Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Accidental Interview With Judge Barry Hyde

One recent busy morning, my phone rang and an unfamiliar number appeared. I answered I my usual business hours manner, but got no response. After a couple of, "hellos", I hung up, only to have the number ring in again. This time, I was greeted by Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, who explained that he had been guilty of having taken a bite of his breakfast bar as the phone started ringing and was unable to respond when I picked up on the first ring. Such are the hazards of being a busy multi-tasker.
Hyde then went on to explain the he had been trying to call John Burton of the Pulaski County Road and Bridge Department. He realized his error when my contact information popped up, but was polite enough to call me back to explain.
 Not being one to let an opportunity pass me by, I asked Barry if he had time for a few questions. He was quite gracious and we had a nice conversation on a few topics relevant to cycling in Pulaski County. The judge is a cyclist, so his experiences and impressions are mostly first-hand.
Barry Hyde at the start of the 2014 Little Rock Gran Fondo

Pups, Poop, and Parties
First, I asked about his intent to close the bike-pedestrian bridges to dogs due to the continued problems with poop going uncollected by dog owners. He reiterated that this is a near certainty. Regular trail users and visitors complain, the situation is unsightly and unsanitary, and the regular cleanup required is expensive.  Threats and efforts at educating the offenders have not produced results, so a dog ban is likely to occur.
We also discussed nighttime closure of the BDB. I mentioned some of my trifling complaints about the weekend evening crowds- large groups blocking the bridge, cigarette and cigar smoke, and the litter left behind. The judge seemed to correctly consider these to be minor problems. The bad stuff happens long after most of our evening rides are done. When the area clubs close, party crowds move to the BDB to carry on. While drinking and smoking in public are both technically illegal, Hyde's bigger concern was the subsequent behavior that includes vandalism and throwing objects off of the bridge.This got some coverage in the mainstream media several weeks ago. It seems that a late-night closure is likely at some point, but Hyde noted that a 5:00AM opening time would accommodate commuters and early morning recreational users.

Smile, you're on camera
When the LED lights on the BDB were upgraded near the end of Judge Buddy Villines' administration, the project included the installation of surveillance cameras. After Hyde took the reins, it was pointed out that the cameras relied on memory cards and were not connected to the Internet. In order to retrieve data, somebody had to go climb a ladder and pull the cards. Needless to say, that was not an elegant situation, but there was no data service available at the bridge.
Hyde found that the City of North Little Rock was installing a high capacity data line for the Murray Dam hydroelectric plant, and worked with the City to tie in 16 live web cameras to that service. As a result, both the Little Rock and North Little Rock police departments can monitor the bridge cameras, some of which have IR capability. That is not to say that the PDs are monitoring the bridge with regularity, but they have the capability to do so as the need arises, and can also retrieve footage of specific times in the event of an incident. Response times of the police to the bridge have been somewhat slow, but the time of a 911 call can be used to seek evidence from the cameras.If you see suspicious activity that may not warrant a call, note the time. It may be useful later if suspicions turn out to be warranted.

I appreciated the judge took a few moments to visit and share a little insight. I consider Judge Buddy Villines to have been a visionary and his accomplishments are many, but on thing that Buddy lacked was a "wheels on the road" perspective. I perceive Judge Hyde to be an able manager with an eye to the broad interests of the county as a whole, but some of his view is from the saddle. That can't be a bad thing for our cycling community.
Looking forward
Pulaski County has applied for grant money with the goal of extending the River Trail to Pinnacle Mountain State Park. I have no idea what shape that will take, as the park itself is expansive and just getting to the park boundary would not get us very far. There have been discussions over the last several years of trying to develop a route through the park with cooperation from Arkansas State Parks, but that was beyond the scope of my short conversation with Judge Hyde.
Not quite a bike path.
We were all excited a few years ago when it was announced that Pulaski County would build off-the-road bike paths to Maumelle Park. We were equally disappointed when we saw what was built. I'm confident that any future trail construction will be to a higher standard and actually give riders the option of getting off of the road. That would be good for us and for the local drivers.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Vuelta a Espana Minileague 21151213

The Tour de France JBarCycling Minileague was quite successful, with 47 teams, some nice prizes, and a lot of BS trash talk. The Vuelta starts tomorrow and I've been asked by a couple of team managers if we were going to do another minileague. The answer is, "yes, barely."

 Tour Minileague prize winner David Gambill, aka "Spank", picking up his Yeti mug at sponsor Ozark Outdoor Supply

The scale of the Tour games created a lot of clerical work for me. It was absolutely worth it, but I can't do it again. If you've already picked a Vuelta team, I invite you to join the JBarCycling Minilague. It's not too late to get on board. Log into Velogames and pick your team. The Vuelta is going to be some great racing this year with most of the world's top riders vying for a coveted Grand Tour win.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NLR River Trail Segment Closure Ahead- Thursday

This from Jeff Caplinger of North Little Rock Parks:

The Arkansas River Trail in NLR will be closed Thursday, August 20 from 7:00-AM until early afternoon between the Big Rock Quarry and Burns Park.

