds’ 108-acre campus is perfect for this lifelong cyclist

Created date

September 24th, 2019
Franz Wolff says he stays physically fit by riding his bike around Linden Ponds about five days a week.

Franz Wolff says he stays physically fit by riding his bike around Linden Ponds about five days a week. 

Franz Wolff’s Linden Ponds neighbors will tell you he’s got the energy of someone far younger. That may be in part because Franz spends a lot of time riding his bike around Linden Ponds’ campus.

“I ride three to five times a week during good weather. Even in bad weather, I’m out there,” Franz says. “I prefer that exercise as compared to going in the [fitness center].”

Franz has enjoyed riding his bike since he was a child. In junior high, he rode his bike each day to his job on a farm. When he was busy working and raising his children, he wasn’t able to ride as much, but he’s been able to get back to it in retirement. And he says Linden Ponds, with its picturesque grounds and vibrant ambience, is the perfect location for taking a leisurely bike ride.

Cheerful place, friendly people

“I always see other people and see things going on. When you’re out riding, you see your friends, and you can wave to them or stop and talk,” Franz says. “It’s a cheerful place with friendly people.”

Franz and his late wife moved to Linden Ponds in 2008. They initially retired in Florida, but they moved back to the Boston area to be closer to their three children. When his wife became ill, Franz says they began looking for a retirement community that would offer support services, and ultimately, decided on Linden Ponds. 

“It’s been a very good choice,” he says. “She passed away eight years ago, and I found new friends and activities and was able to keep going.” 

Franz has found many enriching ways to spend his days at Linden Ponds. He takes a watercolor painting class and writes for the resident newsletter Life at Linden Ponds. He’s active in the resident-run Jewish group, of which he is a past president. He also served for eight years on the Resident Advisory Council, an important and influential committee that serves as a liaison between community members and management. 

“There’s a support system here—not just from the medical center but also from friends,” Franz says. “You meet people and get to know them over time, and you realize what a neat group we have here.”

Feeling good for the future

One of Franz’s favorite activities at Linden Ponds is a men’s discussion group that meets every Monday morning. Members take turns researching different topics and then report back their findings to the group. 

Over the summer, Franz was preparing a talk on whether older adults these days hope to live to 100. During his research, he contacted individuals who were approaching their one-hundredth birthdays and a few who had already celebrated the milestone. Franz says that, by and large, people do hope to reach a century here on Earth.

“The verdict is if people feel good and see a future, most people would like to live that long,” Franz says.