#RespectYourElders: If you think riding a bike in the city is scary, you may not believe Kittie Weston-Knauer’s amazing BMX career. At 70 years old, Weston-Knauer is the oldest female BMX racer in the United States and has no intention of stopping any time soon.
Weston-Knauer watched her husband and son compete in BMX races every weekend, but didn’t truly understand their passion for BMX until she was dared to enter a race by her son. As a high school principal with no competitive cycling experience, she decided to compete in her very first event on Mother’s Day in 1988.
“I said my husband and Max were nuts if they thought they could race and I would just sit on the sidelines,” Weston-Knauer said to Bicycling.com.
After her first race, despite her son’s fears that she would get injured, Weston-Knauer craved being on the track. There was no women’s division at the time and Weston-Knauer often found herself outracing the men.
After competing in a series of races, Weston-Knauer suffered an injury that left her temporarily paralyzed below her shoulders. Weston-Knauer’s neurosurgeon was adamant that she would never walk again. But she was determined to prove him wrong. Just days after having surgery, she was able to stand.
Her care team was floored. She told her shocked doctor, “I explained to you I was walking out of here.”
A few months later, she was back on the track and more motivated than ever.
Today, winning doesn’t matter to her as much as it used to, but she spends much of her time in the gym preparing to compete. She still enters races all over the country in the women’s 56+ cruiser category.
Read more about Weston-Knauer’s story here.