60 miles, 7 bikes, 1 heck of a good time–
On Friday, May 19, Common Desk decided to go hard for National Bike to Work Day. Common Desk as a company has a running list of off-kilter traditions, and biking to a new Common Desk location from our flagship Deep Ellum location just so happens to be one! Almost two years ago, a crew of members biked from Common Desk - Deep Ellum to our (then) under-construction Common Desk - Oak Cliff. That ride seemed like a trek at the time– a whopping 4.6 miles. Little did we know that we’d soon challenge ourselves to a ride 13x longer.
The dream all started one weekday morning when Nick (our CEO) and myself were at Houndstooth on Henderson with the intention of knocking out really important business matters. But random dreams can't help but find their way into conversation when you have a breakfast taco in one hand and coffee in the other; it wasn't long before we were scheming up the crazy idea that our members should bike all the way from Common Desk - Deep Ellum to Common Desk - Granite Park.
We immediately started researching to see if the idea would even be feasible. The route from Common Desk - Deep Ellum to Common Desk - Granite Park is exactly 30 miles, which sounded bonkers at the time (especially to someone like me who's only ever biked 10 miles max in her entire life). But we live for crazy ideas here at Common Desk, so planned this extreme bike ride to coincide with National Bike to Work Day on May 19!
One thing I love about Common Desk’s members is the fact that they're either all-in or not in at all. Our members had the option to do the entire ride or join in for 1/3 or 2/3 of the trek, but every single member who decided to take part chose the "Extremist" group who’d be biking the whole thing, and after living to tell about the ride we endured, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they truly are the epitome of Extreme.
National Bike to Work Day fell on Friday, May 19 this year, which was perfect for us because, let's face it, no one likes working on a Friday anyway. This hard-core group of fun-loving people showed up to Common Desk - Deep Ellum at 6:30 a.m. sharp, bikes in hands, helmets on, and some with 15 miles already under their belt like it was no big deal, making those of us who drove to the starting point (cough cough, me and Nick) look super lazy.
Before I move into the good stuff, here’s a profile of the 7 amazing people who biked with us:
- Craig: the birthday boy– he chose to bike 60 miles with us on his birthday and smiled the entire time.
- Danny: the swag soldier– he chose to ride a FIXED SPEED bike 60 MILES; if you know anything about biking, you know how hard that is. He also strapped a boombox to his back and kept us alive with his jams.
- Sean: the true Extremist– he biked to Austin (200+ miles) by himself just a few weeks before this ride and led our pack with ferocity.
- Hilary: the one with the best gear– she rocked a neon light around her back wheel, a hamburger bike bell, and the coolest helmet of us all.
- Xavier: the one who's skilled enough to take pictures and bike all at the same time like a boss.
- Nick: the bartender
- MK (me): the one who was bound to get hurt but rocked the neon fannypack regardless
We took off from Deep Ellum feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30 a.m. Danny had his boombox strapped to his back, so with jams that strong, we knew this ride was going to be a certified party. If there's one thing biking 30 miles taught me, it's that some of the best conversations can happen on a bike, and that biking is the best sport for community. The 7 of us were able to interchangeably have solid conversations about our day jobs, our bike glory stories (or lack thereof), our origins, and why we love Danny's boombox. Try doing that while swimming or running.
We made it to the first stopping point 30 minutes earlier than we thought, crushed Chick-fil-A biscuits like it was our day-job, then took off north. The next leg was amazing– Danny's boombox made going under bridges feel like entering into a club, so we all tossed up the pre-emptive fist-bump whenever bridges were in sight. We stopped at a 7-Eleven entering into Plano, then cruised into Granite Park 1.5 hours early listening to "No Hands" by Waka Flocka and cheering as loudly as we could, making an entrance that might as well have come straight out of a classic 80s coming of age film.
Here at Common Desk, we believe any big (or little or medium) accomplishment should be celebrated with mimosas, so as soon as we rolled into Granite V, we took off our helmets, grabbed a pic, and popped open the bubbly. The Extreme 7 got to take a tour of Common Desk - Granite Park; we dove into the heart behind this new space, showed cool new features, scouted out potential nap room spaces, and then opened up our laptops and got to work (because our members can't be stopped).
When it was all said and done, we felt like 30 miles just wasn't quite enough... So 5 of us decided to bike BACK! I like to think it's because we're courageous, but in reality it's probably just because we're a little crazy...
The bike back was no ride in the park. We totally neglected to take into account the fact that it would be hotter, our tummies would be full, and the wind would be against us. But there's nothing that a little liquid power and verbal encouragement can't do. At this point, we were more than just Common Deskers– we were a team, ride or dies, and comrades in this great adventure. If we could make it through the first 30 miles, we could make it through the last 30, too.
We ended up stopping at what I named the Tree of Life (because it literally gave us new life) and dubbed the last leg "Booze Cruise" by opening up a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (which Nick had been carrying in his backpack the whole way) and cracking open some beers. Danny shotgunned an IPA, we all sipped white wine, and before we knew it, we were ready to conquer the last 10 miles of our 60 mile ride.
10 hours after we originally left, we rolled into Common Desk - Deep Ellum with stiff legs and full hearts at 4 pm. Long story short, we absolutely crushed it.
Common Desk's Bike to Plano Day 2017 now goes down as one of my all-time favorite Common Desk memories. It reminded me that crazy ideas make for the best stories, anything is possible with community, and our members really are some of the most fun, free-spirited, and driven people in the world.
So now that we accomplished our inaugural bike ride to Plano.... who's ready for FORT WORTH?!