Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's nice to skip Monday!

All day long I thought it was Monday. Monday holidays do that to me. The day was good at the office and I slashed through it reminding myself that I get to ride after work. With Emily driving now and me not wanting to buy a new car (call me cheap, I don't care!) Terri and I are going to car pool. Hope it works out because it would certainly allow us to save a chunk of cash.

I made it over to Burn's Park and got the bike all ready. It was just a few minutes before 6 so I really didn't think I'd make it to the start point but I did with time to spare. We were going to do the over and back meaning we'll knock out 32 miles going over to Little Rock and back. We were keeping a steady 20 mph pace and slowing a lot around walkers and such. Only a couple of folks spinted the road between the skate park and rehab center. We rode over the Broadway bridge and the group was looking good. Brent was back out there with us. He's a strong rider but has been having some muscle weridness lately but I think he figured out what it was. Funny thing is that he is a doctor and sent out this email with an article explaining his pain. The article was over our heads for the most part. But it was good to have him back out there. We flew down the LR side looking good and I felt Overlook calling me so I broke off and climbed. Either they stayed at the turn around point longer tonight or I got up the hill faster because I spotted them further back then last time. The ride bak was fun. Nice little sprint across the Broadway bridge. I pulled an attack and got eaten alive right off the bat. Then as we were approaching the skatepark again the line sort of relaxed a moment then picked up and I'll be darned, I couldn't edge back into the paceline. No man, not the back again. Ugh! I sat on the back like lard butt for the rest of the ride and dropped off to slow and spin it out just before I got to the car. I was already in the car, left the parking lot and about to turn onto Championship drive before I saw the other half of the group. Someone must have had a flat because there is no way I'd be that far ahead of them.

The group was thinner than normal. Chris and Jenn Shaw were missing, Parick was racing in Carve crits, Chris Irons and Rebecca was resting up for the big NW Ark Challenge. Robb was missing and so was Wayne. We still has 12. Not bad at all.

Terri leaves for Fayetteville tomorrow so I'll be Mr Mom again. Talk about endurance training! HA!

Lots of talk about the HH100 jersey. I'll talk to Chris when he returns from the challenge and see what I can do to help. We have to move fast in order to get it by time for HH100.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

Up at 6, showered, ate waffles, checked weather, and on the bike by 7. I took a few moments to watch a few of the soldier stories on TV this morning and told God thanks and to continue to watch over our guys.

My ride took me from the house to the river via North Hills Blvd. A very quite morning out. I think I might have seen 3 cars between my house and the river. Got down there and could see a couple of riders on the road and I figured the park would still be closed. The trailer for the NASCAR National Guard car was out there as was the SPAM truck. At the entrance of the North Shore park it was nasty! They were hauling everything out including trash and it smelled like a dump!

On down the road I jumped up on the river trail and for 7:20 in the morning on a holiday it was busy! I saw a group with the leader wearing a Chainwheel jersey heading around the bend and thought they might be headed to Scott but saw them again on the return. There were a lot of folks on comfort style bikes tootling along enjoying the morning. Most were without helmets.

As I was heading down the hill and into the forest I noticed a guy, actually noticed him a ways back, and he looked like a cyclist and I could tell from behind he was on one of the Giant OCR bikes with the cool red/black frame. He was in his big ring, big gear the whole time. He was moving along about 16-18mph but it was an interesting exercise.

I past a few others including some friends from church and shut it down at Cook's. Slurped down a gel and water then started heading back. I saw the rider on the Giant and invited him to ride with our group. Then I realized who the guy was. Let me rephrase that, I know where he lives. There is a cool looking house on North Hills that belongs to an Asian family and there are always hot looking cars parked there and one has a bike rack on top. That was this guy. I don't know who they are but the guy was friendly.

On the way back down the trail I just took my time and enjoyed the morning changing off to a detour here and there. I'd played enough and returned the the trail to head home. Saw Kyle coming my way. Figured he and the "brotherhood" would have been riding today. They don't seem to like to ride with me much anymore saying I ride way to fast for them, which is pure bagged cow manure from Home Depot.

Back through the nasty park entrance and headed toward N Hills again. There is a short stretch where I have to go through a lower income housing area and this morning several were sitting out on their porches. I gave 'em the big howdy and most waved back. Honest, I don't care about the type of neighborhood but when you say hi to someone sitting on their porch 9 times out of 10 they will respond in a nice way. That's what front porches were built for wasn't it? Not just cool looking stuff from Pier One.

