Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Saturday Ride 5/31

A smaller group showed up to ride this Saturday. The route was interesting. We did the easier version by going counter clockwise. The tempo riding started early though. Some of the guys cutting it short were pushing the pace. The humidity is off the charts but it wasn't hot so it didn't feel that bad.

Beware, there is more than one Banana Bandit in the bunch. Even the law is not off limits.


South on 71 with a water stop at the Winslow gas station. 

 Turned on to Sunset Rd. a long gradual climb.

Quick regroup.

Up top on the ridge before going down Crawl Hill.

Gustavo G is super stoked about fellow Colombian Nairo's recent choice of kit color (pink). 

Headed towards the recently discovered Thunder Rd. 

The clouds and green color contrasts were awesome this morning. Great ride with a solid group. 

We tried the new restaurant Farmer's Table. Lots of locally sourced products and Arkansas themes.

The place was packed but we were seated quickly and the eats were really good.  I went with the bratwurst. 

Let's Eat! Super tasty beans & cornbread. We will be back for sure. 

Tour de Lunch with J.B. Hunt

A bunch of guys over at J.B. Hunt corporate ride together on their lunch break and they call it the Tour de Lunch ride. I follow several of them on STRAVA and it looks pretty much like they hammer each other for an hour about 3 days a week. I think that's really great. Folks just finding ways to get miles & stay physically/mentally healthy all while doing something they enjoy. A couple of the guys routinely do the WHF Saturday ride and Eric E invited me to come along on their 7th Annual Turner Bend Spring Classic ride. Every spring the TDL crew will take a day off from work to tackle the Mulberry Loop which is one of my favorite routes in Arkansas. If you have a bucket list for routes this one should be on it.

We started from the Turner Bend store on the Mulberry River.

TDL crew.

South on 23 aka The Pig Trail for several miles.

Everything is super green right now.

Rain was all around us.

The Pig Trail can be a little busy with large vehicles but you are only on it for a bit.

Watching the rain roll in.

Heading east now on 352.

Regroup before turning left on 164. Great view.

The route is pretty flat to rolling up until this point. Pain is on the horizon.

These signs are legit in the Ozarks.

The AR 103 climb is about 3 miles, 852 feet gain.

A handful of great turns & ramps.

Looking down the switchbacks.

Paul B manages a smile.


Heading west on 215. One of the coolest roads in the Natural State.

Crazy smooth tarmac meandering along the turquoise Mulberry River. 

Back to Turner Bend.

What a morning. 

A great group of guys.

The Turner Bend store serves up a mean sandwich.

Hamming it up.

Let's Eat!

Someone asked for a bottle opener and Eric E pulled this out of his pocket. That was a good laugh. Good times. In good company.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Weekend Ride Notification 5/30

Good luck to all those racing the OKC Pro-Am Classic & Battle for Townsend Ridge MTB race at Hobbs State Park. Details on group rides are posted. Have a great weekend may it be filled without fear of growing up!

WHF ride. Wheels Hot @ 7:30 from Brits & Turks. 55 miles of Ozarkia. About 3 hours of saddle bliss. Going to head south on 71 to Winslow stop for water then go up Sunset Rd., down Crawl Hill (you're welcome Johnny Law) get on Black Oak and then head over to recently discovered Thunder Rd. Catch Black Oak again and back in. Mostly flat with 3 significant climbs. Pace spirited. Regrouping after major climbs. Click here for a link to route.

Bentonville Square Ride. Leaves from Bentonville square @ 9:00 am.  Usually 55 to 65 miles.  Hard but with regrouping.  Usually 15-20 riders. Pace spirited. Route TBD.

Battle for Townsend Ridge MTB race at Hobbs State Park near Beaver Lake. Click on link for more information. I plan to attend. 

12:30 ONYX Coffee Lab Ride off Gregg St. Usually 50 miles or so. Pace Spirited. Route TBD.

Ride fast, be safe & steer clear of being young, tired & miserable,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cervelo R3: First Impressions

Initial thoughts on the Cervelo R3 are starting to pour in but let me back up first and start from the beginning. I am 5'8", 155lbs, ride a size 54 & happily married. Previous bike is a Cannondale CAAD 10 (aluminium) with SRAM Rival. I've been on aluminium for 10 years with some one-off super long rides on high end carbon frames. I actually really like the CAAD 10. For the dollar it's one of the best bikes you can buy. Just when you thought you had me pegged as a Cannondale man I go and sweep the rug out from under ya! Enter...2014 Cervelo R3 with Di2 Ultegra (same hoops). Let's start with the fit. The R3 geometry is not the same. I don't want to bore you with numbers so I'll just say the head tube is taller and the wheelbase is shorter. Worried about transferring fit? Don't be. The fellas at The Bike Route are super PRO.

Have you seen this bike fit jig at TBR?

In the bike fit galaxy the bottom bracket is the sun.

