Lifestyle

More than meets the eye with Renton chiropractor

Renton’s Scott Petett jumps a 30-foot gap at during one of his free-ride mountainbike rides. - Gary Babcock/Gary
Renton’s Scott Petett jumps a 30-foot gap at during one of his free-ride mountainbike rides.
— image credit: Gary Babcock/Gary's Action Photography

By almost any measure, Renton’s Scott Petett is not your typical chiropractor.

Unless your typical chiropractor happens to enjoy soaring over 30-foot gaps, hucking his bike down a huge drop or navigating a log ride several feet off the ground.

Petett owns Petett Chiropractic and is married with two daughters, yet he’s still had time to develop a name for himself in the freeride mountain- biking world with a video that went viral and a couple of impressive race finishes under his belt.

On the surface Petett, 48, appears to be a fairly typical Renton success story. He grew up in the Highlands, lives in Kennydale and now is thriving with his business in Fairwood.

“This is my dream practice,” Petett said. “I get to practice in my home town and that’s fun because I will have patients come in that I’ve known since I was 5 and younger.”

Under the surface, his skill on the bike has gained him quite a bit of attention.

Despite a busy family and work life, Petett tries to get out and ride at least two or three times a week, usually at local trails including Tapeworm (in Renton near Philip Arnold Park) and Duthie Hill (Issaquah).

Becoming a chiropractor first popped onto his radar when he was attending Hazen in 1981. He was injured while cutting firewood one weekend and assumed he would miss the entire upcoming football season, until his coach suggested he go see a chiropractor. Petett was walking again in three days, running in five and played in the first game of the season.

One thing led to another and Petett has had his practice for more than 23 years. The past seven of which he’s been at his current location at 10622 S.E. Carr Road, where he works alongside his wife Anne.

He’s also been able to give back. Petett started a sports exam program at Lindbergh in 1995 and donated all the proceeds back to the school. In 15 years, it totaled nearly $28,000.

Petett has always been interested in bikes. In fact when he was younger he rode his bike to deliver the Renton Record-Chronicle. He got his first mountain bike in 1989. For much of the next 15 years he kept to cross-country riding – the most popular type of mountain biking on a variety of terrain with nothing too rough.

But things changed in 2002 when a friend convinced him to try free riding. Free riding is a more aggressive style that incorporates bigger jumps, elevated log rides and other obstacles that generally require more skill than cross-country riding. Petett took to it right away.

“Initially it grabbed me so much that I put cross country aside for a bit,” he said. “I really enjoyed the challenge of mastering the skills.”

Petett gained notoriety in 2005 when he filmed himself and a friend while the two rode a local trail in the North Bend/Issaquah area. The video was sent around to friends and eventually landed on YouTube, where it went viral and recorded more than a million views.

In 2009 a film company called Petett and asked if he would be interested in participating in a web film series. “The Season” would follow five athletes as they tried to take their sport to new heights.

“The first thing I said when they called was, ‘Do you know how old I am?’” Petett was 41 at the time. In fact it was his age, and the level he was riding at, that got the filmmakers Fitz Cahall and Bryan Smith interested in him.

After first declining, Petett eventually agreed to take part in the series. The four episodes followed Petett as he prepared for his first downhill race.

“I’m glad I did it,” he said. “It really was a lot of fun.”

After The Season, Petett entered a downhill race in Port Angeles as part of the Northwest Cup in 2010 and won his age group. Petett still tries to do at least one of the Northwest Cup races a year.

The obvious danger to his hobby is falling. Petett owns a small, family business and any injury that prevents him from working would be a very big problem. He mitigates the risk with what he calls the art to falling.

“I’m thankful that in most of my fall I don’t get hurt,” Petett said. “There’s the occasional crash where the sudden stop gets you, but there’s only been a couple where I’ve missed any time at work.”

While there’s certainly some risk involved, Petett might find it tough going without riding.

“It definitely helps me manage stress,” he said. “I get on my bike and it still makes me smile.”

It also gives him some extra knowledge when treating patients with injuries. Not only has he studied the human body, but he’s actually been injured and dealt with recover on a personal level.

Petett plans on riding for as long as he’s able to. He will race next April 6-8 in another Northwest Cup event.


See the videos

Want to see Renton’s Scott Petett in action? Go to www.petettchiropractic.com for episodes of The Season, as well as the YouTube video that got it all started.

 

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