Growing up in rural Michigan, Jay Westcott spent his summer days as a kid on his BMX bike, riding around the track that his dad, a heavy equipment operator, constructed for him. When he was 14, BMX freestyle took over. After a crash that left him with a head wound and several stiches when he was 17, Jay didn’t touch a bike until he was 37.
In 2009, Jay’s mother, a two-time breast cancer survivor, came to him with a plea: “Will you please quit smoking?” After 17 years as a pack-a-day smoker, Jay quit cold turkey at the end of September 2009.
Hoping to take his mind off his smoking cravings, Jay bought a bike and quickly became enamored with the sport’s speed. “My friends joke that I traded one addiction for another,” he says. His rides started taking him farther and faster and soon he sought out group rides. “I rode with a buddy on a casual ride, but it was too slow. I needed to go faster.”
In 2010 he started racing and joined Squadra Coppi, an Arlington, Virginia based amateur team. By the end of 2010 he was experiencing pain in his left hip and was off the bike until mid-2011 when he was diagnosed with a bone deformity called FAI (femoral acetabular impingement). Surgery and recovery ate up the rest of 2011 and Jay didn’t get back on the bike until the Spring of 2012.
Jay racked up nearly 4,000 miles on the bike in 2012 and raced in 5 road races and 7 cyclocross races. Jay looks to upgrade to Cat 4 early in the road season, and will race in the 3/4 35+ cyclocross races this fall.
When he’s not on the bike, Jay’s either working as a photojournalist, covering politicians on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail, or spending time with his daughter, Lauren.