Saddle height, tilt & distance in relation to bottom bracket. Check.

Tip of saddle to handlebar. Check.

My measurements. Check.

Had to swap out to a straight post since I run a neutral (no setback) saddle position.

 The reach is almost dialed but because of the taller head tube the drop is a little shy.

BAM! Dialed within millimeters. 

I've been getting a lot of questions about the new steed. I hope this short term and the forth coming long term review will be able to answer them. If not, shoot me an email or leave a comment. So...the first word that pops into my mind is...wait for it...muted. That's right, muted. Not sound though, road vibration. I liken it to when I put on Continental Gatorskins (25c) and run super low pressures during the winter riding season. The old bike was noticeably more comfortable after making the switch. This spring I actually considered racing with the hefty Gatorskins because of the improved comfort. The wider, durable tires at super low pressures absorbed discrepancies in the road. Now I have the same characteristics but the frame is doing the absorbing. All that to say this bike feels smooth. Very smooooooth. But at 155 lbs muting road vibration has never been a big concern. Lighter riders can get away with bikes that are more rigid. What I am most interested in, is the following: How does the bike feel when I stand up out of the saddle and sprint up a short punchy climb? How does the bike feel when I wind-up for that city limit sprint? When you dive into a corner at 40+ how much confidence do I have in what's underneath me?

Initially I can say that the the Cervelo R3 has passed my at first glance questions with flying colors but the interesting thing is I have so many other impressions from areas I did not previously consider. does the bike respond when throwing down on a short punchy climb? Instantaneously. There is a distinct sharpness to how the bike jumps when I jump. How does the bike respond when I wind-up to sprint? Well, at one point I felt the rear wheel pop up slightly. That's how connected the bike feels when I move. Very cool. What about bombing descents with technical turns? I have 100% confidence and that brings me to the front end of this bike. The front end really jumped out at me. It feels stiffer, more sure. This must be part of where that precision and responsiveness feel comes from. Particularly when sprinting out of the saddle. Okay...I'm talking about stiffness this, stiffness that, blah blah blah I know...but KEEP IN MIND the bike is super smooth all the same. Nothing new, right? Crabone fibre works. You don't say. Well, I've been on some super high end carbon frames on long rides (100+ miles) and could not tell enough of difference to be wowed. Sure, better, but no wow factor, just better. The R3 has some wow factor but lets not get carried away. I need more miles to have a complete perspective. Stay tuned...

Want to know what has changed with the 2014 Cervelo R3?
  • sub 1000g frame (size 56)
  • 24% increase in stiffness at the head tube
  • 8%  increase in stiffness (it was already top of it's class) at the bottom bracket
  • 63% increase in aesthetic appeal in new paint scheme (okay, that's my add) 

Clearance for a Mavic Griplink 25c tire mounted to Mavic wheels. Frame size 54.

Conti. Gatorskin 25c mounted to Mavic wheels. Frame size 54.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Saturday Ride 5/24

Early morning rain showers left a ton of humidity in the air. With very little wind it was pretty sticky. A solid group showed up to tackle 52 miles of rolling Ozark terrain. The route was not easy with 3600 feet of gain in the form of relentless rollers which started to take a toll but the bunch managed well. What I did not expect was three flats, one rear derailleur cable breakage and one scary bottle jettison.  But all these things are part of the adventure of getting out on the roads. It's good to have a wrinkle thrown in every now and then. Just kinda weird to have 3 flats in one ride. I've been riding with this bunch for so many Saturday's now and it's great to see folks pitching in when needed. We also had a couple new faces. A rider from Austin Texas who was in town for the weekend and a rider who recently moved here from up north a Prof. at the U of A. It's great to meet new folks while exercising and enjoying the outdoors.

 First flat, not even 10 minutes in.

Rolling again. You can just see the humidity.

Gerald D's saddle or medieval torture device. Straight crabone fibre, no padding. I guess skinny kids can get away with such things. 

We headed northeast up to Beaver Lake.

Love this little stretch on Guy Terry Rd., roller coaster. 

Beaver Lake narrows to the right. Eventually turning into the White River.

We jumped on 412 for a mile or two. Kinda sketchy but Blue Springs Rd. is well worth it.


I always wonder what the gas station folks think when the 'biker' gang rolls up. We can be intimidating in our colorful stretchy pants.

Motley crew.

Out of Goshen we jumped on to Tuttle Rd. which connects to 74.

The bunch was riding solid tempo.

I decided to test the new steed on the descent of Round Mountain.  

Too much fun.

Third flat. 

We got Gerald D back up and pedaling pretty quick. 

If you haven't ridden Wyman Rd. yet, you don't know what you are missing.

Uh-oh cer-ve-lo.

First impressions of the R3 are VERY positive. Stay tuned. A short term review is coming.

Great morning now it's recovery time. I might need a IV.

Let's Eat! I wish I could buy stock in this place.

Much obliged Devin C! More then happy to assist.