Monday, April 15, 2013

The Saturday Ride

Joe Martin Stage Race loop.

We previewed the JMSR loop on Saturday. JMSR is the largest and most storied bicycle race in the Natural State. This year the event celebrates 36 years of bicycle racing. It's been on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) for 11 years. The national designation means professional cyclists from all over the US and many other countries will be coming with their teams to compete for points and prize money. Having a national level race right here in your front yard is pretty awesome. The event literally takes over Dickson Street and the Fayetteville downtown area for the criterium stage. One Sunday about ten years ago I stumbled upon this great spectacle. Standing on a corner at the bottom of Dickson I watched the PRO field come through and was immediately drawn to the speed, sounds and breeze of the passing peloton. Not long after that I would toe the line at my very first road race.

We had a great group show up for the ride. The BMC guys came down from Bentonville. It's always fun to mix it up with different teams. When the road turns up or a city limit sign looms you can bet it will be even more spirited. At the end of the day we are all just folks who like to ride bikes. Good times. In good company.

For more information on JMSR check the link below. April 25-28th.

Stopped to appreciate the daffodils in front of Old Main. I know...I'm a dork.

With Snapple & BMC there is a lot of blue in the NWA peloton.

Once you turn on to 156 you are on the 23 mile loop and going uphill toward the 'wall'.

The weather was near perfect. The rain held off just until the very end.

Knowing the next 10 minutes or so will be difficult the pace eases, folks take in some nutrition and chat a bit more. Look closely into that helmet vent hole you might see a gray hair or two or three....

The last roller (true top) after turning onto 170. 

Wind & gravity, the two biggest obstacles in cycling.

First of two regrouping points.

From here we ride on top of a ridge for several miles. The views are great. You don't get to appreciate them as much during the race. 

Second regrouping point. Hogeye 'Mall' gas station. It's not exactly a sidewalk cafe. From here we head back in sprinting for signs and emptying the tank. A great stretch of road.

Let's Eat!  I went with the lamb gyro & Paige had the falafel. This place rocks!

The Nomad's Natural Plate food truck is usually on Dickson Street in the Night Birds book store parking lot. For more information check out the link below.

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