The World(s) According to Shop Kitty

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Seriously, how do I even begin to explain what just happened in Louisville?!  I won’t be able to do it justice, and frankly, don’t have the mental capacity to blog about it tonight.  I definitely experienced the best weekend of my 32 years on this planet, and so stoked on ‘cross.  If you don’t get it now, you never will.

I raced the Raleigh Single Speed Derby in Seneca Park on Thursday night.  It was my first time on a single speed since I was a child, and I didn’t have the best gearing for a newb, but it was all about the experience.  Let me sum it up in one, grammatically incorrect, sentence:

Night race + fire + bourbon + donuts + sketchy stairs + Craig Etheridge + a unicycle + 39×16 = epic radness.  Most fun I’ve ever had suffering like a dog.  I’ll be making a regular thing out of racing SS, just maybe not on such a heavy gear.

Handups are not a crime!
Handups are not a crime!

I had the pleasure of watching some of my local bike nerd friends’ at Masters Worlds.  I was nearly moved to tears watching Jane Burlew end her ‘cross season with a SOLID 3rd place finish.  She inspires me and I can only hope to be as smooth and graceful some day.  Class act lady.

Mike Stewart and Kim Bishop, my MSG teammates, had strong races in less than epic conditions.  Kim almost missed her qualifier, but made the best of it and had a blast.  What more can you really ask for?  Stewie was strong and stoic, as usual, and nearly froze to death.  He is really one of the strongest cyclists I know, both mind and body.  Love both of these folks like family.

Tony, John and Drew pitting for Mike.
Tony, John and Drew pitting for Mike.

Brian Sheedy also made his appearance on the podium with a silver medal.  This guy is the most modest human I’ve ever seen.  He’s skilled and fast, with very few ‘cross races under his belt.  He is just a guy who likes to ride bikes and coach kids.  He doesn’t think he’s anything special…just a normal guy.  We think he’s a beast, smashing “all da pedals”.

Things got pretty Sheedy in Louisville.
Things got pretty Sheedy in Louisville.

Saturday was quite possibly the most overwhelmed and ecstatic I’ve been in my life.  Walking towards Eva Bandman Park made my heart skip beats and you could feel the excitement of others as we all made our way to “the Superbowl”.  I handed out my #JPTFU signs and prepared myself for pandemonium.  As we moved through the gate, I could hear the screaming fans…and my head nearly exploded.  Mind blown.

This was WORLDS.

#ballsohard
#ballsohard

I wasn’t prepared for the “paparazzi”.  I had no idea a costume, glittery signs and a megaphone would cause such a stir.  I’m pretty sure it took me close to an hour to get from the sand pit to the beer tent due to all the photo ops.  The non-English speaking Euros would just point and shake the camera at us, so we posed like sideshow freaks.  Anything for the USA team!

And then Thom saw me…

http://dirtwire.tv/2013/02/cx-worlds-shop-kittys-race-report/

Everyone raced their hearts out.  I was proud of our team and the effort the gave.  It was a beautiful experience…something I’ll never forget and treasure for the rest of my life.  The Super Bowl “ain’t got shit” on the Cyclocross World Championship.

Then…FOAM PARTY.  The most amazing party of my life.  I can say that with true meaning, because I was in college for 7 years and did a lot of partying before I became an adult.  Raves, Widespread Panic Tour, Bonnaroo.  It’s all mediocre compared to the fun I had dancing the night away with my fellow bike nerds, while JPow and Zach McDonald ripped the shit out of the decks.  I’m still SO SORE from smashing the dance floor.

And that’s Worlds in a nutshell.  Thanks to everyone who made it possible.  Thanks to my sweet friends, who love me even in a bikini bottom and leather jacket.  Thanks to all my new friends for keeping the dancing going till the lights came on.  Thanks to the guys at Raleigh for putting on such a fun race.  Thanks to Louisville for throwing down with us.  I’ll never forget it.  Never, ever, ever.

craig

 

 

 

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