Thursday, May 30, 2013

De Fietsroute Zomer Raceklasse

The Bike Route summer race series came to an end last night. The weather was perfect and there was a ton of fun to be had on two wheels. The last couple of summers the local crit series has really started to catch on. These races do wonders for the local cycling community. Big time thank you to Ben at TBR. It's really a great scene and a good sign that our cycling community is healthy and growing. Bruce said it best the other day 'we are like family.' Which is very true on the local level. Things might get heated and we might exchange a few words every now and then when competitive spirits collide but what family doesn't have some conflict. Most of the races are put on by people who are fans of the sport that they participate in and love. From the folks working registration to the officials there is this kindred spirit. It's grassroots. It's genuine.

All smiles from Dianna working the registration table.

It's safe to say Cannondale is a popular brand here in NWA.

The Frogerelli ain't no hipster rig. 

Carl is a two time Olympian (individual pursuit 4000m/team pursuit 4000m).

Roll call.

Vince is a long time official around these parts, a fellow cyclist and genuinely a nice guy.


The 1.1 mile course is on an undeveloped plot of land. The road quality is great and the corners are wide.

You can watch the entire race from several vantage points.

Gerald closing the gap.

Stiff headwind section.

Artsy fartsy photo #1.

Artsy fartsy photo #2.

A good mix of teams in the front group. 

Artsy fartsy photo #3. 

The selection forms.

Riding off into the sunset.

Living better. Good times...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Not Enough 3 Day Weekends

Headed down to the Big D (and I do mean Dallas) to visit family this past weekend. Everything is bigger in....

One of the reasons I love cycling so much is that you can socialize while exercising. It's really more then 2 birds with 1 stone. I met up with my old friend Thomas and we cruised around White Rock Lake Saturday morning. Catching up and exercising at the same time with a little sightseeing mixed in. Beats going to the gym any old day. Good times, in good company.

The neighborhoods around White Rock Lake are really cool. Some of the houses are pretty incredible.

The lake has a mixture of paths and roads around it. About 9 miles.

Super humid morning. Everything is really green right now in the Big D.

Tomke is not sure he wants to be on my blog.

Managed to get him to smile at the spillway.

We stopped by the George W.Dubya Bush Presidential Library. Located on the SMU campus. It's worth a trip.

A piece of the WTC. The most moving thing about the library for me was the 9/11 exhibit. Hearing the now infamous bullhorn speech again gave me chills. I watched so many other people have the same reaction. Still such powerful words at a powerful moment.

3 Grunnagle's vs. 2 George's. They have the height advantage but we have the numbers.

A Texas sized dollop of guacamole. I like how they roll down in these parts.

Dogs are bigger in Texas as well. Roscoe is taking Texas sized nap.

The Pig Trail Huntsville Loop

So ever sense the humidity has crept back up I haven't felt the same while riding. It's like someone pulled the plug on the power output. I've been having trouble just riding in the wheels. I guess it's time to focus on hydration and do some longer slower rides hoping my body adjusts. My issue is that I'm a heavy sweater (sorry folks who ride behind me). I can easily lose 3-4 pounds in a two hour ride. A couple years ago I consulted my buddy who raced professionally for many years and he helped me come up with a hydration strategy. What surprised me the most was the amount of liquid. He suggested I should be drinking two bottles per hour. That's a lot. So yesterday on an 85 mile ride at just over four hours I drank 5 bottles and 1 coke. I felt okay but had no power and just couldn't take in any more fluids. Thankfully Art was riding well and didn't seem to mind towing me around Arkansas.  Art I owe you some gas money bro. In good company.

Riding down the pig trail was great. The scenery is exceptional. I suggest you go early in the morning to avoid traffic. 

Barns, Bikes & BBQ? Barns Bikes & Bruce?

Crazy good views of Ozarkia.

Coming from Texas back to the Natural State the first thing I notice is how big the trees are here. Much of the Pig Trail is covered in canopy.

More stunning views. The road quality over 85 miles was also incredibly good.


A lot of this was new road for me to ride. What a day!

Paige made Seared Scallops served over Pasta Carbonara. Yup that's crispy bacon. Put a fork in me good! Let's Eat!

Memorial Day

Fayettevillians, did you know that we have a National Cemetery? It's tucked away just off College south of MLK. It's worth a trip now and again to be reminded that our a way of life is not without cost.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Minimalist or Boy Scout?

What do you hang underneath your bum?

I'm talking about the saddle bag of course. Where does style meet function? Or does it? I have some folks who don't carry a saddle bag at all and throw everything in their jersey pockets. Anti-saddle baggers..rule 29 believers. I've seen a plain tube and mini pump strapped on underneath the saddle. So minimal you could hardly tell it was even there. Then you have the opposite end of the spectrum. The lunch boxers. Boy Scouters. know what I'm talking about. A ginormous bag that sways back and forth with every pedal stroke. Be careful, the metronome like rhythm will put you to sleep if you stare at it too long. What's in there? Swiss Army knife, maps, compass, bear spray, glock, cheeseburger? Then you have the crazy stuff from the TRI world. The double barrel rocket launchers. Twin bottle-seat mounted-all in one-with pump-multi tool-tube-saddle bag-plus extra Co2 cartridge holder-bottle ejection devices. They scare me a little.

I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle of saddle bag madness. Sooo...not a lunch box more like a snack bag. This time of year my longest rides are 3 hours or so and usually with a group. So I roll pretty minimal. In the winter when rides are longer with less people to rely on I'll take an additional Co2 & tube in a slightly larger bag.

I would love to know what you WHF followers are carrying under your bums. What is your junk below the trunk philosophy? Perhaps I need to add something to my bag. Is there a 'must have' that I'm missing? Anyone out there rolling with Road ID? Was that a fad or legit? You can leave your comments below. Just hit the comments button. Thanks!

Locked & loaded. Is there an arms race going on in Triathlon? 

I get it. TRI folks ride long distances and the TRI  TT bike does not allow for some of the more traditional methods of strapping on bags & bottles. 

Saddle bagless. About 4-5 folks on the World's ride last night observe rule 29. It's such a clean look but I need my jersey pockets for food, cell phone and third bottle.

No rocket launcher saddle bag. P4 looks lean and fast. Bottle mounted up front on the aero bars. Notice Jason doesn't have a tube or pump in his jersey pocket. Hmmm?

Strap design is a little suspect. PK's stuff fell off during the ride last night. 

JANDD makes a great small saddle bag. Rear access is key for me. You don't have to remove the bag to get inside. What's in this bag?

Innovations inflator & 16 gram Co2. Looks like I haven't had a flat in a while. Co2 label has rubbed off. Just gave myself bad luck. 

One tube.

Two zip ties with electric tape on the end. Two patches cut from mtb inner tube. Zip ties are handy for just about anything. My lawn mower currently runs on gasoline and zip ties! The mtb patches work better then dollars or energy bar wrappers.

Multi-tool & tire lever. You can always use your skewer lever if the tire lever breaks. Thanks for the tip Heath! The all important Powerlink. Your ride could be over without this little guy.

I really love the Blackburn's slimmed down profile. Fits easily in the bag or jersey pocket. Main things I want in a multi-tool are chain breaker and basic allen key sizes for saddle, cleat and bar adjustment. 

Emergency Coke fund. Two dollars goes a looooong way in the heat of summer. 

All right folks. Let's hear it! What kind of junk do you have under your trunk? Comment below.

 Cyclists riding by barn pic, a couple more shots from the ride last night.

Last night's ride was fast. I was definitely the nail. Good times! 

At the end of the day we all have our own style and variety is a good thing.