Bill Peterson, an enormous name amongst the peloton for his work in orthotic design and foot alignment on the bike, died this week following a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 68.
Peterson was a board-certified pedorthist with more than 35 years of experience. He is much revered for his work in orthotics and cleat alignment, and pioneered the use of three-dimensional laser scanning and advanced milling techniques.
Recently, according to his website, www.wedofeet.com, Peterson worked with the Bissell and UnitedHealthcare teams. He lived in Tucson, Arizona and was the founder and president of Foot Fitness Pedorthic and Performance Centers.
Over the years, he worked with many of the top American professionals. His passing drew out professional cyclists on Twitter, including Lance Armstrong, who wrote:
“RIP Bill Peterson. All of us in the cycling world will miss you greatly.”
Ben Day (UnitedHealthCare) added:
“RIP Bill Peterson. You played a big part in the lives of many cyclists and your legacy will live on.”
A call to Peterson’s Arizona office went unanswered on Tuesday.
In recent days, Peterson’s Facebook wall became a message board for those wishing him and his family well. On April 28, Peterson wrote:
“It has been a long and hard battle — I have kept a positive attitude — riding as much as possible but the cancer has finally taken over. It has spread to my organs and the body is shutting down.”
From 1960 to 1978, Peterson was a member of the U.S. Ski Team, a professional skier, cyclist and water skier, according to the company website. In the 1980s, he designed and patented three direct mold pillow orthotics systems. In 2008, he produced a new orthotic system with laser scanning and CNC manufacturing.
Even near death, Peterson was looking toward the future.
“I have one week of business matters to deal with and then I go to my next life,” he wrote. “I have lived a fulfilling life touching the lives and helping many people. I have a great crew that I have spent months training so the Performance Center will be able to do everything I have spent 35 years developing.”
Peterson’s company recently merged with eSoles.
He closed his final Facebook message, saying:
“Thank you with all my heart and love. It has been a pleasure to know everyone both personally and professionally. Bill.”