Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tour Final: Froome Finishes in Yellow--Team Pancake Finishes Perfectly Golden Brown

The last week of the Tour has been interesting, if somewhat predictable. American Tejay Van Garderan's tearful departure due to illness on stage 17, Garaint Thomas's dramatic head-first crash into a utility pole, Nibali's attack and stage win on Stage 19, and Quintana's desperate race for second place on Alpe d'Huez all made for a bit of drama, but the baseline has been has been the steady performance of Chris Froome and TeamSky.

In the mini league, there has been more excitement. My phone has been blowing up today, as I hear about side-bets, dinners and beers won and lost, and some general, "take that final score bXtch" smack talk.
In the last few days, I could look over my shoulder and see the glow of the lantern rouge as my team has dropped to 45th  place, while Matt Milner's Ridin' Dirty rose to the top of the heap, only to fall to the middle of the pack, along with most of the previous top level teams. There have been massive shifts in the league over the last couple of stages, and I'm just relieved that my team did not come in DFL.

I've made similar mistakes in choosing my team in each of the last couple of tours. I've stuck with Mark Cavendish, though his star is waning, and I've mostly ignored Peter Sagan, whose consistent performances and all 'round ability have made him the perennial green jersey holder. Even without a stage win, his close finishes and dominance of intermediate sprints make him solid gold for a fantasy team. My second sprinter, Kristoff, disappointed as well. History was against my GC pick of Alberto Contador in his attempt to pull off a Giro-Tour double.
I'll know better next time, but may not finish any higher.


Winners:
It appears that we had some late joiners, as we started the Tour with 41 teams and finished with 47!

PODIUM FINISHERS

1--Team Pancake Dumas Garrett       7221 points 
90.00 Bike Tune up from Arkansas Cycling and Fitness

2--Team Spank   David   7158 points
Yeti Insulated Mug from Ozark Outdoor Supply


3--Kool Aeros Micho! 7089 points 
25.00 Spokes Gift Card

Lanterne Rouge - The lanterne rouge refers to the red lantern which was hung on the back of the caboose of trains. It also refers to the last place finisher. DFL as it is known in many circles.

Our lanterne rouge goes to Drewsky of Team Moffeed with 3516 points.  Angry Dave's T-shirt and water bottle.

Drew was concerned early on that his wife was going to beat him, as there was some trash talking going on at home. Well, Drew, it was worse than that.

There had been a protracted battle for last between Cliff L. and Matthew Parrish, but both bumped up to some degree of respectability in the final days of the Tour. In doing so, they missed out on any chance of winning anything, while Drew somehow manged to sprint, slog, flat, bonk, whatever you do to race to the back of the pack, to claim a prize.

It is interesting to look over the teams that did really poorly, as all looked good on the front end. Drewsky had Contador and Nibali, along with Michael Rogers, Joaquim Rodriguez, and Stage 16 winner Rafal Majka.
Crazy stuff.

Previous Stage winners:


Stage 17  Angry Vikings  $20.00 Gift Card from Angry Dave's
Happy Viking? gettyimage from Velonoews

The Vikings were 5th in points for this stage but Jeremy had the winner, Giant-Alpecin's Simon Geschke. Jeremy had some insight, liked the Viking-style beard,  or was just lucky. Geschke has raced at the top level of the sport for at least 8 years, going back to Team Milram in 2008, and has had a grand total of 3 wins.

Stage 20 Road Rash- Chico  25.00 Spokes Gift Card

Chico had Thibaut Pinot and the top score of 638 points on the day
Stage 21 Speed Racers Ted Tedford  $20.00 Gift Card from Angry Dave's

Have I mentioned that I really don't like Andre Greipel? I guess he showed me that my sentiment has very little influence on his success, as he has emerged as the Tour's top sprinter.


Folks, 
I hope you've enjoyed played the game. If you have won a prize, please contact me so that I can hook you up with the sponsor. If for any reason you will not be claiming your prize, let me know that as well. It has been fun for me to watch the progress of our teams, but I will admit that the Tour coincided with some incredibly busy weeks for me. That made for less frequent updates that I had planned, and I was unable to follow the race as closely as I usually do.

Thanks again to Angry Dave's, Arkansas Cycling and Fitness, Ozark Outdoor Supply, and Spokes, who sponsored our fun with great prizes. There was nothing in it for them beyond community spirit and a desire to join in the excitement. Shop with them and tell them "thanks" when you do!



