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The Gravel Grinder

The Land Run 100 with Team De Pjip.

Dirty Kanza Slideshow 2013 from Eric Benjamin on Vimeo. The Dirty Kanza 200 is a solo, self-supported, non-stop, 200-mile-long bicycling endurance challenge on the gravel and dirt roads of the Flint Hills region in east-central Kansas. The race brings over 1,000 riders from 7 countries and 46 states, and is recognized as one of the top five endurance races in the world. What the heck does this … [Read more...]

Tour de Cure: The Hunt for a Peanut Butter and Jelly

Arkansas Heels on Wheels group.

Decked out in my best riding kit, jersey pockets full of fuel for the day, cell phone charged for photo ops, and meeting up with my other Arkansas Heels on Wheels riding buddies, Saturday sounded  like any other morning I was preparing to ride. However, it was not just any normal riding day. Today, I would watch my mother not only join her first organized ride but also beat her longest ride by … [Read more...]

Springtime in the Timberlands

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For the second year in a row, on May 10th, a little mountain bike race in an unlikely place will start off the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series. Most of the races in the series have taken place in the Ozark or Ouachita Mountains or Arkansas River Valley. The Timberlands Mountain Bike Race takes place right on the geological border between the Timberlands of southern Arkansas and the … [Read more...]

Hey…Coach! – The Road to Leadman, Part 5

James and Leadville Legend Ken Choulbler

"You’re better than you think you are.  You can do more than you think you can!”– Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville Race series an imminent coach to all participants For most of us when we hear someone yell “Hey, coach” it takes us back to our early school days, a time when “Coach” was a title of respect and when our ideas and concepts of what a coach is were formed.  Coach told you what to … [Read more...]

Rollin’ Down The Highway

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The Highway 71 Classic is, as its name suggests, a classic ride in Northwest Arkansas, attracting more than 200 cyclists a year. While there are a few different ride options (including a "dirty" route), the main one goes from the Greenhouse Grille in Fayetteville to Mountainburg and back, covering just under 75 miles. Highway 71 is wide and smooth, and after leaving Fayetteville, there is some … [Read more...]

Trails don’t just happen

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One of the most popular activities in parks and wilderness areas is hiking on trails. For thousands of years trails have been used for transportation, hunting, exploring, commerce. Long before roads, trails were created not on purpose but through repetition of use, the path of least resistance to travel from one point to another. In the late 19th century, as our technological world expanded … [Read more...]

The Long and Short of It.

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How many laps can you do on a 10 mile trail in 6.5 hours? That's the question to be answered in the Spa City 6-Hour Marathon Mountain Bike Race. This is the only race of its type in the Arkansas Mountain Bike Marathon Series. The race utilizes a Le Mans start, that is riders stand a good distance away from their bikes at a starting line between two flags at the bottom of a large, grassy … [Read more...]

Flat, Cold, Windy and Wonderful

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Sandwiched by two beautiful Spring days, Sunday was cool, windy and gray. While many people would consider the weather a hindrance to cycling, fifteen teams of five cyclists met at Willow Beach Park along the Arkansas River near Scott, Arkansas to race in the cold wind on an overcast morning. For the second year in a row, Justin Slarks, who many know from Chainwheel Bike Shop in Little … [Read more...]

Spa City 6 Hour – The Videos

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We were going back through our old You Tube feed the other day and realized that we had some fun videos from the Spa City 6 Hour Mountain Bike Race over the last couple of years. So for Throwback Thursday, #TBT, we decided to share them as we prepare for this year's version of the race on March 15. The first are these two from 2012. AO contributor James "Power Ranger" Gaston was willing to put … [Read more...]

Carving up the Crosswinds Classic

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Racing bicycles on the road is different than most other events we cover. It's actually more of a team sport than running, paddling or even trail running. Road cycling teams train together, working out strategies utilizing the strengths of different team members, sprints, climbers, workhorses; it takes all to get a single rider to the front of the pack at precisely the right moment to capture the … [Read more...]