RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Each of us has fond memories of their first bicycle which most likely was a tricycle or when we learned to ride a two-wheeler (without the training wheels). When Tony Boutelle, president/CEO of CU Direct, thinks of bikes, he’s more likely to think of his Turner 5-Spot mountain bike which he readily admits “is probably worth 10 times the first car I ever bought,” or his Trek bike that he uses as a back up. Boutelle has been an avid fan of mountain biking for as long as he’s lived in California. He started out with road biking while he attended the University of Wisconsin and even when he moved to Colorado and worked at the Colorado Credit Union System. But when he moved to California and had to deal with the freeways, Boutelle decided “I felt safer riding off road and having just the rocks to deal with that didn’t move than having to deal with other cars.” Despite his busy schedule, Boutelle makes time to ride at least three days a week with a group of fellow mountain bikers. Their rides usually go one-and-a-half to two hours depending on the riders’ schedules and the amount of daylight hours. After their Thursday night rides the group typically hits the local brewery “to put back the carbs we burn off.” Their Sunday morning rides end with the riders and their families getting together for a hearty breakfast. There are several great places in Southern California to go mountain biking, and one of Boutelle’s favorite places for his morning rides is Peter’s Canyon Regional Park in Tustin near his home. He also likes biking in the Laguna Hills area. Mountain biking has let Boutelle see sites from perspectives most of us haven’t seen or ever will. For example when he was in Maui, Hawaii, he and CUNA Mutual Senior Marketing Officer Jeff Ramos rode down Mount Haleakala – the world’s largest dormant volcano – on a private, off-road trail. He’s also rode in Gooseberry Meadow in Zions National Park in Utah. Understandably when Boutelle travels on business – which is frequently – it’s virtually impossible for him to take his mountain bike with him, much less find time to do any biking, but that doesn’t stop him. “I usually use the hotel gym and get on the stationary bike for awhile. At least I get to pedal and use my legs even if there are no mountains and I’m not going anywhere,” he quips. -

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