Theresa M. Van Ackeren, Managing Director
I grew-up riding my bicycle to and from school and on my afternoon paper route in Omaha, Nebraska. I learned early to “embrace the hills,” we lived in a hilly section of town and there were two or three hills no matter which way I rode. But riding was so much faster than walking.
I gave away my bicycle when I moved to the Kansas City area in 1989 and didn’t buy another until the late 1990′s. I slowly got back in the habit cycling for short distances in and around Lee’s Summit, where I was living at the time. In 2001, I moved to the Brookside area and kept up the short trips. I suddenly realized in 2005 that I really was going to turn 40 and really should do something about it, but wasn’t sure what. For lack of a better idea, I bought myself an expensive road bike for a birthday present and started riding seriously (well, as seriously as I could).
My dad and his partner, Carol, convinced me to ride the entire length of the Katy Trail in 2006. After completing the approximately 225 miles in five days, I realized I had just had the most fun I’d had in years. To celebrate, I went on several other weeklong bicycle trips. Dad, Carol and I repeated our Katy Trail trip in 2007; this time from St. Charles to Clinton. In the mean time, I hooked up with a great group of people, affectionately known as “The Flying Fish”.
In 2007, I decided to quit my day job (another birthday present!) and work to make bicycling accessible to anyone who wants to try (and even to those who don’t yet know it). I spent the summer and most of the fall sleeping in, riding my bicycle and drafting a business plan. I started implementing the business plan October 2007 and that, as they say, is how it all started.
Thanks for reading all of that. Stick around and come visit us to see the fun and the future of personal transportation in Kansas City. Let us know your thoughts; we want to know what you think about cycling, in general and in particular—cycling in Kansas City. We promise to answer; it might not be the answer you wanted, but it will be an answer nonetheless.