 The bollards supporting the safety cables along the river in this area washed out in the recent flooding and must be replaced. There is not an easy detour around this area so plan your ride accordingly. You don't want to be caught on the wrong side of things if you ride early.

 This means us. Depending on the set up for the task, riders have been known to ride through work zones. Please let the crews get their jobs done.

The summer flooding left behind a wide range of challenges. The sand and mud is mostly gone, and it looks like the potholes are getting attention as well.

Jeff also said the Ranger Ian Hope has work day scheduled for Pfeifer Loop for Thursday, and the Loop should be open by the weekend. From the tracks I've seen from the trail, it looks like some riders and work teams have already been in the area. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday Report: More Tacks on Barrett Road; Down Dog Rescue Effort: Chainwheel Good Citizeneship

Tack Attack On Barrett

Riders report that tacks were once again strewn along Barrett Road, this time in the area of the hill just north of Highway 10. I had been through the area a half hour before with no problem. I was lucky in that I passed before the tacks were dumped or simply had an opportune path.
I can only imagine what would motivate someone to do something so chickenshit. I imagine some 17-year old punk, awakening on a Saturday morning, agonizing over the fact that he is cursed with a tiny penis and that his acne is only getting worse. After watching some cartoons and eating his breakfast of Cap'n Crunch, he borrows his mother's car and picks up his buddy, who likely only hangs out with punk because he can borrow mom's car. Together, they plot the best gag ever, which is to go throw some carpet tacks on the road where good folks, with better lives and more ambition than these guys will ever have, ride their bikes. "Har, har, I gave somebody a flat tire....but I still have a tiny penis. I thought it would be better than this."

Good Deeds Along The Trail
Service Stop
In front of the Pinnacle Valley Restaurant, I noticed the Chainwheel tent set up and a cooler of ice water set out for riders. I stopped in and found Bill at his work stand busily going over a child's bike as a road rider waiting to have his over-shifting front derailleur looked at.
In spite of the heat, Bill was having a good time being out of the shop and among the people.

Bill said this is the second time they have set up to provide complimentary roadside service at this location, and Chainwheel will likely try to do it monthly. I consider things like this to be gifts to our community and to be a sign that out local shops are interested in doing more than just selling a bike. Thanks, folks!

Dog Rescue

Riding just a few miles up the trail, I came across a cluster of people huddle alongside the trail in Two Rivers Park. It didn't look good, and I at first assumed that it was a rider down. What I found was that a group of riders being led by Dan Lysk had encountered a couple whose Lab was suffering from an apparent heat stroke. Gino the dog, was a large, older retriever, and in obvious distress.They were about halfway between the bridge and the bathrooms on the trail with no easy way to get a vehicle in or Gino out, as he weighed about 90-100 pounds. Someone was on the phone to a vet as we tried to cool his paws and get him to take some water. I rode up to see if we could remove the bollard near the restrooms to drive in, and called some of my contacts to see about getting a key after finding it locked.
By then, a plan had been hatched. Lisa Bush's car was at the park and she had a sheet, which was put into service as a makeshift stretcher.
Gino was already doing a little better by this point. This were not looking good for him a few moments earlier.

As we cleared the way for the litter bearers, we ran into another long-time Chainwheel mechanic, Eric Blaty, who was riding with his boys, pulling a tag-along and a trailer. Dan had mentioned that perhaps we could find somebody with a trailer, and when Eric heard the situation he said, "I've got a baby in there, but we can take the dog." His youngest, Easton, was soon bouncing down the trail on the shoulders of a good Samaritan and Gino was getting a smoother ride. Those Chainwheel guys were earning good deed points today!

The doggie ambulance in action.

Easton heroically gave up his ride in the luxury coach to Gino, and then was shy about getting his photo taken in his very apropos "Hot Dog" t-shirt.

Dog days are not good days for dogs to be out for exercise.
People who know us know that we are dog lovers, as are Dan Lysk, Addie Teo, and most likely all the other folks who stopped to help, so we were very disturbed by the sight of a dog in such dire straits. It has been reported on local news that at least 3 dogs have died due to heat while hiking with their owners at Pinnacle Mountain State Park this summer. Gino's owners said that he lived outside and was well acclimated to the heat, but dogs have very limited capacity to dissipate heat. Once overheated, they are in trouble. The temperature was already near 90, which is not terribly hot, but the dewpoint was 77, which is brutal. Our dogs always want to go wherever we go, so it is up to us to exercise judgement. On days like today, dogs are better off snoozing in the house.
Gino was sitting up and looking much better by the time the rescuers got him to his owners' vehicle, but I believe that he had a near miss this morning.
Trailwise Willie sez, "I'll sleep in today, thank you."

