Friday, May 28, 2010

River Trail Station: Riverfest Oasis

Once again, David Fike of River Trail Station and Bike Rental will provide free bike parking at his facility for Riverfest-going cyclists. With all of the primary activities on the Little Rock side this year, it will also be a nice place to escape some of the crowd and relax with a cold beverage.

Trixie and the hound will provide security, but I'd suggest that you bring your own bike lock. Fortunately David was around, so the guard dogs allowed me to retrieve my bike.

David is always very gracious, but he is also running a business. If you stop in to take a load off  your feet and use the bathroom, buy something! He has cold beer (better, colder and cheaper than the plastic cup swill of the fest!), soft drinks and snacks..
David said he would be around until 9:00 or until activity dropped off.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Home Rules for Mountain Biking: No Mud In The House, No Blood On The Furniture, No Whining

My friend Tom Burks said those are his wife's rules for governing his mountain bike activities. It doesn't relate to anything in this article other than the broad subject of mountain biking, but it tickled me and it covers a lot of ground. As a matter of self-interest,  I probably shouldn't have used it here because, on the off chance that Diane will actually read this, it may come back to haunt me!

As has been reported here, I spent much of the winter learning to get along with my mountain bike. I wouldn't call it true love, but we seem to have a growing relationship. Sure, things can be testy at times as I beat the hell out of my bike and it responds by occasionally pitching me unceremoniously into a tree or to the ground. Usually, a tree strike also results in a tumble to the ground, so the bike has the potential to score  doubles. Through the winter, I mostly rode alone so that I could ride at my own pace and let my skills develop and, while I'm still somewhat lacking in technical prowess, I've become confident enough to get out and ride with the CARP boys.

Wednesday Night Is CARP Night at Camp Robinson
(Not to be confused with catfish Friday at the 65th Street Diner)

Above: A Central Arkansas Recreational Pedaler

There are many cycling subcultures around town and CARP is one of them. Like most casual entities, the faces change with time, but much of the culture remains fairly constant. The riders meet at Camp on Wednesdays and ride, with the core group gathering at the old parking area and picking up any strays near the Christmas Tree landmark at a set time, which has been 6:15 of late. While most of the group road rides I do are very social, they are also quite competitive. The CARP rides are hard, but group rides on single-track just don't lend themselves to a lot of attacking and positioning, so group seems to easily sort itself out so that the fast riders take to the front and slower riders find their place and nobody feels like they are being pushed or are holding up the pack. It is a congenial and supportive bunch. They welcome anybody who wants to jump in, but I'll suggest that raw beginners might want to get a few miles under their belt. Ride leader Bryan Shipman states something to the effect of, "This is a no-drop ride as long as you can keep up.", but there are regroups after each trail section.

Bryan snapping a photo of  Gary Lamb and our guest from Amsterdam, Gerban (I have no idea if the spelling is correct)

Making the ride plan: Gathered at the Christmas Tree

This past Wednesday, one of the guys brought a guest who was in town from Amsterdam on business. He'd been hooked up with a ti 29er hard-tail by gracious folks at Chainwheel and proceeded to wear eveybody out, or so I hear, since I only saw him at the regroup points. The Netherlands has a huge bike culture and Gerban is a competitive mountain biker. 29er's have yet to hit big in Europe, so he was simutaneously introduced to big wheels, Arkansas heat, ticks, and poison ivy. I think he liked the 29er best from among those things.
Things are a little different for Dutch riders, as he explained that most of the terrain is sandy and the rig of choice is a stiff carbon hard-tail. He also told us that he had guided in an underground limestone quarry that had been opened to mountain biking. I've tried without success to find a link to some photos, but what he described sounded like there were miles of underground galleries. He said that once you knew your way around, the passages and banked walls made for great fun. I guess I'll have to take his word for it!
After the ride, the bunch usually meets the Urban Assault CARP contingent of mountain bike road riders for food and cold beer. I haven't made the post-ride, yet, but I feel it is my duty to attend soon and report!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A healthy diet? Compared to.....what?

I happened to notice a TV commercial touting the healthy qualities of whole grains in one's diet. I'm not naive enough to think that food companies are promoting healthier lifestyles for any reason other than to fatten their bottom lines, but I like the trend, as it may eventually bode well for a less porky America.
I was a little disappointed to hear that this new healthy food product is......drum roll....


