When I went down the Internet rabbit hole in 2013, finding – somehow – a raucous, only-one-rule, night-riding, no-pretenses bike club called the FBC, it was revelatory.
8 years ago I had just emerged from the breakup of a long-term relationship, which spurred me to rediscover bike riding (and walking, and *shudder* jogging) and to seek community in those three. But of all of these, the most important is bike riding.
We set off for the first FBC in Nashville in July 2013, and I thought – well, who will show up? 4 of my fantastic friends came and made me think that perhaps this is viable after all?
I’ve invited people from the Internet to ride with me for 7 years. We even had visitors from the FBC Chicago group, and I had an email interaction with the founder of FBC (who started in St. Louis and then went on to start FBC in Spokane, Washington). I remember reading his farewell post – oddly enough, also about 7 years after getting the group started – and thinking, I wonder if I’ll ever get there.
Well here we are. Last year, frankly, I had already contemplated putting FBC to bed. Then the pandemic hit, and I couldn’t imagine just letting go. We had a couple of rides in 2021, which went great! Being a driving force behind launching a non-profit bicycle education org is taking a toll, though, and I need to pull back for the time being.
It’s not goodbye, it’s see you down the road. I’ll organize pop-up FBCs (with better advance notice, natch). For the time being, y’all should check out the Thirdsday night ride, which now takes the mantle of the only casual year-round social night ride in Nashville.
There’s still really only one rule, which is – of course – don’t be an asshole. For 7 years of not being assholes, I salute you, FBC friends and family, in the spirit of FBCs everywhere. For 7 years of nearly continuous riding – at night, in the cold, in the heat, with rain, changing flats, looking at the moon, laughing with each other and having Good Times. Thank you one and all and I’ll see you down the road.