A game of 20 Questions with Steph Boulanger
This week we are featuring Steph, who is based in Squamish, BC and works for 7Mesh as a sales and operations co-ordinator (as a side note, if you haven't seen/tried the 7Mesh cycling clothing lineup yet, you should definitely check them out). Like pretty much everyone who works in the bike industry, she is an avid cyclist and we are excited to share her answers to our 20 questions!
Meet Steph Boulanger
Location: Squamish, BC
Follow Steph's adventures on Instagram: @stephanielboulanger
1. How long have you been riding bikes?
I have been riding a bike since I was a little kid, though I would say I started ‘riding’ a little over 10 years ago
2. How did you get acquainted with cycling?
I started commuting by bike in University, I had beast of a bike that I would ride to campus and back on the trails and fell in love. Shortly after I transferred to the University of Guelph, I joined the mountain bike club and started racing xc, the rest is history!
3. What kind of riding do you do? (track, mtb, road, cx, all of the above, etc)
While I prefer trail riding, I also ride downhill, road, bmx, have tried a couple of tours and bike packing trips … with hopefully more to come! I would also love to give cx a try
4. How many bikes have you owned throughout your time cycling?
Over the years there have probably been over a dozen! I have a hard time letting them go
5. How many bikes do you currently own?
Currently I have 5 - Downhill, trail, road, single speed commuter and a bmx. Lately I have been dreaming of getting a gravel bike so that I can do some multi day trips and explore more of the Sea to Sky
6. What is your dream bike?
This is something that is always changing, there has been so much growth in the industry and the options these days are incredible. That being said, I have always wanted a Santa Cruz Bronson
7. What is your most memorable cycling experience?
One of my favorite experiences was meeting up with all the ladies that I used to ride with from UGC, in the Yukon. We spent a week and a half riding some absolutely amazing single track, eating, drinking and laughing. These are some of my favorite people on the planet – from the time we all started riding with the club, these women have become some of my best friends, and have had a profound influence on my life
8. How many of your friends ride bikes?
I would have to say about 80% of my friends ride
9. Do you prefer riding alone, in a small group or a large group?
I think it depends on the day, and what mood I am in. Some days you ride to clear your head, let the stress roll off and you lose yourself in the trails. Other days I want to go out and session with some friends, push the comfort level a little and have a good laugh. The SORCA and girlsBIKEsquamish social rides in Squamish are an amazing place to meet new people and get excited to ride!
10. Have you ever traveled with your bike? Where?
If there is the option to bring a bike, always take one with you! Or, if you aren’t able to then there are a ton of great options for renting. I’ve spent time riding in Scotland, Cambodia, the Yukon and Alaska, throughout the eastern and western coasts of both Canada and the US.
Lately we (my partner and our pooch) have been exploring more of BC and Washington – there is a lot of amazing riding on the island and throughout the interior!
11. What is the biggest challenge you faced when you started riding bikes?
I think one of the biggest challenges many cyclist face is not being afraid to fail! It will happen, you will fall and hurt yourself, there are days where you will feel like you are a terrible rider and that nothing you are doing is working but you will get better!
12. What are your cycling goals for this year?
I had two years of taking it easy on the bike while rehabbing a shoulder injury, so this year I wanted to get back to some more technical riding and increase my fitness, so decided the best way to do this was to sign up for a few races and push myself a little!
13. What is your post-ride ritual?
SNACKS!! Refueling and sitting in the sun drinking a cider is pretty much the ideal way to wrap up a ride for me, if it includes a jump in one of the icy fresh lakes nearby then even better.
14. Bibs or non-bibs?
This is where I am a bit biased, I have been spoiled with the 7mesh WK2 Bib Short – getting to test these out for the past year before they launched this spring has ruined me for any other bib shorts! If all of my WK2 Bibs are in the wash then I grab a pair of shorts or liners
15. Do you believe that your socks should be at least 5” long, or, short?
I’m more of a tall sock person, but occasionally on the road I will opt for a shorter sock if it is a hot summer day
16. What is your hairstyle preference while cycling?
I am a low maintenance person when it comes to hair on the best of days so on the bike it is either a simple side pony or braid
17. What snacks are always in your jersey pocket?
Honey Stingers Energy Chews! Those things are dangerously addictive. The Solo bars are also pretty tasty
18. Cycling specific sunglasses or casual glasses?
I’m a big fan of the Oakley Frogskins, I’m more of a ‘casual’ style sunnies girl, as I find them more comfortable
19. Bar tape loud and bright, or black and classic?
I’m currently rocking a sick leopard print bar tape on my road bike, I like to keep it classy
20. What advice would you give to other women who are just starting out?
Be kind to yourself, and remember that everyone was a beginner once! Learning to ride can be a challenge and everyone has days where they fall and fail and struggle mentally with overcoming their demons and pushing past fear of failure or embarrassing themselves.
Riding can be insanely fun, empowering and extremely rewarding as you see your skills and fitness grow. Your local riding community will likely become your extended family, full of people cheering you on and celebrating your wins and helping to pick you up after your falls
Stay tuned for next week's feature... Its a really good one! If you want to be featured, fill in our ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE. We would love to feature ALL women who ride bikes, regardless of where they are from, their age, ability or experience level.