Start Your Child's Day Off With Healthy Chocolate Cheerios®!

Are you kidding me??
Obviously not. Now, doting moms can feel better about feeding their kids crap! Ingredient #1 is, indeed, whole grain corn. Ingredient #2 is sugar. This stuff may be better for kids than spam, but I have a hard time perceiving Chocolate Cheerios, with its 1 gram of fiber and 9 grams of sugar, as part of a healthy diet.
This may be the greatest healthy eating promotion since the Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet.

Floyd's Story

The fallout from Floyd Landis's explosive doping accusations/revelations will likely cast another years-long shadow over cycling. I think that the likely result will be some kind of finding that Lance Armstrong and everybody else doped, as a federal investigator is said to be involved and, if that is the case,  the "he said, she said" shit won't fly. Unlike Frankie Andreu's testimony at Lance's suit against SCA Promotions to collect money owed him for winning a series of races, conflicting stories may result in perjury charges. If you want a glimpse of the history, you can read this:

People can go to prison for not telling the truth if the situation reaches the scale of the BALCO scandal , so the situation may be more compelling than in a civil action. I would also assume that there still exists physical evidence from testing done at the time.

I don't know if Lance doped, but most of the guys who were winning at the time have been busted or implicated, so I would guess that he used the tools available to him. That said, I don't care to revisit the times. Frankly, even though it was "cheating", doping seems to have been the standard of the times, so I'd rather move on.

Confessions may be good for the soul, but they seldom make anyone other than the confessor feel any better.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Short Takes: Odds and Ends

Trail Bounty:

Add a huge crop blackberries to the harvesting and snacking opportunities along the trail. I've noticed quite a few folks picking the berries, some filling containers for later use and many just enjoying the berries out-of-hand. I stopped Saturday and ate my fill as a supplement to my power bar and then Diane went down Sunday and picked a gallon.

A variety of blackberries. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

What could be better than fresh picked berries? Fresh picked berries with toasty oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon baked in a blackberry crisp, of course! I couldn't resist this, either. Ice cream optional, but I recommend it.

Bridge progress:

This crane on a barge is facilitating the boring for bridge piers.

Progress is evident in this shot of the piers lining out toward Two Rivers park.

National Bike To Work Week:
Saddle up and get to work! On the local front, this Friday is Bike to Work Day. I'd rather just bike to fun, but here's the low-down from the ABC:

Friday, May 21, is Bike to Work Day. Get to the pavilion at the NLR Riverfront RV park (just down river from the I-30 bridge) at 7:00 AM for some food and a short rally. A group will leave Cook's Landing with Tom Ezell at 6:30 AM and another group will leave from Murray Park. Jim Britt, will come down the river from River Mt. Road and go by Murray Park Pavilion #1-2 at 6:30 and by the dog park on the way down to the Broadway Bridge to cross the river. These rides have no police escort so here is no need or desire to bunch up while on the roads. Please plan to obey traffic laws and don't obstruct traffic.

Ride Of Silence:
The National Ride of Silence takes place at 7:00PM on Wednesday, May 19 in memory of those who have been killed or injured while riding on our roadways. The Little Rock ride departs from the LR side of the Big Dam Bridge.

CARP Ride:
If you've been itching to ride the single-track of Camp Robinson with a bunch of bottom-feeders, here's your opportunity. Wednesday, May 19, meet at the Christmas Tree at 6:15 PM. That's 18:15 if you are one of those folks who slips into military time as you pass through the Camp Robinson gates. If you don't know where the Christmas Tree is, be at the CARP parking lot at 6:00 and some helpful soul will likely ease (or enhance) your confusion or you can refer to the new map on the sign board at the parking lot.
And, on the subject of itching, I suggest that you employ some bug spray or just keep moving! Camp is no worse than anywhere else, but it is May in Arkansas and the biting critters are thriving.