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Leave No Trace Takes Stage 12; Argh...takes 13, and Team Marshmallow got all puffed up on stage 14. Upcoming Prize Points

Rob Stephens of Team Leave No Trace claimed to have no idea what he was doing in picking his team. Now he claims the exclusive JBarCycling coffee mug as a result of his 518 points on Stage 12, and his selection of Jaoquim Rodriguez. Purito, as Rodriguez is known, was the first rider to top of the massive Plateau de Beille, claiming his second stage win of this Tour. 

The stage 13 winner was Team Argh managed by Dave McWhorter, with Greg Van Avermaet. Dave wins a $15.00 gift card from Ozark Outdoor Supply. Dave, please drop me a note at jbarcycling@comcast.net and I'll get you hooked up with your gift card.


Stage 14- OK, I didn't declare a prize for this stage, but the biggest point winner on the day and  likely our youngest directeur sportif, is Alison Gambill, age 9, of Team Marshmallow. Alison picks up a T-Shirt from sponsor Arkansas Cycling and Fitness. Alison seems to have an endless collection of stylish sparkly shoes, so it is probable that she will be a road cyclist.
I'm not sure, but Alison may have gotten some advice on her team picks.....




Here is the prize list for JBarCycling Minileague for the rest of the Tour:


Stage 17 Digne les Bains to Pra-Loup -Top score among teams with the stage winner:
Angry Dave's -20.00 Gift Card



Stage 20 to Alpe d'Huez Top score among teams with the stage winner:
 Spokes-$25.00 Gift card

Stage 21- Paris! Top score among teams with the stage winner:
 Angry Dave's -20.00 Gift Card





Final Podium:

Top Score- Arkansas Cycling and Fitness Bike Tune-up, valued at $90.00

Second Place:Yeti Insulated Mug from Ozark Outdoor Supply, valued at $30.00

Third Place: $25.00 Spokes Gift Card

Lanterne Rouge- DFL This position is being hotly contested! The winning loser will be rewarded by Angry Dave's with an Angry Dave's T-shirt and water bottle.

Prize Winners: Please drop me a note at jbarcycling@comcast.net so that I know prizes are being claimed and so that I can verify the winners to the sponsors.

I've been asked by some out-of-town winners if someone else can pick up their prize. The answers is yes.  It's yours do do with as you see fit. Just let me know who will be picking up your prize.
 Also, our sponsors have been generous in providing our prizes and my hope is they get some payback by gaining a customer or two. These are all local shops who depend on our community for support. Whether you win or not, please shop with these merchants and thank for their support. Even though my team seems to get closer to the lanterne rouge every day, the league makes the Tour a bit more fun.

Friday, July 17, 2015

How To Be Gentleman/Lady Cyclist

GCN Videos can be both informative and entertaining.This is worth a watch for the good advice and a chuckle.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

100K at 100F- Wampoo Roadeo This Saturday

In truth, and we're all about the truth here at JBarCycling, the forecast for the weekend has moderated a bit, with a forecast high of a balmy 97 for Saturday's  Wampoo Roadeo metric century. The ride is a  fund raiser for the Marilyn Fulper Memorial Fund. Registration is on site at the All Souls Church, 4601 Walker's Corner Road, Scott, AR (Off of I-440, take Highway 165 east  to Scott. Take a left at Hwy 161. U R there). You will see bicycles and people dressed like you.

But, seriously, folks...
It is going to be hot, with dew points reaching into the mid-70s. That mean you will sweat like a pig and get little cooling effect for you efforts. Start hydrating right now. Really. Get up and go get a glass of water. Drink it down.

Be prepared to exceed your ambitions-

Last year, I planned to make a stop or two, but the fast train was just too good to get off of, so 2-hours and 45 minutes later, we rolled into the finish with empty bottles, empty pockets, and a mighty thirst. Even if your plan includes all of the rest stops, be prepared with your own food, some electrolytes, and maybe an extra bottle if you think you might need it.
We have a lot of new riders in our growing cycling community, and this is a great chance to experience an "event" ride prior to the BDB100, Hotter'n'Hell100, MS150, and other upcoming big rides.  Prepare for the unexpected. There are well stocked rest stops and plenty of SAG on this ride, but it is good practice to look over your bike, particularly your tires, and check your flat kit before heading out on any long road ride. Be capable of being self-sufficient, even if you know help is close by.


This is the 7th Wampoo Roadeo. It is a low pressure, well-supported event. It can also be a good chance to clock a fast ride if that is your goal.

