Being a cyclist in Iceland is no mean feat. With less than 100 days of ‘appropriate’ outdoor riding weather a year, it’s a challenge just taking up the pursuit in the first place, let alone reaching the upper echelons of cycling as a competitive sport.
As a young athlete, Briet Kristy never imagined herself as a cyclist. Following an injury from competitive soccer at the age of 18, she searched for a new sport, something that could be hers. The story should go that a friend gave her a cyclocross bike to aid in her recovery and the rest is history…but that bike sat untouched in her garage for twelve months! This inauspicious start escalated quickly into an obsession, releasing a competitive instinct that still lay within.
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Juggling the realities of training as an elite athlete, along with being both a mum to three and a full-time lawyer, requires an incredible amount of dedication. In a country where ‘summer’ exists for three months, with cold wintery weather for the remaining nine, training in your garage can get pretty lonely. But a burgeoning cycling scene in Reykjavik has seen five or six indoor cycling clubs pop up, providing extra training opportunities, motivation for the normally competitive Sunday rides and a strong sense of community across the country’s small riding population.
Thriving in adverse conditions can provide a mental advantage, which Briet has drawn upon to perform right throughout her cycling career. Whatever the event, she’s able to push herself to the limit - so hard that she ‘leaves her brains out on the course’ - from local five person road races, to The Rift (possibly the world’s most spectacular gravel race) and representing her home country at the UCI World Championships.
Competing at the highest level, successfully, does more than just feed her competitive soul. Briet’s dedication and effort inspires her children to push themselves everyday when they face their own challenges, to leave everything out there - a value she lives by every time she gets on her bike.