Note: None of us are sure about the Sportsman's Pass requirements, but I've not heard of anyone being turned away....yet! Picture ID, proof-of-insurance and auto registration required in lieu Sportsman's Pass. CARP card required either way. Skip down and read earlier posts on the topic if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Selective memory: Landis Profile

I've always considered myself to be a Floyd Landis fan. The story of his Mennonite upbringing, his development into a leading mountain bike racer and his transition to the road and subsequent exploits as a key lieutenant to Lance Armstrong make for an inspiring tale. He appeared to put an exclamation point on his declaration as a leading rider of our time when he dramatically won the 2006 Tour de France after cracking on stage 16 and then mounting a spectacular comeback in stage 17. His escape was the most exciting ride that I've witnessed and was historical in its magnitude. I worked from home that morning and got totally caught up in Floyd's ride as he took a solo flyer and put minute after minute on the chasing peloton as he doused himself with bottle after bottle of water in following physiologist Allen Lim's regime of keeping his core cool*. I paced my home office in excitement and then blathered madly about the historic ride to anyone who would get drawn into the conversation. His celebratory wheelies on the Champs-Elysées put yet another decidedly American stamp on the Tour de France. Watch a few minutes of this video and you'll get a feel for how big this ride was:

And then Floyd's world came crashing down with a doping positive for testosterone, followed by years of court battles and hearings, millions of dollars spent, fans and experts divided, and ending with the loss of the yellow jersey and the two year ban of Floyd Landis from professional cycling. He vowed to return to the top of the sport, only to languish as pack fodder with a couple of continental teams.
Most recently, Landis is riding for the Bahati Foundation, with whom he made an appearance at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville. While his performance on the bike didn't get him any notice, but I took the time to look at his bio and noticed an interesting bit of positioning. Among Floyd's palmarès is the 2006 Stage 17 win in the Tour de France. Floyd doesn't claim his overall Tour win, but hasn't given up his claim to the stage that made him an international sports hero for a few short days before the doping positive was announced.


1st Stage #17 Tour de France

1st Overall Tour de Georgia

1st Stage #3 Tour de Georgia

1st Overall Paris-Nice

1st Stage #3 Tour of California

1st Overall Tour of California

1st Stage #5 Tour de Georgia

2nd Stage #7 Tour de France

2nd Stage #11 Tour de France

2nd Stage #3 Dauphiné Libéré

2nd Stage #3 Paris-Nice

3rd Stage #11 Tour de France

3rd Stage #19 Tour de France

4th Stage #15 Tour de France

4th Prologue Tour of California

7th Stage #2 Tour de Georgia

7th Stage #2 Tour of California

9th Prologue Tour de France

9th Prologue Dauphiné Libéré

12th Stage #1 Tour de Georgia

I closely followed Floyd's battle to retain his title, and feel that in any court of law he would have been vindicated over the shabby manner in which the evidence against him was handled. His willingness to spend his money and endure the fight also lent him credibility; however, he wasn't in a court of law and the rules against doping clearly favor the enforcers. Technicalities were not going to get Landis off the hook. I also really wanted to believe a guy who stayed humble and raced hard at the top of the sport, so it's difficult for me know what to think of Floyd now, as he's never come close to regaining the kind of form that one would expect from a Tour winner.
That said, I can't blame Floyd for wanting to hold onto that day in 2006 when, after being given up for dead, he defied his critics and rode his way to the top of the cycling world, if only for a few brief days. It was, indeed, a glorious ride.

* Interesting current article on Lim here:,6610,s1-3-12-22721-1,00.html

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Art And More: Arkansas (Drag) Queen Cruise, Traveler Baseball, Midget Wrestling

Junction Function

Things are still going on along the river! For the many folks in town who simply don't pay attention, there was a lot to be missed this week in Argenta. I've already reported on the events of the Razorback baseball game on Tuesday, so we're moving on to Thursday! At the end of a little ride this evening, I decided to check out the "Junction Function" art walk event, kicking off ArtWeek10. For $20.00, one could listen to some good music, enjoy a variety of great food and relaxing adult beverages, all the while strolling through the exhibited art and enjoying the good buzz of Argenta's riverfront. I was on the bike and didn't have a ticket, but my "I write a cycling blog" smile-and-keep- moving press credentials got me into the event to take a few photos.

This photo says much about our riverfront. The arts party on the Junction Bridge overlooked a scene that included an 8-boat from the Arkansas Boathouse Club, The Arkansas Queen and our very own submarine docked at the Inland Maritime Museum.

Art lovers strolled and libations flowed along with the music.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra was slated to play later, but this band was straight-up Chicago style blues.

Here's a link to what you missed!

Traveler Baseball Promotions

The promotions that follow the minor league sports circuits can be somewhat bizarre, like Mr. Dynamite and the decades-past-prime San Diego Chicken, but few can surpass the "that's just wrong" attraction of Midget Wrestling. And, yes, the midgets will throw down at Dickey-Stephens Park at 6:45 on Friday, May 14. I really wish that I could make this kind of stuff up!

