W ith the heat of the Las Vegas day beating down on her, cyclocross racer Kristin Weber, of Boulder, decided to soak her jersey before her Cross Vegas race to stay cool.
“I felt like I was racing on the surface of Mars,” she said with a laugh.
Weber, a 39-year-old mother of three and owner of graphic design business Sugar Design, won the USAC women’s division of the race last week, beating the next best finisher by almost two minutes. She debated racing in the elite women’s category, but she said that after getting smoked by the elite field at a race earlier this year, she liked her chances better in the USAC women’s category.
While in Las Vegas, Weber hopped over to Interbike to talk to some of her graphic design clients. Win a cyclocross race and then do some business — it’s all in a day’s work.
One of her first jobs was design for Schwinn, where her coworkers went on lunch rides and invited her to join. She was a casual cyclist before but joined in. On those lunch rides, she met her husband, David Weber, and some of her best friends.
When she left to found Sugar Design, she kept riding as a “dabbler,” she said. It wasn’t until 2009, after all three of her children — Keely, 8, Grace, 6, and Will, 4 — were born that she got into ‘cross racing.
“(David) bought me this piece of crap, $250 ‘cross bike that had downtube shifters on it, which is totally dangerous because you have to take our hand off the bars to shift,” she said. “He showed me how to mount and re-mount and I loved it. I thought, ‘I’m going to get into this.'”
Eventually, she invested in a better bike and her cyclocross career took off.
At the cyclocross national championships in January 2012, she raced to fifth place in her division. A few days later, at the cyclocross world championships, she took home a silver medal.
As a soccer player at Washington University in St. Louis, Kristin thrived in a team environment. As it turns out, she also thrives in a more individualistic sport like ‘cross. The sport fits well into her busy schedule, since the races are short and mostly close to home, she said.
“After having my babies, I remember being like ‘What am I going to do for myself?'” she said. “After giving and giving and giving, after years of being pregnant and you’re so in demand in the years of being a new mother, it was a nice refocus for me. It’s a much more manageable sport to get into.”
Kristin and four other cyclists are part of Boulder Cycle Sport Cyclocross Ambassadors team, a group that promotes the sport by teaching people how to ride, offering free clinics, volunteering and introducing new athletes to the sport, said teammate Pete Webber (no relation to Kristin).
“She’s a champion at that, too,” said Webber, who has known Kristin for 15 years.
As a small business owner, she works from a home office, so she can take off in the middle of the day for training. Her kids also like riding and ringing their cowbells at races, which helps, she added.
“I’m very grateful to represent the working moms,” Kristin Weber said. “A lot of the women at the elite level have children, and it’s inspiring.”
Her husband, David, agrees.
“Balancing a regular eight-to-five job, having kids and then racing is a completely different story,” David Weber said. “And there’s a lot of people who do it quite well in Boulder.”
–Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.