Along The Trail -Southeast signage up, Isabella Jo Trail cleared, CARVE BDB rides getting under way

Things have seemed fairly slow in the trail news department, but there are always some developments.

Southeast Trail 
Signs have been erected along the Southeast Trail from the rear of the Clinton Presidential Park to the Terry Park. Follow the Arkansas River Trail east along the river below the Clinton Library to follow the newly marked Southeast Trail. From there you begin the flat 13 mile ride to the park at David D.Terry Dam. Credit for this effort goes primarily to Rob Stephens of the ART Task Force. Rob has worked to gain the support of area businesses and other entities, including the Clinton National Airport, Dassault Falcon, and the Port of Little Rock, among others.

Southeast Trail signs have appeared, along with some generic "Bike Route" signs and sharrows. Most of the route was already part of Little Rock's bike plan, and there were no construction costs, other than for signage. Versions of this ride have been enjoyed by cyclists for many years, so is is nice to have a prescribed route. It is similar to the Scott area with some industrial areas thrown in and the traffic greatly diminished.
Since my ride last Sunday, wayfinding signs have been erected and bike racks have been installed at the
Clinton National Airport.

Airport/Temple Street Sign
This sign is near the Terry Dam

The Clinton National Airport welcomes cyclists with high speed WiFi, a Starbucks location, restrooms and a fountain with a bottle fill feature. The restrooms and fountain are under the escalator on the entry level.

The Southeast Trail adds another facet to our still-growing trail system. Thanks got out to Rob, Metroplan, and the various  entities along the route that supported the project.

Burns Park Isabella Jo Trail

The Arkansas River Trail on north side of the river suffered from the recent minor flooding, even as efforts were still underway to clean up from the larger previous flood.  Though the logs, navigation buoys, dead carp, and much of the sediment had been cleared from the most recently flooded area, a hard pack of dried mud remained. The folks at NLR Parks have had their hands full the last couple of months, but Jeff Caplinger and  ranger Ian Hope report that the trail is near ready to ride.

Almost cleared and ready for action. 

On the subject of Pfeifer Loop, Jeff says, "We are also keeping an eye on the Pfeifer Loop Trail for it to dry out enough to hold a work day to get the debris and trash removed.
  Pfeifer Loop as seen from the paved trail is virtually surrounded by a wall of large logs, driftwood, and trash. I'm curious to see how the interior has fared. I'm sure that it is a mess. 

E-cort Service
( I did not want to use the words 'escort' in conjunction with the word 'service" above because the last time I did so in reference to LR Marathon support duty, the article got spammed by  hookers, Indian "models", Russian bride services, etc, for a couple of years.)

I ran into George Rhode  and a group of riders on Thursday preparing to set out on a training ride for the  upcoming CARVE sponsored BDB training rides. Yes, the preceding makes sense. Read it again if you need to.

Preparing to pace a five-hour BDB 100. George Rhode outlining the plan for a training ride.

Many recreational riders aspire to ride a five-hour century. CARVE and the Big Dam Bridge Foundation are teaming to help riders succeed in that ambition by providing pace riders and domestique support for the upcoming Big Dam Bridge 100. This is a fund raiser, so there is a fee, and you still have to ride your bike 100 miles in five hours. That said, it is much easier to do so in a protected group where you do not feel obligated to pull, have rolling support, and you know that the people around you are committed to the shared goal. Training rides will be taking place over the next few weeks, and my understanding is that those rides are open to all.

Now, go ride your bike, and take care. it's hot out there.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Breaking Down A Ride -Wampoo Roadeo

Wampoo Roadeo

The Wampoo Roadeo a couple of weeks ago was simply a whole lot of fun. The course is dead flat and covers familiar, yet interesting, terrain.It was hot, but not unbearably so. The rest stops were well spaced and quite adequate. I didn't see as much SAG as in some past versions, nor did I see anybody needing it, so that is no complaint. We did run across the aftermath of one crash that warranted an ambulance ride, and heard of another, but the groups that we were involved with were spared any such incidents.
At the sign-in. There were a mess of Mello Velos and Rev Rock riders visible on the road and helping out, along with Major Taylor Rock City Riders and other groups.