From Arkansas Business:
L’il Kato and Puppet "The Psycho Dwarf" will battle for the World Heavyweight Midget Wrestling Championship.

 Puppet "The Psycho Dwarf"

Drag the River

Ok, I don't have a link for this event, so I don't have a date (not that kind of date, either) or any details, but I assuredly don't have what it takes to make this up! Load up on the Arkansas Queen for the "Drag the River" drag queen cruise. I heard about this on the radio and haven't looked too hard for on-line information. If you're seriously interested in attending, then I'd suspect that you're likely already in the know. I'm sure that the guys/girls will be lovely and that it will be a festive event.

Late Note: I've just been advised by my loyal staff that the cruise boards at 10:00PM on Saturday, May 15.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Along The Trail: Razorbacks at Dickey-Stephens Park

The Arkansas Razorbacks hot baseball team played Louisiana Tech in front of a sold out crowd at Dickey-Stephens Park on Tuesday, May 11. It was the baseball Hogs' first game in the Little Rock area in 22 years and, with the enthusiasm for the program at a high, the game was a total sell-out with over 10,200 tickets sold. Actual attendance was around 9,500, compared to the park's previous attendance record of about 7,500 for the inaugural Travelers game there. I dropped by on the back side of a Fast Girl ride, watched few pitches through the fence at Hook Slide Corner and took a few photos.

Tickets were hard to come by as this guy found out. The game was already underway and several fans were still seeking tickets.

Unlike tickets, beer was easily had and served with a smile if you were on the inside of the fence, which I wasn't.
The Hogs had some trouble early on as my man Bo Bigham ran into a double play and  then LaTech scored 4 runs in the second inning.

The Hogs would chip away at the lead, with the game tied at 4 after nine innings, and then ultimately win the game 5-4 in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving the fans more than their money's worth.

This game became a big event for Central Arkansas and further demonstrates the value of quality-of-life infrastructure like Dickey-Stephens Park, the River Trail and the BDB. It was very cool to come off of the River Trail and head across the Broadway Bridge in a big group of riders with crowds of enthusiastic Razorback fans hollering and giving the "thumbs up" as we rode by. It's just good fun to have so many things going on up and down the river with our strings of parks and other amenities. And this was just a Tuesday night!

Livestrong Ride a Big Success

On Tuesday night, May 4, Team Rubicon-Orbea visited our City as they prepared to challenge in the Joe Martin Stage race last weekend. It has become an annual affair and serves as a fundraiser for Livestrong by including a raffle and silent auction of Livestrong gear and other cool stuff donated by local bike shops and business.  I would estimate that at least 70-80 riders rolled out from River Trail Station on the wheel of North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays. I've got to give Mr. Mayor credit, as he put a little pressure on many of the casual riders in the bunch by laying down a steady 18-20 MPH for a couple of miles before pulling off and leaving the light work to others. After a loop through Burns Park, the group returned to River Trail rentals to enjoy the live music, free food and a good beer selection, followed by drawings and the auction results. Organizer Jenn Shaw reported that the event raised $7000.00 for Livestrong's cancer fighting efforts. This is exactly the kind of thing that can put cyclists in a positive light and our community is to be commended for the turnout. Mayor Hays spoke before the ride of NLR's efforts at promoting riding and health and Alderman (-person, -woman??) Beth White spoke of her goals of reducing childhood obesity and promoting good health through youth fitness programs. I hope to get some more information from Ms. White concerning her efforts.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dog Tired Trail Pup

Willie loves to get out on the trail and run. After 10 miles of single-track on Saturday morning, he was happy to relax in the truck as we drove to Heber Springs.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cool Saturday Morning: Perfect For The Trail

Today broke clear and quite cool and, unlike the previous few Saturdays, there was no hint of rain, so rather than get out my knee warmers, I loaded up Willie dog and headed out to Camp Robinson with my mountain bike. At the parking lot, I ran into Bryan Shipman and a couple of friends, so Willie and I headed off on their wheel. After a couple of loops, Willie and I struck out on our own to ride Dogwood to Merlin. The trails are in great shape other than some trees that were downed across some routes during the storms of last week. Bryan had cautioned me of a big one on Merlin and another on ZigZag so, of course, we headed that way.

