By Emily Glynn / Photos by Claudia Johnstone
If anyone could shatter the stale cliché that opposites attract, it’s Jon and Molly Krick. The native Midwesterners, who are currently working to heighten family values through an increased prevalence of casual biking in their North Scottsdale community, fit one another like a well-worn Titleist golf glove.
At their separate alma maters, Jon and Molly reveled in the discipline and structure afforded by collegiate golf (Molly split her time between the fairway and the basketball court at University of Wisconsin-Stout). Whereas Molly didn’t harbor aspirations of turning pro, Jon’s remarkable performance at University of Illinois paved the way for a professional golf career.
“I had always grown up around golf,” Jon says. “Since I was a kid, I was playing with my dad and my dad’s friends. It’s not only a passion – it’s who I am.”
His game, paired with a longing to escape the brutal Midwestern winters, eventually led him to Arizona. Molly, tired of shoveling snow in May, had the same idea. Soon after their respective arrivals, the two were introduced by a mutual friend who recognized their shared love for golf and the outdoors. The rest, they say, is history. Jon’s professional career continued to unfold as he and Molly established a life together in Scottsdale. Unfortunately, the wear and tear of grueling practices and regular tournaments began taking their toll, and in January 2016, he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left hand.
After a gritty year, Jon was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life: keep fighting and risk further injury, or walk away from his professional career. With Molly’s support, he chose the latter, opting for elective surgery that required a three-month recovery period.
“To me, it didn’t matter what he did,” says Molly of Jon’s decision to leave the sport. “I just wanted him to be happy, and if he wanted to keep trying, that’s what we would have done.”
The procedure left Jon with a cast and a pin in his thumb, both of which needed to stay completely dry in order to heal properly. In other words, no sweat-inducing physical activity. Being relegated to the couch didn’t sit well with Jon or Molly, and the couple soon found themselves killing time in La Quinta, California, counting the days until they could resume their thrice-weekly gym sessions and cherished hikes. It was during this little escape that they discovered Pedego Electric Bikes. It was love at first ride.
“We liked taking our bikes to happy hour and local restaurants, but it was always frustrating because, even though we’re young, it wasn’t enjoyable to feel like you’re going to workout and then go and have cocktails,” Jon says. “So, we got these [Pedego bikes], and we thought they would be great for this community.”
More so, the bikes were a welcome distraction for Jon who, after weeks of being sedentary, was finally able to get moving without disobeying the doctor’s orders. With state-of-the-art motors and a pedal-or-not option (ideal for those with injuries or for assisting with rigorous trails), the bikes served as the perfect way to reintegrate Jon into the active lifestyle he and Molly were forced to put on hold during his rehab.
“I got on this bike when I literally couldn’t do anything,” Jon says. “At the time, I couldn’t even go on walks because of the heat. It was mentally freeing to finally get outside and feel the wind in my hair.”
Despite having limited entrepreneurial experience, the couple wasted no time laying the framework for their own electric bike shop, and, in October 2017, they proudly opened Pedego McDowell Mountain. The store, situated near luxury resorts, golf courses, paved paths, and trails close to DC Ranch and McDowell Mountain Ranch, features 12 different electric bike styles, as well as electric skateboards, traditional pedal bikes, and a full accessory shop.
“Jon really built everything from scratch. He’s put so much effort into the smallest details and aspects I didn’t even think of,” says Molly, who works full-time as a sales representative for Maui Jim Sunglasses. Apart from occasional merchandising, she credits her husband and his willingness to log 12-hour days for the store’s early success.
With their business firmly established, the Kricks have been busy with a new project: welcoming a healthy baby girl. The shelves of their Pedego shop have been inundated with infant- and toddler-friendly accessories in preparation for Molly’s February due date, which they hope will be the first of several. Golf has taken a logical backseat in recent months but Jon, who continues to play recreationally, will always keep the sport close to heart.
“It’s still difficult today,” he says, reflecting on the decision to leave his pro career behind. “I love everything about the game but right now, I’m focused on the store and being the best father I can be.”
Perhaps his injury was a blessing in disguise. Though painful, literally and figuratively, it has served as an opportunity to discover and advocate a brand that facilitates the things he and Molly value most: family, friends, fitness and fun.
Pedego Electric Bikes range from $2,200 to $4,000 each. Learn more about Pedego McDowell Mountain and its repertoire of riding gear at www.pedegoelectricbikes.com.