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.
March 2022: Team B.O.B.
….by Jennifer Hoover, BFC Board Member
If you look at the Facebook page for Team B.O.B—that’s Babes on Bikes, you’ll wonder why these people are having so much and you aren’t out there having it with them? Picture after picture is of beautiful rides and smiling faces!
In 1996 Janice Martin spotted a group of women ride by her house. After a double knee surgery, she had been told she must not ride bikes or ski anymore. Eschewing the advice of her surgeon, Martin began mountain biking and traded in her skis for a snowboard. When the group rode by, Martin knew she was destined to join them. In 2022 she is still riding with Team BOB and hosting the weekly ride after party at her home. Martin and the other members have attended each other’s weddings, baby showers and other life events, both happy and sad.
Team B.O.B. was founded in 1992 by Susan Chaffee back when team member Janice Martin says, “women’s empowerment wasn’t a thing everyone was talking about, much less doing.” At the time an all-women’s mountain bike club was unique, and most support and riding groups were for, or with–mainly men. Chaffee saw the need to create a place for women to explore the sport and to foster a sense of community around mountain biking and each other. Multiple studies have explored the role of female friendships and concluded that they mediate stress and essential for coping and survival. In 1992 Team B.O.B. was ahead of its time in creating space for recreational female athletes as well as friendship.
Martin describes Team B.O.B. as a sisterhood, a group of women, diverse in age, careers, and stages of life who share a love of being outdoors and riding. While transportation might have been the original goal of the bicycle a close second must have been to escaping the pressures and stresses of life. As anyone who has ridden and loved a bike knows, something magic happens inside of your brain when the pedals begin to turn.
Both friendships and bike rides are transformative. Team member Dion Bundy agrees. Team B.O.B. was where she turned after she started a family. “My husband was my riding partner but when we had kids we had to ride separately so someone could always be home with them.” Martin describes the weekly group ride “as a night to heal yourself,” and states that there are frequent expressions of the difficulty to carve out time from work, caregiving and responsibilities. However, members also acknowledge the importance of allowing themselves to make that time. For Bundy it filled a critical need for friendship, athleticism and community engagement. For Martin it helped her reclaim her love of biking.
Community isn’t something that Team BOB has cultivated only within their group. Giving back and fostering community outside of their group has been a pillar of the Team B.O.B. philosophy. Each member is required to donate eight hours of their time to trail maintenance on local mountain bike trails or other bike advoacy-related efforts. Member Ellen Wright along with several of her fellow B.O.B. teammates has been regular volunteers with Bike Fort Collins, attending both years of our new Wish for Wheels FoCo events where new bikes are assembled and readied for local youth. Wright also represented Team B.O.B. at the Tour de Fat Merchandise Sales Day held in lieu of the real Tour de Fat because of COVID precautions. Team B.O.B. also engages with the community through other local events like Bike to Work Day, Open Streets and Bike the Lights. Team B.O.B. is truly a vital member of our biking community—creating space for mountain bikers who identify as women and service to the whole FoCo community.
Did you enjoy this edition of YKM? Read about other inspirational local folks here.