This big tree blocks Merlin. Bryan was geared up to start a clean-up, but count on dealing with this one for now. It's probably possible to drag a bike under it rather than wade the poison ivy around it as I did.

Willie cooling his paws and getting a drink on Merlin.

This big limb across ZigZig was more easily managed than the one on Merlin. Bryan mentioned another one or two down on other trails, so be alert!

Getting in: The Continued Confusion of Sportsman Passes

As I signed in, a friend was checking in ahead of me. He was checked in with his driver's license, insurance card, etc., in lieu of the Sportman Pass in spite of warnings that the Sportsman Pass would be required after May 1. Nobody was selling the passes last week, but they will again be available this week on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00-6:00. At some point, the policy will get cleared up, so I suggest picking up pass if you plan to ride at Camp.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Splitting Fine Hairs: Bontrager tire concept

Three-hundred and thirty feet. A little more than the length of a football field. In the big scheme of things, 330 feet isn't all that far, but how many bike races are won by less than 330 feet? I'd say most of them. 330 feet is the distance that a cyclist covers in nine seconds at 25 MPH. Nine seconds is the time that Bontrager claims their new R4 Aero tires will save in a 10K time trial. Nine seconds would be a huge split among competitive athletes in a 15 minute race. Bontrager has added AeroWing sidewall profiling that is intended to provide continuity at the point where the tire meets the rim in an effort to smooth airflow and I'm sure that they can produce reams of data to back up their claims.
Manufacturers continue to refine their approach to bicycle design and aerodynamics research has become more and more the realm of recreational and race equipment manufacturers. We see TT improvement claims for everything from handlebars to water bottles, spokes to seat posts, but how do these claims pan out in the real world? It's hard to tell, because the testing, by its very nature, is done in a very controlled environment in order to isolate the performance of the component in question. If the data was absolute, a guy who lost a 20k time trial by 10 seconds last week could change his tires and win by 8 seconds next week, but it's not so simple. The smoother airflow off the tire/wheel combo may reduce the benefit of an aero downtube. What happens in a cross wind or if one rider rocks his machine more than another? And you can throw most of the aero test data out the window when it comes to road racing, where most of a rider's time is spent nestled in the pack, unless, of course, you happen to be Fabian Cancellara.
It's all interesting and it's mostly relevant, but I'm going to stick with my Conti GP400's for now. I'll maintain that position until the buddy I beat last week starts riding away from me on his new Bontragers.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday Night Bonk: Tale Of Nutritional Miscalculation

Bonk: The miserable result of the depletion of blood glycogen resulting in the absolute collapse of the body engine. Runners call it “hitting the wall”. You are out of gas. No amount of will power can overcome the bonk.

Lance Armstrong has famously bonked on a critical stage of the Tour de France. Last year, the bonk cost Alberto Conatador a victory at  Paris-Nice. Tonight, on a casual Thursday night ride, I bonked. I rationalized, I denied, I suffered, I bonked. And I deserved it. My ride started as usual, running into a couple of buddies and doing a loop of the River Trail. As my partners pealed off one by one, I turned around and jumped on to another group of friends that we'd run into downtown. As we headed down Riverfront Drive, I swapped a couple of pulls with another rider and we soon had a gap on the group. It wasn't a really hard effort, but I started faltering at the end. As we regrouped as the foot of the Big Dam Bridge, several riders decided to climb Overlook, which is a little less than a mile of 8-9% grade. No big deal, but that's where I completely ran out of gas. I was done. Within 30 yards of the top of the climb, I got shaky and just didn't feel like I could turn the crank another revolution. I was 20 miles into a casual ride and I struggled 10 miles back to my car while being passed by every kind of rider on the trail. I kept expecting the ultimate humiliation of being dropped by an overweight mom pulling twins in a bike trailer while chatting on her cell phone about her Jenny Craig plan. Fortunately for my already bruised ego, that scenario did not materialize.
In retrospect, my problem was obvious. I didn't eat to support my ride. I usually eat a pretty hearty lunch and don't give much thought to weeknight ride nutrition.  I watch the fat intake and avoid greasy fare on days that I know are going to end with a hard ride, but typically on a 20-40 mile after-work ride my lunch will get me by when supplemented by a bar or a couple of gels. Today, I stepped out of my usual habit and had a big salad for lunch. I felt pretty good about it, as the salad had a good mix of fruit and vegetables, a minimum of dressing and it was quite satisfying. Unfortunately, 7 hours later there was nothing left. I was missing the long lasting fuel that protein adds to a usual lunch for me and I had also broken my habit of sticking a bar and a gel in my pocket for almost any ride.
Some folks are fat-burning machines and can put forth incredible efforts while taking on very little food. On the other hand, I know that my body wants a good base and steady fueling for any ride much over an hour. I typically do rides like tonight's 4-5 days per week, some harder and a few easier, but I got careless and paid. Even now, after a good meal, I'm still feeling depleted and I don't like it.

