Will the real Shop Kitty please stand up?


I love havin’ an AH-HA moment.  The grind has been really ugly, and I haven’t been able to catch my breath.  When I realized just how rough my financial situation was, I knew racing had to take a back seat.  This was a BIG pill to swallow.  I made things happen the only way I knew how– sleeping in the car, bringing my own food to races, and sometimes skipping a meal or two.

Sometimes we make sacrifices for the things we love, but when the things we love cause us trouble…

It’s time to let go.


Initially, I was pretty upset.  I felt a bit lost, and wasn’t sure what my goal was anymore.  I missed two days of training due to my work schedule, then I didn’t “feel” like riding.  I didn’t “feel” like riding the next day.  I didn’t care about riding the next day.  Then I just said fuck it altogether.

Next thing you know, I found myself in some crazy-ass rabbit hole, and a week had flown by.  I guess I should have swallowed the blue pill.


I decided to come out of retirement and ride a few miles while Chico dog was getting some work done at the vet.  I hit up Elk Mtn, one of my favorite climbs, and immediately noticed the shit storm that was my heart rate.  I couldn’t catch my breath, and my heart rate was through the roof.  I did everything I could to make the climb as chill as possible, but my body didn’t respond.  I spent the entire climb with my heart beating out of my eyeballs.  It was hot as shit, I was dehydrated, and I had been off the bike for over a week.  Amazing how much can change in 7 days.

Got to the parkway.  Decided to ride up to Craggy Gardens.  Lots of climbing, but nothing gnar, so I settled in.  I rode 40 miles that day, with over 5k of climbing.  I scolded myself for being a bitch about riding my bike.   I had to pull myself out of the rubble.


I went home for the weekend, laid by the pool, drank a few margis, and decided to challenge myself to a bigger ride.  The farthest I have ever been on a bicycle is 70 miles.  I raced Pisgah Monster Cross in 2012, having only been on a bike (period) for 3 months.  70 miles and 10k of climbing, on a borrowed Stevens ‘cross bike.  It took me 7.5 hours.  So, yeah.  I wanted to see what I was made of.

77.8 miles.  No crying.


I had plans of spinning out my legs at Pedal Fest today.  A nice, easy 33 miles, with a climb to the top of Watauga Dam.  I got to the lot and saw all the TCRC guys, and decided I wanted to go hard until I popped.  They kept it pretty mellow, but still harder than I wanted, and a couple guys went off the front.  I managed to hang on till we got to the bottom of the dam.  I watched them take off, but kept them in my line of sight.  I was on the verge of vomit, but wanted to push myself, so I kept mashing.  I made a valiant attempt to catch them at the bottom of the descent, but they had a serious pace line going, and I didn’t have a chance.  I proceeded to bust out a 15 mile TT, solo, with a headwind.  I murdered myself.  Maybe not the smartest thing to do, but it felt good.  And I can finally say I kept up with the big boys of TCRC.


Bikes can teach you a lot about life.  Gotta bury my head and know that I’m comin’ out the bigger, better human being in the end.


Can’t knock tha hustle.



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