Turned off on Justin Matthews Drive to enjoy the yards and beautiful homes for a moment. I have a coworker that lives in one of these homes but not sure where.

Came up to the light at the entrance of Lakewood Village. I love riding through here before all the stores open. Folks were dusting off their welcome mats, sleepy eyed workers getting out of their cars wishing they hadn't stayed out so late last night. Just a community coming to life.

Then I got to ride my favorite return home drop... yep, on North Hills. Nothing is more fun then getting to ride up to the red light, turn right and drop down the hill! There was a couple on the walking path at the bottom of the hill and as I hunched down playing "Mr. wannbe Pro rider gets areo dynamic" (HA!) they started clapping and cheering me! Buh-ha-ha-ha! I was laughing when I rode past. I looked down and had a nice 36mph ride going! Woo Hooo! Of course that dropped to about 16 by the time I got over the next incline. There's a short recovery area and then the road drops just enough to get a go 20+ ride going again that can take you all the way to the intersection at N. Hills and JFK. Usually by the time I get to that intersection I have some charge going on and if the light is not red, it rocks going through there. Another short drop and weeee around the curve and onto Oakridge we go. From here on it's uphill all the way till almost my house but it's a fun uphill. Once up there I get to ride level for about 100 yards to the house.

Got home and cooled off out on the front porch. A couple of neighborhood runners came by and waved. See there's that front porch waving thing going on again.

It was a good morning!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Lollipop Ride

Yes this ride did include a camel!

Everyone getting ready to ride the Lollipop

Our beverage stop in Bigelow. Bad photo but look behind Jo in the middle and you'll see the good ole boys. They were funny.

Now this is a perfect photo. Shows the real side our of fearless ride leader and host. Children at Play and Robb. And dig that jersey!

Yes, we really did see a camel and ox and even water buffalo. Also I saw a dead raccoon, armo, 2 live snakes, 2 dead ones and Jenn and Chris Irons were real sure to "over" point out a turtle then had the nerve to both look back at me. My best friends can be so evil sometimes! HA!

Robb hosted a GREAT ride today called the Lollipop Ride. The course was like a lollipop and it was suh-weet!

About mid week we began shooting emails back and forth about this ride and Robb said he'd do it if he had 4 takers. He had about a dozen! He's one of those guys everyone likes to be around. Good solid rider with a sense of humor.

We met out at Lake Sylvia this morning around 8:30 and headed out for our ride. This first thing we did was climb a hill but then we were all fresh and it was a nice slow paced climb. Everyone in good spirits and feeling good. The road we were on is a 4 mile driveway for the Lake Sylvia Park. It's an over sized pond but a pretty little place with hiking trails, a little office, restrooms, etc.

First road: Hwy 10 north. We've all riden Hwy 10 before so no biggie. We climbed a couple of hills and then did what I think is one of the best rides down in central Arkansas... the drop into Perryville! By the time we got to the bottom I heard a couple of 50 mph drops. I screamed all the way down at 43.3.

Second road: Off to the left at the bottom of the Thornburg drop we took the rode that goes by the Heifer Project. Jenn and Parick were up front. I dropped out for a moment and rode up the drive to get a photo of the camel and ox. Pretty place and I'd like to go back again. I think the kids have been out there on school field trips before but that was years ago. Anyway I had to hump it to get back to the group who graciously waited for a moment at Hwy 10. And then again I had to hump it because a couple of dogs wanted to run with me a moment. One was a nice looking yellow Lab.

Third road: Hwy 10 again. We were just on it for a moment and then turned to go to Perryville and Harris Brake Dam.

Forth Road: Gosh, what was the name of that road? Anyway, we rode along Harris Brake and I think that's a place folks out to buy up as property comes open. Just outside LR and I've heard it's a nice little fishing lake. Lots of run down trailers though. I rode with Becca for a little bit, then Yale, then Jenn and Chris Irons. This is the road they pointed out the turtle. They're hethens!

Fifth road: I'm sure it has a name but by now I'm tripping on Hammer gels and hot Gatoraid. Anyway we rode it to some other road like 300 or 113. We began to see the markers sprayed on the road for the Tour de Toad from this year. Looks like the 40 and 60 miler routes came through here. When we stopped there was a small store and I went in to use the restroom and the lady said they didn't have running water right now. I think she just didn't want a bunch of sweating cyclist using her john. Everyone was riding really strong today!

