Grit’s Story


It all started when…

Mike grew up in rural Kentucky living next to a dairy farm and working along side his parents in the family towing business. It was in this small town he learned how to craft beautiful objects from otherwise discarded pieces. His boy like since of wonder and adventure was never lost; as today he still loves to explore country roads and forgotten areas others have left behind. Mike loves creating with his hands outside of the shop as well and can often be found remodeling his house, building furniture, and searching for local art in the off-season. Some of his favorite things include chocolate chip cookies, Sunday afternoon naps, big fluffy dogs, and a cold glass of ice water.

While Grit Cycling technically started in 2011, the journey really begins in 2009. Mike, the founder, looking to make some life changes, started losing a significant amount of weight by riding a mountain bike. For the type of riding he was doing, he thought the mountain bike was very inefficient and wanted a road bike to commute to class. He couldn’t afford anything he looked at online, so he took to Craigslist. He bought a Peugeot road bike, fixed it up a little at home, and started riding it to class. Once the semester was over, he then sold the bike on Craigslist for more than he initially paid. Realizing the value in restoration, he decided to grow his skills and knowledge. 

Also needing to pay tuition costs, he started fixing bikes and selling them, becoming aware of the need and market for this in Louisville. At first he was just fixing a few bikes here and there, all out of his living room. As the demand started to grow, Mike's fleet of bikes started to get bigger and bigger. Mike moved houses to one with a garage, having a fleet of about 10 bikes at the time. These 10 bikes quickly turned into about 85 bikes, cluttering the house and the backyard. Around 2011, he had to find space as a workshop, never intending to be an actual business with hours of operation. He named his workshop Old Bikes Belong, and before he knew it people started to show up. He had a few store hours here and there but eventually realized he needed full on hours of operation and had inadvertently started his own small business.

Fast forward to 2013, Mike started stocking new bikes and growing the shop. As he got more into riding and competition, the shop started carrying more products geared toward the different facets of cycling he was exploring. As the business continued thriving, the name ‘Old Bikes Belong’ began to confuse folks on exactly what the shop was capable of doing. Though we never want to stray from our roots of turning old forgotten bikes into beautiful creations, the name had to change and thus in 2018 Grit Cycling was born. Along with this name change the shop doubled in space to over 3000 square feet and a full remodel took place of the entire space.

Today the shop still does vintage road bikes and restorations but we have the floor space and knowledge base to cater to all type of riders. Mike has personally competed in several Ironman triathlons, two Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel races, countless centuries, and several mountain bike races, but still loves to ride to the ice cream shop on an old steel frame. Its because of this experience we can relate to so many different types of riders and their needs. While we no longer specialize in one type of bike we do specialize in creating the best value available for our customers.


Why Grit?

VERB

  1. clench (the teeth), especially in order to keep one's resolve when faced with an unpleasant or painful duty.
    "Congress must grit its teeth and take action"

  2. move with or make a grating sound.
    "fine red dust that gritted between the teeth"

NOUN

  1. Small, loose particles of stone or sand.
    "she had a bit of grit in her eye"
     

  2. courage and resolve; strength of character.   
    "he displayed the true grit of the navy pilot"

Each definition of “Grit” exists within every form of cycling. No matter your bike of choice, you have to have at least a little grit to ride. When you are facing literal dirt in your eyes while riding the trails, pushing through the last mile of a century ride, or deciding to ride despite that car getting far too close on your commute, you are showing us your grit.

Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyways.
— John Wayne