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...]

A New Kind of Ride

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Rain had been in the forecast all week and there was great concern about what could happen come Saturday morning. Seventy miles of road cycling is daunting enough on its own, but add pouring rain and it could become pure drudgery. Many conversations before the ride consisted of speculation on the weather's effect on the coming event. This isn't going to be your average charity ride; this is … [Read more...]

Contrasts

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Where the rubber meets the road, that sharp edge as a wheel cuts a turn. A machine, parts moving, driven by the flesh and blood motor, all in chaotic motion to generate forward movement is attached to the constant of the tarmac...and yet not attached. A warm Spring evening, the smell of freshly cut grass mixed with the sweet, organic scents of nearby standing water. The cottonwood trees shed … [Read more...]

All Rise Century Ride

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Court was in session Saturday as the All Rise Century Gavel came hammering down. After much deliberation the jury was deadlocked. All riders were relieved when the decision came down. The judge declared a mistrial and the whole Century ride would have to be repeated again next year. This event gets better each year and the out-and-back route follows some of Arkansas' best rural farmland. The … [Read more...]

A Good Heart

The advanced group pace line.

What comes to your mind when you hear the words good heart? Most would think of someone having a kindly generous disposition. I tend to think along the lines of normal blood pressure, sinus rhythm, and good cardiac output. Last Saturday (April 26th) was an event hosted by The Arkansas Heart Hospital called the Cardiac Classic. This event housed every definition of the word. It was about the health … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Out and Back in the Flatlands

Setting up for a pass with just yards left in the race.

This past Sunday morning, on a road that was THE way to get from Little Rock to Memphis before Interstate 40 was built, road cyclists from around the state met to see who is the fastest rider. There is probably no better way to find out than a time trial. Time trials are a true test of an individual cyclist's mettle. No drafting, no team play, no laying back and waiting on a sprint. Each … [Read more...]