Bike Fort Collins first launched You Know Me. I Ride a Bike. back in 2009 as a broader awareness campagin featuring local residents active in our bike loving community. Beginning in 2021, we are excited to reintroduce this bio-series, recognizing one new Fort Collins resident each month here on our news-blog/website, The Pedal Post eNewsletter and BFC social channels, and highlighting their love for bikes. Please join us as we hear their stories and learn more about these remarkable folks who live and ride right here in our community.
January 2022: Nate Turner
….by Anna Kelso, BFC Community Relations Coordinator
Local legend and dedicated rider of bikes, Nate Turner worked his way from the bottling line at New Belgium Brewery to senior executive (VP of Brewery Operations and Supply Chain) over the course of his 24 years at the company. One of only two NBB employees to make a similar ascent up the brewery’s ladder, Nate was integral to the evolution of bike centered company culture.
Hailing from Southern Wisconsin, Nate arrived in Fort Collins in 1986 and began his studies in Horticulture & Landscape Design at the Colorado State University. After falling upon some explosive vehicular woes, Nate made the decision to live car free from 1986 to 1996. Nate credits our town’s wide streets and bike friendly layout to equal parts luck and smart urban planning. Whether it was Franklin Avery’s dedication to wide streets for horse & buggy U-turns, or an amalgam of passionate, forward thinking urban planners in need of the most credit is a matter for another post. Nate successfully lived car free in Fort Collins for 10 years, a fact that would shape the course of his personal and professional life.
Nate’s first mountain bike was a 1987 GT Timberline that he relied on for both recreation and transportation. During these years he enjoyed riding many of the mountain bike trails so easily accessible from town by bike. Piecing together Michaud, Shoreline, Maxwell and others, Nate gradually amassed a significant level of endurance miles. This eventually led to more focused training blocks up to Pingree Park… in the early 90s… a precursor to the Winter Ralleye rides, no doubt. With plenty of basemiles under his belt, Nate set off for a cross country bike tour from Fort Collins to Bar Harbor, Maine. Slogging his mountain bike and trailer across the country, Nate’s two month journey was the stuff that early 20s dreams are made of.
Arriving at NBB in 1993, Nate and co-founder, Jeff Lebesch, quickly became fast bike buddies and found a common bond in their passion for cycling and sustainability. Nate appreciated that NBB was so very committed to being a value based company and immediately felt at home in the bike loving, beer brewing culture that put Fort Collins on the map. Between the American Red Cross Fat Tire Classic in Winter Park, Tour de Fat (at its inception) and fun filled company retreats at Planet Bluegrass, Nate immersed himself in NBB culture and this propelled him into the upper echelons of the company’s structure. Pride in NBB company values, particularly as they related to all things bikes and sustainability, is what resonated most with Nate and these sentiments continue to be a guiding light for his life and family today.
After leaving NBB in 2017, Nate continues to appreciate the values they stand for and to enjoy bikes for transportation and recreation (logging over 2,500 recreation miles/year). Raising his family in a bike town has given his two boys an appreciation and perspective on sustainable living not common among younger generations and this remains a core value for their household. Nate and his wife, Kristina Cash, continue to influence the bicycle landscape of Fort Collins through their endless energy, passion and commitment for a fun, sustainable, bike loving Fort Collins. Sewing the seeds for the next generation of bike lovers, we thank both Nate and Kristina for their commitment to steadfast intention.
Name and age:
What do you do for a living?
How long have you lived in Fort Collins?
How long have you been riding?
What kind of riding do you do?
Do you commute via bike?
If so, how far do you commute?
Why do you ride? What kind(s) of bike(s) do you ride?
What would you like to tell someone who is thinking about starting to ride a bike?
What makes you smile when you’re on your bike?
What got you into riding your bike? Was there a specific moment/experience?
Where is your favorite place to ride?
What are the biggest improvements you’ve seen for bicycling in Fort Collins?
What gets you on your bike on a cold, rainy, crummy day?
How often do you ride your bike (vs. drive)?
Any last comments?
Did you enjoy the latest edition of YKM? Read about other inspirational local folks here.