Back Calf Neil and Katy Simmons

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Who: Neil Simmons

Where: Little Rock

Age: 40

Job: Service manager for apartment complex

Who: Katy Simmons

Where: Little Rock

Age: 38

Job: Product manager at Apptegy, certified yoga instructor, licensed massage therapist and co-founder of Arkansas Women’s Outreach

How long have you guys been riding your bikes?

Neil: About five or six years. At least for road bikes and serious cycling. Katy got a bike first. I was about 8 months later.

Katy: I used to ride a bike everywhere as a kid, but it was never for sport. It was for freedom. I got into cycling because my knees got tired of running. I would always see cyclists pass me and remember how much I loved bikes. So I bought one and stopped running, and it spiraled from there. 

How often do you guys ride?

Katy: Pretty much everyday. I get up and ride a couple of hours every morning before work and try to get a long ride in every weekend.

Neil: Yeah, if I’m training for races, I try to do 12 to 15 hours a week. But it’s hard to find that amount of time with a full-time job, kids, pets, real life. 

What kind of racing do you guys do?

Neil: We mainly do crits, stage races and I race cyclecross in the fall and winter, and I’ve been doing some mountain biking and gravel riding. I race for Pinnacle Velo.

Katy: If I had to pick a specific road race as a discipline, I really love stage racing. I love that it’s a numbers game and there’s a lot of strategy. I race for Leborne Women’s Racing, and I might race for Carve for cross this year.

You guys, at least in the cycling world, do not have enormous body-builder-looking calves, but in the real world, they’re extra-large. Do you get comments?

Katy: It’s usually when I wear heels. … Same with Neil.

Neil: I get comments here and there, but it’s usually from noncyclists, and I have to explain why my legs are shaved and that it’s not directly proportionate to the rest of my body.

Do y’all have any rides coming up that you’re excited about?

Neil: I have a little offseason ride coming up that I did last year with a couple of friends, riding from the city of Uruapan to Mexico City, which is about 300 miles. It’s a cycling pilgrimage to the Basilica [of Our Lady of Guadalupe] in Mexico City. 

Katy: This is where couples who share hobbies argue. Because I’m totally going on this trip with him, he just doesn’t know it yet.