Registration starts at 6:00. Ride rolls at 7:00AM. There are 50 and 35 mile routes as well as the metric. RevRock Cycling and the Mello Velos are among the sponsors. Feel free to abuse me if I've missed others!

After there ride, you'll be treated to cold watermelon and delicious Loblolly ice cream and that's not all!!!
You may win one of these fabulous prizes donated by  generous sponsors:
Angry Dave's Bicycles: 3 tee shirts and 3 water bottles, 2 @ $25.00 gift certificates
Arkansas Garden Center: 2 @ $25.00 gift certificates
Crush Wine Bar: $25.00 gift certificate
Mugs Cafe: $25.00 gift certificate
Galaxy Furniture: $25.00 gift certificate
Arkansas Ale House: $25.00 gift certificate
Riverfront Steakhouse: dinner for two @ $70.00
107 Liquor: $25.00 gift certificate
Spokes Bike Shop: 2 @ $25.00 gift certificates
Fresh Market: $25.00 gift certificate
Beer Making Kit
Road ID: 5 @ $15.00 gift certificates
Ryde Revolution: 5 free sessions

I'll see you out on the road.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stage !2 -Make or Break...or, have a cup of coffee in your new favorite cup!


Stage 12 looks to be a deal breaker for any contender hoping to stay within striking distance of Chris Froome and Team Sky. Here in the Mnileague, the prize winning has been spread around, so the same methodology will be used here. Have the top team score on the day among teams with the stage winner and you get a JBar Cycling coffee mug.





If Froome and Company put more time on their key rivals or even simply can control  this stage, things may look to be in the bag for Sky. Nobody has been able to put much pressure on them, but a bad day on a stage like this can be costly.

--Who would have thought that a team that includes Nibali, Contador, and Quintana would be running 40th out of our 41 teams? I'm glad nobody offered me a wager on that proposition.

Most GC Hopes In Shambles After Stage 10 Mountain Finish- Pancake Man Big Winner

Ride Goes to Sky
The first mountain top finish of the 2015 Tour left the hopes of most GC contenders in dismay as Team Sky lit up the remains of the peloton. Richie Porte set a hard pace that only Froome and Nairo Quintana could follow as they soon swallowed up a couple of early attackers. Froome then lit 'em up and dropped Quintana, who was overtaken by Porte before the finish. Quintana lost a minute and the other GC hopefuls lost 2 or more. I saw Froome ride off from everyone except Tejay Van Garderen in the Dauphine with a similar attack, but i had to believe that Contador, Tejay and Quintana could hang with him. No way, today.  You can read all that in CyclingNews. The important standings are below.

In the JBarCycling Minileague, there were no changes in the top 8, but Dumas Garrett's Team Pancake made a very strong move with Froome, Porte, and Quintana all on his roster. Moving up from 24th place to 9th with 709 points on the day, Dumas won a T-Shirt from Arkansas Cycling and Fitness.

Thanks for AC&F for providing today's prize.

There is also a battle raging for the dubious honor of the Lanterne Rouge, as Cliff Li's Team Istillhavenoideawhatimdoing goes wheel-to-wobbly-wheel with Matthew Parish's Rampant Sur Le Velo in the race to last place in the league. Remarkably, both teams are laden with talent like Nibali, Quintana, and Contador, and could easily have been pre-race favorites. Such is the nature of even this shadow of the Tour be France that the margin between big shot winner and shattered loser can be so slim.
Carry on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Winners and losers and bad team choosers

The winner among us for the first 9 stages of the Tour is Galen Horton with his Veni Vidi Velo team, with a very respectable score of 3138. E-mail me at jbarcycling@comcastt.net and I'll see that you are connected with your $20.00 Angry Dave's gift card.

The loser among us are....well, all of us. Nobody had Movistar rider Alexis Vuillermoz, winner of stage 8 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I went through each team roster in search of someone with the prescience to have made that pick.

 A big change is coming soon!

The top teams among us have relied in large part on Peter Sagan and/or Andre Greipel, along with some other sprinters and TT specialists. I predict that there will be a big shake up in our league starting Tuesday. Top points among the teams  for this first mountain stage get your choice of 2 T-shirt styles from Arkansas Cycling and Fitness.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Along The Trail- Rising temperatures, rising water, and trashy fishermen.