Fifth road: There was a sign that said "Wye 4" so I knew it was about time to start climbing. We started out all together but Wye Mountain can break up any group. I was able to stay in my mid ring, mid gear so I felt good. There were several times I really wanted to drop the gears but this has sort of been my goal over the past couple of weeks to ride hills in higher gears. Got to the top about mid group. There was a nice breeze blowing... ok let me clear this up. There was a nice breeze blowing after I stopped. The same breeze was a pain in the butt only moments before as I was climbing the hill.

From here we rode to Hwy 10 and it started with rolling hills and then a long hill. As I was riding, Rebecca came from no where and smoked that hill! I'm not joking! It was like one of those chick pro riders. Whoosh! I hollared, You go girl! I could hear her laughing. Laughing while eating me alive on a hill. That's low ain't it? NOT! That's awesome!

The front group was at the Hwy 10 turn and they were leaving. From here on to the turn off back to Lake Sylvia I was solo. I could see them but I just couldn't catch them and the wind was picking up so I didn't have anyone to draft. This was no big deal because I slowed a little and played my "what's that dead mushed up animal in the road?" game. Oh man, there was one bloated deer on the side of the deer and the flies were having a family reunion like no other! Lord did it stink! I could see Matt dropping back from the group a little and I told myself as long as I can see him then I won't be left on the side of the road to be eaten by buzzards. He stayed about 100-200 yards ahead. It was funny because he would speed up a little and I would. He would slow a little and instead of me doing the right thing and get my lard butt up there and take turns pulling, I would slow down. We both finally got back to the road to Lake Sylvia and first thought was, "Thank God, only 4 miles." I guess God thought I needed a little endurance testing because that was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t, roughest 4 miles of my life! I kid you not, that road was not that rough when we headed out. And remember that hill we climbed right off the bat? It was nowhere to be found. I'm not joking, it seemed like it was 20 miles. I finally saw a sign with an arrow curved down like a bad Viagra advertisement! The wind was blowing and it seemed like I was having to pedal to go downhill. I got down to the bottom of the hill and rode in to the park and accepted the trophy... the prized lollipop which served as the finishers trophy. I honestly wanted to ride right past Robb and into the lake! And honestly, I think I'm not the only one that wanted to do that! It became hot and we were tired by the end of this 53 mile ride.

I still didn't find my swimsuit last night so I changed into street clothes and hung out a bit then headed home. Seemed like it took a long time to get to I-430 but it always does when you drive after a good long ride.

Home, showered and eating like there's no tomorrow! That's one of the great things about riding. You come home and get cleaned up and then log your miles to find to knocked off 2400 calories! So what did I eat this afternoon? Some more shrimp, 2 glasses of sweet tea, a Mt Dew, some Triscuits, a leftover chocolate dounut I found (Terri, when did we have chocolate donuts?) Gosh, that could have been from last year's Memorial day weekend, who knows! Then Terri got home and said "I was thinking abiut making shrimp poboys for dinner, that sound good?" You bet baby! And it was!

Tomorrow Ian and Holly Hope are leading a ride. Maybe part of the ARKY 100. Can't wait!

Chris Irons, if you are reading this, "Good Luck on the NW Arkansas Challenge!"

Friday, May 26, 2006


This is where bikes go to die. It's the side lot at the Bike Doctor in Benton.

Officer Scott showing proper bike handling during the bike Rodeo.

Jenn Shaw had to make sure Office Scott's bike alterations were correct.

One of the courses used to check bike skills

Jenn and Monty adjust the new helmet for the rider.

Officer Scott and the safest bike riders in Benton

A good Friday! The office was very quite and I left a little after 3 so I could get down to Benton and work with our ACH Community Outreach and BACA to put on a bike rodeo. Sad to say there were only 3 kids but to see how just a short time with them improved their riding skills a lot. We gave them new helmets, checked tires, brakes, adjusted seats and these kids did great. If we helped them to enjoy their bikes that much more then it was worth it!

Tomorrow morning I'll head over to Lake Sylvia to ride a 60 mile ride. It's the Fast Girls and Slow Guys club. We'll get to climb 3 mountains and maybe picnic and swim afterwards. Come to think of it, where's my swim trunks?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Later that day...

Yale, Becca, and Wayne returning to Cook's Landing
after the 3rd trip up Ft Roots.

Robb talking about the ride we are planning on Saturday.
Or was he teaching us the song,
Pop goes the weasle?

Wayne wondering how he gets himself into this stuff.

Hey, this is the Wayne that did the perfect pull on our last ride.

Jo, Chris and Rebecca.

