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.
September 2023: Scott Bolte
….by Timothy Wooten, BFC Community Relations and Program Coordinator
Some of you may know Scott Bolte as an independent real estate agent with Tandem Real Estate (yes, like a tandem bicycle). Still, there is much more to Scott than just real estate, but first, we have to start with the story of how Scott came to Fort Collins.
His journey started in 2014 when Scott and a friend decided to make their first big bicycle touring trip, riding their bikes clockwise around Colorado. Both built steel-frame bikes at their local bike co-op. Scott found a Nishiki frame for five dollars and made his bicycle from that. Then, both packed their bikes and shipped them to Colorado Springs to start their 800-mile journey. When they began the journey, they really didn’t have a route. Like so many adventure seekers from the past, they heading west. Cycling through the Sawatch Range, Indian Peaks ultimately ended up in Leadville, where they parked the bikes at the trailhead of Mount Elbert, which, once they found out was the highest peak in Colorado, they had to summit it. Once back on their bikes, they continued their route, eventually leading them through Fort Collins. But fate stepped in, and while both were watching an approaching weather system coming in, they collided into each other and “My foot went through his wheel, his foot went through my wheel. We taco both of our wheels, our derailleurs break. And, you know, our piece of crap bikes to begin with are now just like absolutely like piles of junk.” Scott smirked as he recanted the story. They are stranded in Fort Collins 700 miles into their journey; neither has been here before. So they started couch-surfing, meeting people, and seeing the sites. The walkability/bikeability of the town was like nothing they had ever seen before. “I flew home, packed up my car, I drove out here, I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have any community, I just knew that this was where I was going to be.” Scott had arrived to where he calls home.
Scott has spent the last seven years becoming part of the community that he sought, a community that revolves around bikes, inclusion, community, marginalized people, awareness, and advocacy. First, by starting his real estate company, Tandem Real Estate. “I grew up swinging hammers with my dad. That’s what we did together, we did projects.” In his junior year of undergrad, he got his real estate license. Bringing that knowledge to Fort Collins, he wanted to start a company that overlaps the values of community and cycling to his real estate and caters to the cycling community. Meeting with clients in Old Town, they can bike there and even sometimes show homes by bike. “So many people move to Fort Collins because of its bike culture and its bike-ability.” Scott said.” And I just get to perpetuate that.”
Scott had another vision for Fort Collins bike culture. In 2019, while sitting amongst friends, an idea was born. They noted that most cities have some bike night, group, fun, casual ride. And Fort Collins still needed to have that space occupied. So they saw an opportunity there; truly, they just wanted to find a way to get into bicycle advocacy in Fort Collins. So, the FoCo Bike Mob was conceived. Scott saw the potential in a group ride with a low entry barrier, low mileage, slow pace, inclusive, and with people that are not necessarily cyclist-identifying. A community event disguised as a bike event to get people to have fun on bikes and to feel safe with whatever kind of expression they want to show up with. It is a safe place to ride a bike, build community, have fun, and layer advocacy on top of that. Now, it’s a platform for community development, bicycle advocacy, and activism that makes Fort Collins a more inclusive and accessible place for people of all races, genders, identities, incomes, and whatever. That’s the Bike Mob story.
Scott wants to see Bike Mob grow with more advocacy and activist direction. “I’d like for it to have an impact on local politics and rally people to go to city council meetings.” Scott sees Bike Mob advocating for things like more bike parks, protected bike lanes, spreading awareness around getting Narcan into the hands of people who need it, and supporting women’s centers in town and LGBTQ-plus communities.
Scott believes riding a bike can be an “energy-shifting” activity. Biking is one of the few activities that can pull him into a better headspace if he is having a bad day. Scott enjoys all forms of cycling, but mountain biking has become his weekly stress relief. He started mountain biking in Bent Creek Experimental Forest near Asheville, NC, as a way to play with his dog in the woods. Scott and her would take turns chasing each other for hours, and eventually, it just stuck.
For more information about Bike Mob, Click HERE
Did you enjoy this edition of YKM? Read about other inspirational local folks here.