Eat well. Ride well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The 2010 Velo Swap- ACF, May 8 DATE UPDATE!!

I got an early e-mail announcing this event, but the date was changed due to last weekend's dismal weather forecast.
Here is the updated info:

I've never promoted any store event in this space, but I think this is a very good idea  and a bit of a community service, so I'm glad to see ACF make it happen locally.
I have real need for all of the crap I have accumulated, but I may come buy some of yours!

The 2010 Velo Swap


Arkansas Cycling and Fitness will sponsor a Velo Swap at our Sherwood store.

Where: 3010 E. Kiehl Ave.

When: Saturday May 8st 11:00AM to 5:00PM

Bring a card table a lawn chair and all your bicycle related parts and accessories for sale or swap. We are hoping you might have bicycle related art, jewelry and crafts for sale.

This is a great way to start your spring cleaning or add to your clutter collection.

Reserve your area now call 501-834-5787 or email The event and area is Free!

Arkansas Cycling and Fitness will have refreshments available for free.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Catching up!

OK, I know that I've been remiss in keeping up even my own self-imposed responsibility of semi-regular posts, but I've been in a bit of a quandary. Every day when the weather is good, I feel compelled to go ride my bike. When the weather is threatening, I feel like I need to squeeze in a quick ride, and when it clears off after a stormy morning, I can't waste a chance to get on my bike. In other words, I've been riding almost every day, eating late and going to bed happy and tired. Motivation to write has been hard to come by, so that's my only excuse and I think it's a good one.

I haven't been totally remiss in scouting for news. I spied this high-rider while checking out the Earth Day celebration at NLR's Riverfront Park.

I had a few questions for the rider, but his only question for me was, "Does my outfit look OK?"

Sometimes, we pass something almost every day and it just becomes part of the background. Then, one day, the simple beauty of a small scene like the one in the photo below presents itself to you.

These flowers at the Little Rock foot of the BDB are worthy of notice.

Snacks can be found along the river, including mulberries, plums and blackberries, each in their own time. I'm still hoping to spot some muscadines along one of my ride routes.

After watching folks harvest mulberries from this tree last year, I sampled them and found them to be tasty and sweet. These ones are not quite ripe and many of the more ripe fruit had been knocked to the ground by rain and wind.

Progress continues on the Two Rivers Bridge. The parking situation around the parks resulting from the construction seems to have worked itself out, though rainy weekends may also be keeping use numbers down.

Joe Martin Stage Race

This NRC stage race is a national level professional bike race. If you want to see some high-level domestic racing, head to northwest Arkansas this weekend.

Livestrong Ride and Patio Party

Tuesday, May 4 at River Trail Station/ Bike Rental at 5:30PM; ride at 6:00
Free subs, cheap beer, Team Rubicon-Orbea boys, swag, live music, probably some people you know and perhaps even some people that you like!
Bring money for raffle tickets. Of course, there's always a hook, so just ante up. You might win something!

Off in the dirt.....

Shipwreck, it is!

Bryan Shipman and Josh Joyce providing a little refinement to the new trail, called "Shipwreck". It connects 5-Mile Trail to Merlin's Trail, joining each of them just a few yards from their respective intersections with Pipeline by way of a switchback laden route down the side of the hill.

The woods are changing rapidly as the canopy fills in, providing shade, but also blocking out and flattening light, and the understory is filling in, reaching to the edges of the trail and blocking the line-of-sight. Hell, I've just learned to look up the trail instead of at my front wheel and now all I can see is shrubbery, but spring is grand and it is progressing nicely, though the weekend weather patterns have left a bit to be desired.

That's about it for now. I need to get to bed. I've got a ride scheduled for after work tomorrow!