Rider Profile: Kayt Mathers
Photography by Jesse Lash, Words by Anna Maria Diaz-Balart
Kayt Mathers moved to NYC from Portland OR, with two suitcases and a bike. Although she hadn't yet started racing, she was already totally hooked on cycling. Living in Portland, it's just how people got around. Little by little Kayt started realizing that the ride there was the best part of any activity and, that no matter what the bike, it just put you in a great mood. In New York she commuted while building her career in food and wine communications. While NYC isn't the cyclists paradise that Portland is, Kayt took to the new terrain. Her incredibly sunny disposition didn't hurt either! Over the years, she has found commuting here to be incredibly personally rewarding, often meeting other commuters along the way.
On a whim, a few years back, Kayt stopped in to a local bike shop called King Kog. She wanted a cycling cap. When she came out, she had a cap and a custom build bike in the works. It was that custom frame, built in by Armando Quiros that changed everything. Experiencing the city on a bike that fit perfectly was like nothing else, and the sense of adventure was overwhelming. Kayt calls this the best impulse buy of her entire life.
A chance meeting with another cyclist on a commute would change her life once again. The stranger had a number pinned to his jersey and, long story short, Kayt would end up joining Kissena, one of the oldest and biggest cycling clubs in New York. It was on Kissena that Kayt would develop into the cyclist she is today. When she joined she was the only woman wearing the jersey. Her presence on the team was a beacon to to other women and, cyclists all over New York (myself included), rushed to join the new Kissena women's team.
In addition to being the central figure in the women's Kissena team, Kayt would also go on to have fantastic road results, crush it at the track, and grow into a strong cyclocross racer. Along the way she might have also developed the reputation for being the nicest cyclist anyone's ever met.