Nick Frey, who grew up in Des Moines, joined a cycling team instead of the usual track or swim team when he was in high school.
As most every cyclist, he dreamt of bikes that were lighter, stronger, more comfortable. Just plain better.
For college, Frey, with a mathematically-inclined mind, found his way to MIT in Boston to study engineering. As he progressed through school, his mind continued to revert to the quest of the perfect bicycle, leading him to discover alternative materials from which to build them, materials such as carbon fiber, Kevlar and bamboo.
“It seemed the perfect natural material,” says Frey. “It’s very light, super strong and is very earth-friendly. It grows very quickly; it is almost replaced as quickly as it is harvested.”
Frey built his first bike while in college but took his design with him once he graduated, forming a company around the concept: Boo Bicycles.
Rob Versteegh, an Ankeny resident, has been friends with Frey since his high school days of racing.
“Nick is a great guy,” says Versteegh. “I really wanted to help him launch his company, so I bought one of his first designs — a cyclocross bike.”
Now several years after Frey began his business, Versteegh continues to enjoy his bamboo bike, which he stores in his garage.
“I just love riding it,” Versteegh says. “It’s such a smooth ride, but it handles really well. Strong, fast. Nick really hit the nail on the head with this bamboo thing.”
Versteegh enjoys riding his bike through the winter and into the spring, taking it on area gravel roads.
“The gravel roads around here are just great,” says Versteegh. “Each April my friends and I host what we call the Gents Race. It’s a 60-mile gravel road ride for teams of five. Riders must stay with their teammates for the entire ride. It’s a just a fun event for friends to do together.”
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