Culture

Out of the Saddle with Kate Courtney

We caught up with the former world champion who is staying focused on her goal of gold in Tokyo 2021.

Member Exclusive

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Join

Already a member?

Sign In

Like all bike racers, professional mountain biker Kate Courtney has had to shift some plans this summer. That hasn’t stopped the former world champion and current world cup points leader from focusing on her primary goal: the Tokyo Olympics. Courtney lives and trains in the storied hills outside of San Francisco, California, and like so many cyclists who had the freedom to ride outdoors during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, she was able to incorporate longer and more adventurous rides into her repertoire this summer. Another silver lining to the strange times? Courtney had time to make a new commitment: to a puppy named Monte.

What was your first bicycle?
Technically a princess-themed Strider, but my first real mountain bike was a Specialized Hot Rock.

If you could be anything other than a cyclist what would it be?
I majored in Human Biology at Stanford, with a focus on global health and technology innovation. I am really interested in how technology can help solve big problems in health care around the world. I am not sure exactly what I’d be doing but likely something related to this!  

What non-cycling object do you treasure the most?
My new puppy Monte.

Which living or historical person do you most admire?
There are so many that it is hard to choose. 

What is your greatest extravagance?
Nothing makes me feel more extravagant than buying Kombucha and Perfect Bars at the grocery store.

Kate Courtney performs at UCI XCO World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on August 11th, 2019 Photo: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool 

What quality do you most like in a person?
Optimism, determination, and compassion.

What is your favorite film or film character?
Step Brothers on the funny side, Shawshank Redemption on the serious side.

What is your favorite writer or book?
Malcolm Gladwell and Anne Lamott are two of my favorites.

What is your favorite musician or band?
Beyonce.

What historical event has had the biggest impact on you?
The coronavirus pandemic.