Like Father, Like Son – The Springhill Classic

Connor off to a good start.

Can I tell you how excited I am that my son Connor is following in my footsteps as a mountain biker? My first two kids never really got the 'bug', but it seems to be growing slowly in my boy Connor. Now all I need to do is continue to feed the bug and not squash it out of existence. That came close at his previous race at Devil's Den State Park but to his credit, he is a resilient child, and up … [Read more...]

Round and around and around they go…

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2014 marked the fourth year of the Star-Spangled Classic Criterium,  the last hurrah of local road bike racing in Little Rock before it slips silently away for the summer until it is reborn like a phoenix in the spring.  The course is a flat, 1-mile circuit mostly along Riverfront Drive in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  For those unfamiliar with criterium racing, cyclists race for a fixed amount of … [Read more...]

2013 Syllamo’s Revenge – Last year’s story

Having a good time.

(Editor's Note: AO Contributor, Cliff Li, raced in the 2013 Syllamo's Revenge and shares the experience with anyone planning out their race this weekend.) I couldn't believe it, I had actually finished the Syllamo's Revenge 50 mile marathon mountain bike race. That made it 3 for 3 for the marathon mountain bike races I had committed myself to training for and racing in for the year 2013. First, … [Read more...]

The Fittest of the Fit and Toughest of the Tough

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I've heard it's sometimes baffling why people run marathons, compete in Ironmans, ride centuries, or participate in a host of other endurance type events.  If it's painful or difficult or not at all "fun", why do people subject themselves to suffering and misery?  The Hazel Valley 100, which took place this past weekend at Hazel Valley Ranch, is one such example.  Even more so, as there is no … [Read more...]

Hazel Valley High

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This marked the third (I think) occurrence of the Hazel Valley Gran Prix - a 55-mile gravel grinder on the forest roads and back roads of the Ozark National Forest in Northwest Arkansas.  I had friends who had done the ride/race in the past and lived to tell the tale.  Now it would be my turn to put my mettle to the test.  Ever since I drove away from Hazel Valley Ranch last spring after the … [Read more...]

2013 Saddlebock Mountain Bike Festival – Fun for the Whole Family!

Enjoying the bonfire.

Through word of mouth, the hidden gem of Hazel Valley Ranch had been talked about among my fellow mountain biker and cyclist friends here in Central Arkansas.  I was determined to get up to NW Arkansas the next time an event was held there, and when Joe invited me to accompany him to the Saddlebock Mountain Bike Festival, I jumped at the opportunity.  Billed as a "Family Friendly weekend event", I … [Read more...]

Spokes Party!

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What's better than mountain biking on one of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) designated Epic trails? Mountain biking on one of those trails in good company, with knowledgeable guides and the promise of a great post-ride party! I've always said, "it's awesome to ride on some of the best trails in the world. But it's even better to share the experience with others." On … [Read more...]

Tri that in the dark!

A couple of climbers racing for the top in the rain.

Since I missed racing in the Raid the Rock adventure race last year, I've been itching to do some sort of multisport race.  Enter the Medi-O-Core triathlon, a trail run, mountain bike, and rock climbing triathlon. That's pretty close to a sprint adventure race in my book, minus the navigation, so that should easily scratch that itch, or so I hoped.  This is the second year of the Medi-O-Core … [Read more...]

Battle Royale

Bike control, mallet control and keeping an eye on the other players makes for a very intense game.

Bike polo is one of the lesser known biking-related activities out there.  Chances are, you wouldn't even know it existed unless you know someone who actually plays it.  It's got sort of an underground hipster type vibe, but not the kind found in some dark back alley.  It's usually played on a court the size of a tennis court with hockey goals and sideboards.  Three person teams play each other on … [Read more...]