Scorching temperatures are upon us creating a crazy busy atmosphere in my paying job in the HVAC business. That is more than enough to fill every available moment. Add in a very exciting edition of the tour de France, a wildly successful 41-team JBar Cycling minileague, the many chores associated with maintaining households, along with my desire to actually ride my bike, and it is not hard to fill a busy day. Yahoo! No boredom, here.


This rider decided to test the waters rather than the detour. There are likely things in there that can eat you, so I'll just go around.

 The S-Turn near the BDB was dry for about a day before rising water flooded it again. More rain in NW Arkansas and releases from the bulging reservoirs upstream promise to keep the river high for a bit longer.
Trail users have had to adjust, as have many of the fishermen who usually haunt the area below Murray Dam. Unfortunately, bank fishermen are among the trashiest variety of humans, hauling in all sorts of crap and leaving where it drops. They seem to give it no more mind than they would fallen leaves or driftwood. 

On Sunday afternoon, water was pouring into Victory Lake as it topped the jetty.

All of us who ride through Arkansas summers know that it can take its toll. A friend recently decided to take a little nap on County Farm Road after succumbing to the 97-degree temperatures and a hard session of running the evening before. We noticed he had dropped and by the time we got back to hm, he was beginning to regain consciousness. He went from "OK" to "not" in a few short minutes and got to spend the night in a hospital for his efforts. Our egos can get the best of us, but when it comes down to it, heat and humidity don't care if you're a badass. Don't hesitate to back off if you're feeling shaky. And often a slow spin is a better cool down than stopping.
Be safe out there. 




Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tour to date: Wild Ride

Two Yellow Jerseys have crashed out after donning the jersey for a day, but the favorite GC riders are still plugging away and most are in contention. It has been an exciting first week of racing. I feel much better about life at the tour after the sprint win of my man Mark Cavendish yesterday. I'm a big fan of Cav and really not a fan of Greipel, so I was glad to see that Mark finally got one right!

Today's stage is a bit lumpy, which will likely limit the opportunities for true sprinters, while not hard enough to really favor the climbers. A breakaway could makeit!
The winner of today's stage scores you choice of T-shirt styles from Arkansas Cycling and Fitness. I favor the "still plays with bikes" message on the back, with the AC&F logo tastefully placed on the front, but you can also pick the "Bike Arkansas" style. To win, you will have the winning rider and the top point total on the day among those teams with the winner.

We'll close out the first week with the Team Time Trial tomorrow. It is time to reward our GC leader, so the overall points leader going into the rest day gets a $20.00 gift card from Angry Dave's in Park Hill

Thanks again to our prize sponsors!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Winners On Stage 4: Tony Martin and Matt Milner

Matt Milner had winning rider Tony Martin, who soloed for a stage win and the yellow jersey, while Matt scored an impressive 424 points on the day and will collect a $15.00 gift card from Ozark Outdoor Supply
The success of the minileague has made this a big clerical job, but it is fun talking to folks on rides and around the bike community who have taken an interest. I'm not sure who half the team owners are, so it's also interesting to actually find out who is playing.

The Tour has been exciting, but I have not liked some of the outcomes. Tony Martin racing into yellow was great, but for some reason, watching Greipel winning sprints just pisses me off. Peter Sagan is not on my team ( my bad), but he is racing very well and working for his team. It seems that he has been around for a long time, so his white jersey is a reminder that he is still just 24-years old.

I'm still trying to find time to lay out most of the rest of the prize points.We'll have prizes for the top 3 finishers and, of course, the lanterne rouge for sure, along with quite a few more scattered throughout the Tour.
We will not discuss stage 5 in this space.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Heads Up: River Trail Sealing Near Rockwater Today

From Rockwater developer Jim Jackson:

The resealing of the Bike Trail in North Little Rock will begin today.
Redstone Construction is doing the construction work.
The job is from just west of the Union Pacific Bridge to where the trail intersects with Rockwater Boulevard.
The job should not take long to complete in this weather.

I think the result will be a huge improvement to the bike trail in that area.


This stretch of trail is easily detoured by following Riverfront to Rockwater Blvd.

