Best bike memories: Doc B
May 05, 2017
As a way to introduce you to the people behind PeopleForBikes, we do a short interview with every member of our staff. This month, we turn our questions to director of research, Jennifer "Doc B" Boldry.
1. What is your first memory of bicycling?
I learned to ride a bike when I was about six. I didn’t have one so I borrowed by best friend’s bike—complete with a banana seat and a basket. It was love at first sight. We lived really close to the Highline Canal in Littleton, Colorado and I spent many happy summer days there on my bike. I got my first 10-speed when I was around eleven and even then, showed both a propensity to crash and an affinity for competition. I was racing my brother down our street and looked back to see how far behind he was and ran smack into the back of a parked van. I wish I could say I learned my lesson.
2. When did you first fall in love with bicycles?
I loved riding from the very beginning. As a kid it was the freedom to go to friend’s houses, 7-Eleven, the swimming pool, exploring the neighborhood—anywhere I wanted. My favorite was to go to the dirt trails near my house where some kids had built jumps. Nothing as fancy as an actual bike park but enough to set the stage for my later obsession with mountain biking. I fell in love with riding again in grad school. Parking on the Texas A&M campus was expensive and difficult. I lived close to campus and the weather was pretty good year around so I started riding my mountain bike to school. One of my classmates heard about a 7-mile mountain bike loop at a nearby lake so we went one afternoon just to check it out. It was so much like riding those dirt trails as a kid, I immediately fell in love again and within a year had joined the local bike club and started racing. Mountain biking will always be closest to my heart but I have since fallen in love with road riding and cyclocross as well.
3. Why did you decide to make bicycling a part of your career?
I didn't choose a career in the bike industry so much as I got lucky. I was working as a methods specialist for a market research firm in Philadelphia. We conducted research on behalf of large multinational corporations in financial services, IT, Transportation, and Health Care. I really wanted to move back to Colorado and was looking for a market research job when I saw a posting in the Consumer Insights division of Leisure Trends Group (LTG)—a small market intelligence company serving the outdoor industries (outdoor, run, snow, and bike). I landed the job and found that the combination of my professional background and passion for biking set me up to work really well with bike organizations and companies. In 2010, I headed up LTG’s first project for what was then Bikes Belong and never looked back. A year into working full-time at PeopleForBikes I think it is safe to say that I've found my dream job.
4. What is your favorite thing about bicycling?
There is so much to love about riding it is hard to know where to start. I find that it is really hard to feel bad about the world when I am out on a bike with the sun on my shoulders and nothing but open trail out in front of me—it just brings perspective to everything. I also love how it brings people together and creates such strong bonds between them. When I first started mountain biking, I set a goal for myself to break one-hour on the seven-mile loop near Texas A&M. I had been working on it for a while without making much progress. One afternoon one of the local fast guys arrived at the same time I did. He started on his ride then looped back and asked if I wanted to ride with him. He became one of my best riding buddies and I broke my hour record within a few weeks of that ride. More than 20 years later we are still great friends.
5. What's the coolest thing you've ever done on a bike?
I am lucky in that I have had the opportunity to ride in so many amazing places but I think the most memorable experiences always center around the people I have met on the bike. Before I knew better, my enthusiasm for mountain biking had me riding on a trail that was too muddy. I came upon a guy doing trail work who informed me, very nicely, that riding trails when they are muddy does damage that someone has to fix. The very next week I joined the local mountain bike club to help build and maintain that trail system. The guy turned out to be the president of the local mountain club. We have been married (and riding) for almost 18 years.
6. Where is your favorite place to ride?
One of the best things about riding is that there are so many different kinds of places to ride—roads, singletrack, bike parks, gravel—something for everyone. If I really have to pick one place, I would choose the Colorado Trail, nearly 500 miles of mountain bike bliss. I haven't ridden all of the sections yet but I will!blog comments powered by Disqus