This Valentines Day we wanted to share a sweet love story from one of our favorite Bike Stylish couples who began their relationship through their common love of biking. Kim and Eric Youngren share with us their Bike Stylish love story and how they have made biking a way of life in their family.
Bike Stylish: Tell me the story of how you and Eric met and how bikes have been a part of your relationship?
Kim Youngren: Biking is a passion for both of us! We love to ride and to collect bike stuff. We ride a lot together − around town, mountain and road. We now have 2 kids (13 and 9) who also love to ride.
We met at University Bicycles on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado the Spring of 1996. Eric was working at Ubikes and I just left my job there to work at Pearl Izumi. Shortly after I left, I adopted the shop dog from Doug Emerson, the owner of Ubikes. The dog still spent the days at Ubikes and one evening when I was picking him up, I spotted Eric and thought to myself “he is very cute!” Days went by and then on my birthday I walked into the shop to pick up the dog and everyone wished me a happy birthday and told me it was Eric’s birthday too. “Wait a minute”, I thought, “You mean that cute guy I have been eyeing for the last few weeks???” We said happy birthday to each other, introduced ourselves and then went for a walk down pearl street mall. A couple months later we were dating and four years later, in 2000, we got married!
Bike Stylish: Where did you find the tandem bike?
Kim Youngren: We bought the tandem bike (a 6 speed cruiser style tandem) at University Bicycles just before our wedding. It was a wedding present to each other and we thought it would be fun to ride off on a tandem after our wedding.
Kim Youngren: We had the wedding and reception at the Red Lion, located up Boulder Canyon. We rode the tandem to the Hotel Boulderado in downtown boulder where we were staying. It was a little crazy, but super fun to ride down the canyon at midnight on a cruiser tandem. Our friends had it decked out with Night Rider lights and decorated it with streamers and a “Just Married” sign. I wanted to check into the hotel in my wedding gown but I was not sure how I would pull that off with riding the tandem down the canyon − but I figured somehow I would hold it up enough so the dress so would not get caught in the chain. Just as we were about to get on the tandem, Eric pulled out a few big clamps to pin up my dress. I thought he was a little crazy but it worked great! My dress was pinned up to my knees and I could ride in my dress and shoes. I looked like a bride that just walked out of a limousine!
Bike Stylish: What role does biking play in your family?
Kim Youngren: Our family bikes a lot. We try to bike around town as much as possible. The kids definitely would rather bike somewhere than drive in the car. When I want to drive a short distance I usually hear about it from them that we should ride our bikes. I love that they are also passionate about riding. When the kids were babies they rode in a trailer everywhere, when they were old enough they graduated to the tag-a-long then to their own bikes. As soon as the kids were tall enough to fit on the back of the tandem they would ride on that with one of us too. We still have the tandem − 15.5 years later!
We have a great Burley Cart cargo trailer, the Travoy, that is awesome for carting everything we need: groceries, picnic stuff, kids sports gear, potluck dishes and wine … you name it we have hauled it. [Check out the Bike Stylish Review of the Burley Cart Tail Wagon] A couple years ago my son, Max and I rode out to Super Target with the cargo trailer to buy all his school supplies. We took our mountain bikes and rode the trails most of the way out there and back. It was so much fun! We got a lot of looks as to what we were carrying in the trailer on our way back − we were loaded with stuff. We laughed as we told people we were just at Target school supply shopping!
We also love collecting bike stuff (or at least I do) − pint glasses, mugs, jewelry, art work and cruiser and Vintage bikes.
Kim Youngren: We all feel good about riding for our health and the environment. Exercising always gives you energy and a positive outlook on things, when we do it together it is a lot of fun! Biking is a way of life for us − for exercise and for getting from A to B. Especially when we ride around town on our cruiser bikes it is hard not to be smiling!
Bike Stylish: Do you have any tips for a good biking date night?
Kim Youngren: Riding your bike in Boulder, Colorado is so easy with access to paved trails taking you anywhere you want to go. We don’t dress any differently when we ride our bikes compared to if we take the car. You can still dress stylish on your bike (sometimes it requires clamps) but you can dress up if you like to and still bike! We bike to restaurants or bike to a park with a picnic basket. We bike to concerts at the Fox and Boulder Theaters and to friend’s houses for parties.
Bike Stylish: Tips for getting your kids to school on bikes safely?
Kim Youngren: I was a little nervous when my kids started riding their own bikes; but they do great on their own. When they were still young and in the trailer I was talking to them about safe riding. When I made a hand signal to turn I also would say the direction I was turning so they learned what to do when it came time for them to do it on their own. I talked to them about cars and how the cars don’t always see you so you need to really pay attention to every car around you and don’t assume they see you and know what you are going to do. Make eye contact with drivers at the intersections so you know they spot you. Stay to the right…I can’t tell you how many times I had to yell that out when they were first starting to ride on their own! Give them lots of support and encouragement and when they need to rest make sure you let them stop to rest or there will be meltdowns. Sometimes it can take you an hour to get a couple miles when they first start out, but take your time and enjoy the moment together. It is so worth it!!
Did you meet your partner over a love of bikes? Or do you have any other tips for getting your kids started biking? Comment below and share your advice or questions or starting your Bike Stylish life!