March 7, 2014

Kristy enjoying the views on her mountain bike.

As a way to show you the people behind PeopleForBikes, we do a short interview on the first Friday of every month. The theme? Bicycling firsts. This month, we turn our four questions to Business Network events manager, Kristy Kibler.
What is your first memory of bicycling?
I had a purple bike with white splash paint (you 80s kids know what I’m talking about) that I learned to ride without training wheels. After dinner every night in the summer, my family would ride our bikes around our neighborhood with my brother in a seat on the back of my dad’s bike. But the most poignant memory is when I was in 3rd grade and my next door neighbor, Stephanie, and I decided to venture out of our neighborhood on to one of the main roads. We knew we were not supposed to leave the neighborhood but thought we were being really sneaky. Little did I know that my mom was on her way home and saw us. She was waiting in the driveway when I got home. I was in big trouble, but it was so worth it. 
When did you first fall in love with bicycles?
Like most suburban American children, bikes were a huge part of my childhood, but as a teenager and young adult I didn’t event consider riding a bike with the rare exception of the spin bike at my local YMCA. That all changed when a friend invited me to go mountain biking one weekend, at Alafia State Park near Tampa, FL. I crashed almost immediately and was covered head to toe in bruises but it was the most fun I’d had in a long time. My heart raced from the adrenaline and the exercise. I was hooked. My friends here in Colorado think it’s really funny that I learned to mountain bike in Florida, but I still think those trails are some of the best I’ve ever experienced. 
A few months later as I was enrolling in classes for my second semester of college, I discovered my university had a road cycling team. I joined looking to make friends and ended up meeting the man who is now my husband. More than I love bicycles, I love the people they have brought into my life. 

Kristy and her husband, Brandon, share a love of all things bike.
When did you first know bicycling would be part of your career?
When I got hired at the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). Seriously, getting the call from Jenn Dice at IMBA offering me a job and then again at PeopleForBikes is a dream come true. I am educated in social work and knew I could make a difference in the world I just never imagined it would be with bicycling. After losing a close friend in a bicycling accident I became an advocate, but never realized it was something I could build a career around. 
What is your favorite thing about bicycling?
Everything. It gives you a sense of freedom and slows life down to a practically perfect pace. I really love experiencing new places by bike, both urban and natural places. Bikes have taken me places that I would have otherwise over looked, exploring the canyons in the Colorado National Monument or cruising the streets of Key West. I also love the excuse that if you ride a bike you can eat whatever you want. There is nothing more satisfying than pizza or a hamburger after a day on the trails in Crested Butte. 

Kristy back in the day rocking her college kit.

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