Monday, July 6, 2015

JBar Cycling Minileague Prize Sponsors

Our list is still growing as Spokes and Arkansas Cycling and Fitness have joined Angry Dave's Bicycles and Ozark Outdoor Supply as gift sponsors





Since JBarCycling is absolutely free and has no revenue stream (at least no inbound revenue stream), these cool prizes are only made possible by the generosity of these local shops. Spokes has kicked in a couple of $25.00 gift cards, Arkansas Cycling and Fitness gave us a bike tune-up worth a whopping $90.00, along with some very cool "Still Plays With Bikes" ACF T-shirts. Angry Dave was all mellow with 3 $20.00 gift cards, some T-shirts and water bottles, while Ozark added 2 $15.00 cards and a Yeti insulated mug valued at $30.00. And,of course, there will be a sprinkling of the rare and valuable JBar Cycling mugs. 
All of these stores are helping out in the spirit of spreading a little more fun around the cycling community, so keep that in mind when you decide where to go shopping.
.

Stage 3-Carnage. Stage 4-Likely more carnage and a gift card from Ozark Outdoor Supply

Monday's Stage 3 saw a couple of huge high speed crashes out on the open road, resulting in the withdrawal of yellow jersey wearer Fabian Cancellara with 2 fractured vertebrae, 5 of 9 Orica-GreenEdge riders hit the pavement with at least 2 abandons, 2nd place rider Tom Dumoulin abandoned with a shoulder dislocation and fracture, and the list of broken bones seems to go on and on. The race was stopped for 10 minutes to let the peloton get back together and allow the medical staff to gather the injured and get back into place. I think it was the right thing to do in the extreme circumstances.

My team took a big hit with the loss of Dumoulin. Joaquim Rodiguez launched a searing finish to top the contenders in the finale, as Chris Froom looked very good and Contador showed signs of fatigue. You can read and see all about on the various cycling sites.

Stage 4 Minileague- Prize Line: $15.00 Gift Card From Ozark Outdoor Supply

This stage is being booked as Paris-Roubaix thrown into a 3-week grand tour. It will be nervous, and last year's version saw the abandon of Chris Froome before the peloton even hit the cobbles, while Vincenzo Nibali took over the race lead with a superb ride.
The Minileague team with the highest point total of the day and featuring the winning rider will winning rider take the gift card. We'll have some cumulative points prizes later, but I found last year that that method failed to spread the love around. Of course, most of us were out of the running within the first few days of racing as Froome, Cavendish, and Contador all abandoned.
Thanks to Jim Frank and all the fine folks at Ozark Outdoor Supply. Drop on by for your outdoor needs (and they carry some Bridgedale socks that are my favorite for warm weather cycling). Every time I talk to Jim, he seems to be delivering a new fishing kayak. That's something I may have to try.

 
 

Stage 2-Illneverwin Won!

Team "Of course I still love you" had the stage winner, the ever-whiny Andre Greipel (OK, I don't like the guy) beat out Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan after Cavendish was left to fend for himself by his lead out man Mark Renshaw as Renshaw faded 400 meters out.

Illneverwin had the winning rider and scored 483 team points on the day.

Illneverwin, drop me an email at jbarcycling@comcast.net with you contact info and I'll hook you up. You join an exclusive club of owners of the JBarCycling coffee mug.

Stage 3 is looking brutal, but no prize will be awarded today as I try to line of prizes and winning criteria for the rest of the Tour. I won't run any spoilers this early in the day and I don't know the results, but I had the TV on and there will likely be some more big changes after today's stage.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

And Our First Winner is....

Jason Warren's Team Busted Can O' Biscuitss piled on 380 points.
I'm not sure about that extra 's' on biscuits, but it's a winner so I will assume it has some kind of race ju-ju...or that Jason counldn't get his finger off of the key.
Jason wins a T-Shirt from Angry Dave's Bicycles in Park Hill. Thanks, Dave!
Jason racked up the big points with stage winner Rohan Dennis and third place Fabian Cancellara. He's follow closely by Michael Chaffin's Chaffin's Ride and Of Course I Still Love You, managed by the prophetically pessimistic Iwillneverwin. Those two teams tied at 323 points.

Sunday should end in a sprint finish, and the winner will get the much sought after JBarCycling coffee mug.
 
Coffe just tastes better from one of these!
 
 
This custom designed, quality crafted, limited edition, cant't be bought-in-store, not-seen-on-TV item will go the the highest scoring team on the day among those who have the winning rider. In the unlikely event that nobody has the winning rider, highest team score for the day takes it. With a prize like this, there is sure to be a lot of figurative elbow-throwing, bumping, and head-butting in the final kilometers.
 
I hope to have the prize list completed and the prime stages lined out in the next couple of days. Some of our prize sponsors got hard to fnd over the holiday week, but we're off to a great start.