By Stephanie Farrell
Stephanie Farrell is passionate about the built environment and how it can enhance and improve communities. As an active member of WT’s Culture Club, Stephanie leads the charge in numerous firm activities including Bike Month and Food Frenzy.
Last month WT geared up to participate in another Bike Everywhere Month. Following tradition, the office broke up into teams of eager riders who were ready to start clocking some miles. Team ‘Frank Lloyd Riders Captain,’ Stephanie Farrell, shares her perspective as a first year team captain.
You’re probably expecting tales of cross-town rides to beer-laden destinations, high fives, team bonding, costumes, and antics in the spirit of healthy competition. Well, in lieu of these anecdotes I’ve chosen to report on the more existential gains from the experience.
As could be expected with a group of designers, both teams started out mighty in concept. The “Star Trekkies,” energetically led by Emily Evenson, came out swinging with their brightly colored Spock-like shirts pinned with Starfleet shrinky-dink badges, a clever video, and space-sparkly Photoshopped images.
I led the “Frank Lloyd Riders,” and we fought back with words, tweaking starchitect names into punny biking aliases—Glen “Work-It” Murcutt, Crank Geary, Slaine Shredder, Rev Koolhaas, A Mayal-in, Flowrence Roll, Toshiko MoRi-in’, Lukeminster Peddler, Mies van der Road, and Zaha HiSpeed took to the road. Logos were sketched and swag was ordered.
Our team planned an intricate scavenger hunt to architectural sites around town, where riders had to first decode each of the eight sites from two clues. As first-time team captains, Emily and I were filled with eagerness and ready to cheer our teams to victory.
Unfortunately, that is when the wheels began to wobble. Hectic schedules, vacations and other life events got in the way of our team events and selfies of Lycra-wearing folks posing at scavenger hunt sites. As a team captain, I began to feel a sense of guilt, but thankfully my wise-beyond-her-years daughter, Chloe, snapped me out of it. “Mom, isn’t it supposed to be fun?” Yes of course, she was right!
This perspective made me realize that instead of beating ourselves up, we should be celebrating ANY small slice of time that we carve out for fun, relaxation, saving the planet, or personal health (mind or body!). I propose that instead of Bike Everywhere Month, we call it Bike Anywhere Month, because although we didn’t bike everywhere, we biked approximately six more times than we would have otherwise, and I do love my Frank Lloyd Rider t-shirt that our team designed.
Kudos to the rock stars on both teams who saddled up and rode in almost every day of the month, rain or shine, to rack up hundreds of miles—they truly deserve recognition and prizes. But for the rest of us, let’s be happy with whatever level of participation that we managed to “gear up” for.
Star Trekkies: 947 miles and 82 days of riding
Frank Lloyd Riders: 923 miles and 86 days of riding
Individual Most Miles:
- GOLD: Frank Lloyd Riders team member Slaine Shredder with 321 miles
- SILVER: Frank Lloyd Riders team member Glenn “Work-it” Murcutt (Aaron Swain) at 303 miles
- BRONZE: Star Trekkies team member Mr. Spoke (John Hornibrook) at 244 miles.