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Portraits of Cyclists Cait Dooley and Peter Stetina | Bicycling Magazine

Sometimes we meet people for a reason. The morning I was scheduled to photograph pro racer Peter Stetina in Santa Rosa, CA for a Bicycling Magazine feature called “These Legs Were Made For Cycling,” I was rear ended in an accident and totaled my truck. Peter’s story for the piece is about his recovery during a horrible bike accident while racing in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco that left him with a shattered kneecap, cracked tibia, torn LCL [lateral collateral ligament], and 5 broken ribs. Thursday of that week I completely botched a meeting with a new potential client due to the stress from multiple deadlines, consecutive shoots, and most likely my recent car accident. Topping off the week (only two days after meeting Peter) for the same article in Bicycling Mag I photographed Cait Dooley – a soul cyclist and bike racer who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer while in peak fitness.

It was one of the most stressful weeks I can remember, yet it ended with me feeling like I have the best job in the world. You don’t plan for a smashed truck just like you don’t plan for destroyed knee caps, broken ribs, or cancer. I was humbled and sucker punched on this assignment for good reasons. Meeting two super humans reminded me that the financial and sentimental lose of a truck didn’t matter one bit! Thank you photography.⠀

Cait Dooley, product manager at GT Bicycles, mountain bike racer, and cancer survivor | Bicycling Magazine

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Peter Stetina, professional road racer for Trek-Segafredo. Santa Rosa, CA | Bicycling Magazine

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BTS: Portrait set up on location in Santa Rosa, CA | Bicycling Magazine


Shoot Related Facts:
•  Peter normally eats Puffins cereal after his training rides. When I asked why not a full meal, he replied “who has time for that – I have to take a nap.”
•  Furniture sliders can turn a conference room into a small studio when you are in a pinch.
•  4 different photographers across the US were assigned to this feature. We each had to match our photography to the art direction.
• Four months after Peter’s accident he was racing in the Tour of Utah.
•  My truck has been replaced with a better one, and nobody was hurt except for my wallet.

View the entire feature and read the compelling stories of all 6 featured cyclists: “These Legs Were Made For Cycling.”



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Jay Watson
San Francisco Bay Area based lifestyle and people photographer Jay Watson shoots editorial, apparel, automotive, corporate, and sports subjects for commercial clients. Published in over 70 magazines.

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