With her mountain bike in tow, Katie ventures to Minnesota to continue her path towards being an engineer in the bike industry.
School: Colorado State University, Senior
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Batavia, Illinois
Hobbies: Reading, hiking, camping, cooking
Current Ride: Santa Cruz 5010 cc
Katie, a cycling enthusiast and “retired” triathlete, has been biking since she was seven and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Now, as a future engineer attending school in Colorado, Katie wants to be the one making bikes instead of just riding them, especially if it means it’ll get more women exciting about riding.
“Bikes designed by and for women is a great step towards inclusivity. Sometimes you have to see someone doing what you want to do to know that it’s possible.”
Katie, who’s applied to QBP’s Equity and Diversity Internship three years in a row, felt this was a crucial step in starting her career as a mechanical engineer creating bikes. “I got a little further and further each time and I just knew I had to keep knocking on doors until one of them opened. My dad always told me that if I never ask, the answer will always be no.”
Katie’s tenacity proved to be a powerful asset in both the cycling and engineering industries, two male-dominated fields that tend to intimidate rather than encourage underrepresented groups. Thanks to an internship at SRAM in 2017, various bike shop jobs, and QBP’s internship, she’s been given a chance to explore, create, and solidify her passion for bicycles.
QBP’s initiative to diversity ridership and the cycling industry is especially important to Katie as she’s come to learn the hard truth about the barriers women and nonbinary people often face when trying to get involved in cycling. “When I first started working in bike shops, there was a clear difference between the responsibilities given to me and those given to my male coworkers. I didn’t get the same chance to learn and grow as a cyclist just because I was a girl.”
“Riding your bike is about having fun, no matter who or what you are.”
As she gears up for her last year of college, Katie now recognizes the caliber and value of the projects she’s been given here while working at QBP. Whether she’s creating models for seat collar sizes, analyzing contact patch area for tires, writing the test procedure, or doing fitments for the engineers, Katie is always on her toes working closely with other QBP engineers. “I really like the direct interaction I have with other engineers and seeing our tangible projects come to life.”
If there’s one thing Katie will take away from QBP’s internship, it’s the power of her persistence. Armored with optimism and an appetite for change, Katie is excited about making moves and finally finding her place at QBP. She’s excited to see inclusive efforts growing within the cycling industry and even more excited to be a part of them.