This ride, a fundraiser to support the Marilyn Fulper Memorial Fund, has evolved into  a very nice event, and  it seems to be a little different each year depending on who volunteers. Last year, for example, there seemed to be a lot of on-the-road support, but there was not so much as water at the finish. I took note because we had jumped on a fast group, skipped all of the rest stops and came in with empty bottles and bellies. The year before, we had been greeted with cold drinks, snacks, and ice cold watermelon, so our expectations were high.
The finish area support for the recent ride was the best ever, with Loblolly Creamery providing cold chocolate milk and ice cream in addition the the watermelon, ice water and other refreshments.

3 rides in one....
For our little group, the day evolved into what seemed almost like three very different rides.
Part 1- Leaving Scott, we settled into what was likely the second or third group on the road. There were 20-30 riders in a double  line, working well and rolling along pretty smoothly at 20-23 MPH for the most part. That is easy riding on the flats in a group that size. Riding two up like this in a solid group is one of the great pleasures of cycling. Conversations come and go as you find yourself riding beside friends, acquaintances, or strangers, you can relax a bit, and you can pretty much take as little or as much of the workload as you want. As is frequently the case in event rides, our dynamic soon changed. Some of our bunch needed water so we made a stop at about mile 26, which was needed by some of our riders, but which immediately altered the complexion of our experience.

Part 2-We left the stop with eight riders, still in a double line, which meant everyone was in the wind a quarter of the time as opposed to a 10th or less. A couple of riders decided to do 50 miles and dropped off at the next stop, and we were soon a group of 5. We discussed our strategy and decided on a single line, taking 1 minute pulls, and pretty easily maintaining a 20-22 MPH pace. That put only one rider in the wind at a time as everyone took about 20% of the load. We rode like this for what I'd guess was about 15 miles, and the short pulls really helped to keep everyone fresh while maintaining a good pace.
A note on group ride strategy-
It seems that there is a certain machismo associated with going to the front and taking long monster pulls. That is great when there are strong riders in a group who are willing and able to take the responsibility, but what often happens is that other folks, whom I'll call "the rest of us", feel compelled to take an equal share of the load. That often results in weaker riders blowing up and being dropped or simply having an unnecessarily  miserable ride. In larger groups it is pretty easy to simply sit on when you need to or just rotate through. In a smaller group such as our 5, I think it's important to recognize what works best and talk about it. I appreciate that Bill Torrey called for the 1 minute pulls so that we were all clear on the plan. Rather than looking at my computer all the time, I found it easy to count 80 pedal strokes when it was my turn to pull. My cadence was showing about 75 RPM, so that was an effective way for me to keep time.
Also understand that it is OK to say, "I'm done, cooked, toast, bonked, can't take another pull" and just sit in. Your friends would rather have you along as a passenger, as I have been too many times, than not have you along.
It was a hot and brutally humid day, and the conditions took their toll on some riders. I actually felt better as it warmed up enough for the sweat to evaporate.

Part 3- We made a second stop when we sighted a large group of riders at the last support station, pausing briefly to top off bottles and jumping in with a massive bunch. The wind had picked up a bit, so we were glad to have the refuge of the pack, but it was not a time to relax. It was a disparate group with little organization behind the front group of riders, so it became a bit of a defensive ride.It's just a fact that big mixed groups in an event ride are going to be a little sketchy. There were plenty of folks in the pack that I know as experienced riders just sitting in like I was, accepting the accordion effect  and constantly making small adjustments. It is always interesting to hear newer riders asking the same questions I asked not that long ago, "why ...do we keep changing speeds....who's stopping up there...why do they go so fast coming out of corners???....
One rider who had sat in with us for a bit earlier in the day turned to be a said, "Why does everybody keep rubbernecking". I looked up and down the line to see if I noticed heads turning as I considered the question. The guy was strong but had mentioned earlier that this was his third group ride, and I finally caught on that he was referring to the seeming random braking as when freeway traffic passes an incident in the opposite travel lanes and slows down as everyone looks, though the road ahead is clear. I did my best to explain.

Cold finish to a hot ride-peaches and cream ice cream. I assured this rider that the photo was not at all about her, though she was showing pro skills by choosing the shade and post-ride ice cream.

 I had a great teacher and it still took a lot of hours on the bike to start to understand things like how the simple act of a rider at the front standing out of the saddle can result in a rider 5 wheels back having to overlap a wheel or grab a handful of brake a few seconds later. Or, why riders in the back in a turn have to race back on the catch up because the front riders are well clear and are back up to pace.
There were no egregious fouls such as ear bugs or aerobars in this group, and none of my comments are meant as criticism; simply observations of things that occur in almost every group ride. These are not the well-orchestrated movements of a seasoned race team or even of groups of friends who regularly hit the road together. They are simply some of the things that make every big ride different, yet the same in many ways. Riding is about being fit, making friends, some competition, and, hopefully, learning from each new experience.

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.

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


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.

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!