How Coasting On Bikes Can Clear Your Head

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It's Tuesday, and I'm sitting at my desk, kind of hiding in the corner behind my mega iMac, hoping no one comes near me.

So far so good.

The truth is, I smell kinda gnarly today.

I'm hiding over here next to the window until lunchtime.

Sometimes I have days like this where, as the owner of this business, I think I'm supposed to have my shit together a little more and not show up to work covered in mud spatters and dried, trail-dusty sweat. I think I'm supposed to have hair that's not molded to the inside of a helmet. I even think I'm supposed to wear things other than my favorite pair of baggy, purple Dakine shorts and a smelly jersey.

But this is today, and I'm just so stoked.


I've been doing this thing where I mountain bike to work on the Whitefish Trail.

It takes me an hour each way.

And I love it.

Anyone who works at Wheelie knows that unless I'm writing, I can be a little scattered. We have 15 projects going at all times, and we've been firing on all cylinders for the last month. On Thursday, I barely got to high five our web designer, Pete, on the way to a meeting and check in with our designer, Amanda, at the very end of the day while she was packing up and heading out.

Corporatate Image Outfitters-Lisa biking-0011.So riding my bike to work is bliss. I get one full hour to myself, where I get to set my intentions for the day. I get to think about our projects, think about the Wheelie crew, and mull over any problems that need solutions. I plan new business systems, dream up client logo designs, and "write" brand video scripts in my head while I pedal. As soon as I get to work, I brain dump it all into a Google Doc. Then I share it with my team at our morning meeting on the rooftop patio, which mostly consists of our Operations Manager, Dan, asking me why my meeting agenda sounds scripted. (I actually think our morning meetings look eerily like this speech minus the last couple lines and the whole blood brothers thing.)

But anyway, all my best ideas seem to happen while I'm moving fast.

There's something very soothing about velocity. It clears my head more than just about anything.

I think that as a business owner, you have to be very in tune with what works best for you, or else your business is going to consume you. Some people like yoga. Some people like running. I like gravity.

I love coasting on bikes. I remember working in a bike shop as a teenager and seeing a fixed gear bicycle for the first time, thinking there was something terribly wrong with it because it didn't allow me to coast. For me, those moments where no pedaling is required and gravity takes over are absolutely clarifying. Intuition replaces second guessing. Joy replaces stress. Adrenaline replaces effort. And perspective replaces reaction.

It's the best.

During the morning commute, I'm able to think clearly. I know I have one hour to gather my thoughts and a create a plan for the day. It's awesome. I'm much more focused and relaxed at work. Sometimes I even remember to bring a change of clothes and a clean trucker hat.

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Even better, at the end of the day, I get one hour to transition out of Wheelie mode. I resolve any lingering thoughts about work, and I get to transition back into my goofball, ski bum, non-boss self, all while riding my bike through the woods.

And then I finally get to shower.

What's your routine?
What clears your head?

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