It Starts With A Ride

You have 72 new notifications and 16 reminders.

We all have way too much stuff to do. Way too much. And we have way too much to manage all this stuff. Devices. Apps. LifeHacks. Blog posts containing lists of the best stuff with which to manage our stuff.

I’m no different. In real life, I’ve got seven different lists of stuff to do, categorized by what they apply too. Family. House. Work. One for the Cabal. More.

As one of the handful of people that keep the virtual Cabal churning behind the scenes, I’ll not lie to you, sometimes it wears you down. Sometimes, that list is a monster. Things to do. Things we want to do. Things we have to do.

Designate. Moderate. Update. Complicate. Notifications on top of notifications. I get jaded. I forget what started with about enough people to fill a living room is now a worldwide community of 5,000 plus. A massive Bike Commuter Cabal.

I think, “Man, this is a total drag. I just want to ride my bike.”

Be certain, I realize that no one has forced all these expectations and obligations upon me, they are all self-imposed. But I want to get so much done.

So most often, when the list is long and I should, really, be trying to address it, I usually say screw it, and go ride my bike. Wanting to ride more bike was one of the things that led me from my roots in BMX and MTB into commuting. It was a way to get on the bike more – and even justify it.

And that works. I instantly remember why I love riding my bike, to work, and everywhere else. It burns off some of the peanut butter cups. I remember that feeling of starting things up with the handful of people. And I want to share it with more people. I want more people to get it. I remember the countless online interactions I’ve had with the people who already get it, or are starting to get it, or maybe even get it because they found the Cabal.

This morning, I went out to the garage and the rear tire on the commuter was flat. I knew it would be.

Truth? I’m terrible at patching tubes. I either don’t let the cement dry long enough, don’t let the patch sit long enough, use a patch that’s too small or some combination of the three. I’d say, lifetime, my patch efficiency rating is in the low 20%. Yeah. That bad. Terrible considering I actually get paid to work on bikes sometimes. Suffice to say I’m usually a ‘use a new tube’ guy.

No time for that today though, so I took my MTB. And. It. Was. Awesome. Wheelies. Sending it off anything I could find. Like being a kid again. And all those lists and notifications and what not? Vanished. Achievement unlocked. I was reminded what I get out of riding bikes. 

Last night when I sat down at the computer to try and work on some more designs for Cabal merch for the store (list item), I got sidetracked. I got sucked in by this languishing blog and the promise of it’s use as a tool to that end – to help people get it. To help people understand what a life-changer riding your bike can be on so many levels.

It starts with a ride.

So I’ve created yet another list. The Blog. I’m now your new blog editor. No disrespect to Tom – he stepped down willingly – having succumbed to real-life and some lists of his own as well. There’s no shame in that. He even thanked me for taking the reigns back. Perhaps I should be more worried.

I’m hoping I can usher in a new era of thought and inspiration here – a lofty goal for sure – considering my current list inventory, but I hope you’ll tag along.

Whether you’re just getting started riding a bike to work, or the grocery store or – if you’re levelling up – the lumber yard, I look forward to sharing and connecting with you. I look forward to riding along with you, even if only virtually. If you’re looking to lighten your physical load in addition to your philosophical one, maybe check out Eric’s post on minimizing his tool carry on the bike.

If you’ve got your own story to tell, pictures to share or poem to – uh – poem, hit me up and we’ll post it here for the world to see.

It starts with a ride. I rode to work this morning and quitting time can’t come soon enough. In between? Well, that’s just lists.

See you out there.


About Kent Fackenthall

Dad. Biker. Designer. Minister of Propaganda for the Bike Commuter Cabal. Find me on Google+ and Instagram.


  1. Bikebeerpizza says

    thanks man, I need this, almost drove the car to work today.

  2. Kent Fackenthall says

    Stay strong, Grasshopper.

  3. You know my thoughts on it. The to-do list never ends.

    Get out and ride.

  4. Marjolein Schat says

    I always find I am better able concentrate at work, and think more clearly after having ridden to work, or gone for a quick spin around the block mid afternoon when things start to drag. Ergo, getting out to ride makes it easier to tick those items off the lists…

  5. I cant help but share my thoughts because its so true, no matter how stressed up or full your plate is, going for a ride on your bike makes it all better! It must be the wind in your face that is so liberating, or perhaps the pumping heart and the sweat that drains everything away. Since taking up cycling, I’ve been such a fan that I’m trying to convert all my friends. But I realized only a cyclist will get what we are saying or feeling and I hope the faint-hearted, which I once was, will hop onto that bike and go! That’s why I give a thumbs-up to your “It Starts With A Ride”!