Kimberly Pettit


At what age did you begin participating in cycling?

I started racing right out of college.

What first made you want to participate in cycling?

I started competing in triathlons because I was a swimmer in high school but wasn't a fast enough runner to become pro, so I switched to cycling just to see how far I could get in the sport.

What other sports did you play growing up? Any good stories about them?

I was in every sport you can imagine: track and field, ballet, swimming, softball, water and snow skiing. I have 2 older brothers who kicked my butt a bunch while occasionally I kicked theirs. That's what fueled my competitiveness.

What were some of the challenges you faced?

Not much honestly. Discrepancy in prize money and my cycling salary while racing when I was younger was about it.

Greatest moment/accomplishment in your sport?

Probably the very first pro race I've ever won, I was so happy and shocked when I crossed the line!

What keeps you going year after year?

Geez I have no earthly idea because I'm so much older than all my teammates and all the women in the sport at this level. It's killing me! I must be a little insane.

Future plans within your sport?

I'd say helping my team win some pro circuit series races and winning a couple more national and world championships this season in road and track.

Future plans outside of the sport, i.e. professional life, personal life?

Besides coaching athletes I want to start putting on training camps in the US and in Europe like I did in the 90s.

How far has cycling come during the timeframe in which you have been involved?

The technology has changed significantly, from the material the bikes are made of to the power meters we use for training and racing.

Where would you like to see your sport be in the coming years?

Pay for the pro athletes in cycling to be able to actually live on for men and women. Compared to other professional athletes, cyclists' salary is a joke. I would also like to see more juniors get on the bike and start competing like kids do in Europe.

What lessons have you taken from cycling that have helped you in your professional and personal life away from the track?

If you are going to do anything in this life, do it to the best of your ability and to never quit until it's done. Most importantly, even if you are one of the best, stay humble because there's always someone better or there will be soon.

What advice do you have for younger athletes coming up in cycling?

In any sport, you should laugh and have fun when you can and always give everything your best when competing.

After any competition don't beat yourself up if it didn't go as planned. Learn from it and move on!

3 words to describe your sports journey. Discuss why you chose those 3 words.

Disappointment (because of heat stroke at Olympic Trials in 96)

Blessed (to have a 2nd chance at this sport at my age at this level of competition)

Humility (because I'm half the rider I am now than I was when I was young. Took me awhile to get used to being a domestique for my team than winning the race for my team)