It also eliminates the return trip back in along Maumelle Blvd., a stretch that is unpleasant and slightly dangerous for riders and that became damned irritating for the fine folks of Maumelle, who had to tolerate several hours of disrupted traffic as cyclists straggled in over the course of the afternoon.
In the beginning...
Beyond the route, the scope of the BDB100 as an event has expanded. I was somewhat disappointed that the 2006 "street party" appeared to consist of a boom-box and some leftover pickle juice and Powerade from the rest stops. These days, Argenta jumps with live music and the closed area encourages the local pubs and restaurants to set out tables and serve adult beverages to be taken out to the street, allowing riders and spectators to roam and mingle while watching later riders stream in. In 2006, the ride was to be limited to 1000 cyclists. This year, that number is 2750. Logistics and planning have kept pace with the numbers, and rider support and traffic control remain excellent. This year, cycling legend George Hincapie will be here for the ride and the festivities. In spite of all the negative history surrounding US pro cycling, George remains a well-loved and respected figure, a very good guy caughtup in an ugly ersa
If you don't have the miles on your legs, it's too late to do much about that. I've been riding long and often and still have my doubts about my likelihood for having much fun over the last 20 miles, but I'll be rolling out with the rest of you anyway!
What it is not too late to do is to be sure that your bike is in good shape and that you have some kind of a plan.
- Give your bike a good going over--this is a good time for cleaning and lubing--to be sure that tires are in good shape and that there are no obvious mechanical issues. While I have yet to convince my wife or any of my female friends of this, bike cleaning and maintenance are not gender-specific activities. Girl bikes need love, too.
Check the contents of your seat bag. You should have, at the least, a tube, CO2, and inflator. I carry 2 tubes and 2-3 CO2 cartridges. If you flat on the way out of town, you don't want to ride the next 80 miles without resources. The support on this ride is very good, but you're better off being self-sufficient so that you can get on up the road with your group.
Prepare for a big ride with some carbs.
-Don't get caught without food and drink- Unless you plan to stop at every aid station, you need to be carrying much of what you plan to eat. My little gang usually starts out with at least a vague plan of what aid station we'll hit and what our pace will be. That plan sometimes even stays intact all the way to the start line.
You may start out planning to make a stop at mile 30, only to find that you're in smooth rolling pack headed for a first stop at mile 50. If you're in a good group, you don't want to be forced out to fill bottles or grab some food, so you may find yourself rolling by a planned stop. It's OK to end the ride with a few extra gels in your pocket. It sucks to bonk. And don't experiment. Only eat and drink what you know your stomach can handle. I can't drink pickle juice or PowerAde, so I'll have a couple of packs of Skratch drink mix in my pocket.
As cool as you may think you look in your stinky, salt-encrusted bibs with Gu streaked down your leg, my advice is to get out of those nasty things ASAP. If you plan on hanging out downtown for a burger and a brew, I suggest leaving a car close by with a bottle of water and a towel for a quick rinse before jumping into some cotton clothes. The Argenta restaurants and pubs will be serving fine fare and sticking around for a hour or two, sipping, snacking, and watching your later-arriving friends come in is a great way to unwind.
Post Post Ride..
Don't use up all of your post-ride swagger, because this year the Capital Hotel and Orbea are hosting a street party in downtown Little Rock Saturday night.
It's not a freebie, but for the price of a tire, you can eat, drink, dance, and check out some really cool Orbea bikes. A refreshing Saturday afternoon nap will be in order for me, and then on to the party!
A BDB100 Post Race Celebration:
- pig roast
- live music by Runaway Planet
- beer provided by local Diamond Bear Brewery
- come see the latest products by Orbea
Go forth and ride. Let's all be careful out there on the road and take care of our brothers and sisters. I'll be looking for you at the finish line.