Part of the crew that championed the 3rd go up Ft Roots.

Robb warns the poppa-razzi to back off. HA!

The next 3 photos were ones I had to stop and take.

The sunset to the end of a great day riding with great friends.

The in-laws are here from FL and this is what I had waiting for me when I got home. Fresh gulf shrimp right off the boat from behind Habour Docks in Destin.

I got off from work and drove over to Burns Park to unload the bike and get ready for the Thursday night Fast Girls and Slow Boys club ride. The plan was to try a new electro replacement but the little tube was for a whole gallon. I asked a couple friends if they had tried it and Ian had and gave it a semi thumbs up. Said he put Gator in it to add some taste.

Starting riding toward Ft Roots and got to about the police union building and saw JBar and one of his friends and then a few seconds later saw Kyle McNeese. I was about 5:25 and I needed to be at the other end by 6. No problem. I passed John and told him i was just trying to catch up witht the juvenile that just passed them (referring to Kyle). Caught up with him and had a nice chat. Noticed his arm had the tattle tale signs of road rash. Yep, he was trying to get around a couple last week and ended up going off the trail. Just another badge of honor.

I had looked in my bag for gels or something but nada. So I rode with water which was fine but I think I would have riden better if I could have replaced some electros and food.

I think I heard Chris Irons count off 18 riders tonight! Big group.

We all head off knowing we'll stay on the NLR side of the river but climbing Ft Roots multiple times. You'd sort of think that the pace would have been a tad slower (I hear you all laughing!) but no way baby. We were rolling at 24mph at times and we are just out of the gate. I can see JBar pulling. Crazy man...strong rider. Everyone was riding strong and we hit Ft Roots the first time. I had stayed back a bit after one of our riders couldn't get around a couple walking and didn't want him to get dropped off the bat. So I had it in me to move on the hill. I felt great and kept in in the big ring and about 10mph. There's something about when you first start up the hill and you round the first switchback it seems to be tough but then from there on, I enjoy the climb. I keep meaning to get ahead of the group and shoot this hill so you can have a visual. It's, to me, one of the prettiest places in NLR.

We all regroup at the top and start to head back down and the first curve greeted us with on of the city buses. In most town the city buses are ruthless but I'll have to tell you everything I've been in NLR the buses are courtious to bikes. Thanks CAT! So everyone zips down the hill dreaming of going 60 while we'll going 30. Bottom of the hill everyone sort of regroups again. Some fat boys like me can enjoy the pull of gravity down the hill better than others.

We're back out on whatever the name of that river road is and riding along. I know that once we get passed the couple of houses someone will break into a sprint. It's an unwritten rule. I'm sitting pretty far back and I see Robb start getting antsy, then Chris Shaw stands, and it hits...Sprint time! WooHoo! I looked over to my left and there are no riders and the sprint has already taken off. Do it, don't do it. Do it, don't do it. DO IT!!!! I stood and pushed hard getting to 32 before shutting it down. I caught 'em but I'm very sure they weren't pushing their limits.

We swing around through a vacant lot for the return since the actual park is closed/blocked for Riverfest. On the way back, I got the honor of pulling so I kept it 19-20 mph.

More later...

New chemicals to digest

Weather cam view of Little Rock's Riverfront park where Riverfest will take place. I'll add more photos as the weekend progresses and you'll see all the folks!

The weather is doing a great imitation of summertime. Honest, that's fine with me. The heat brings it's own set of rules when riding. Ya gotta hydrate to the hilt! I'll be riding with the bud's later this afternoon and I have to make sure I have 2 water bottles (full!).

I'm going to try a new electrolyte replacement today. It was in the packet from the Tour de Hills in Harrison. Here's the web if you're interested: www.eletewater.com I've used several different ones and so far I like GU2O over Gatoraid and Poweraid. The little packet I got says to mix with 1 gallon of water. Now that's concentrated because I'm looking at a little packet here.

I'll try to start early for the ride due to the shrimp boli that my in-laws are doing at the house. I'm afraid I won't get any if I stay out to late. And besides, part of the NLR river trail is blocked due to the Riverfest this weekend.

Hey, and how about that Taylor guy on American Idol? I was hoping for him to win from the beginning. I didn't get glued to it like the kids but I did usually watch when he was on there. He is different from the same winners. I know what you're thinking... yep, all the salt and pepper headed citizens voted for him. Now I didn't call in a vote but 63 million other folks did.

Check back later and I'll fill you in on the ride and the shrimp!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mid week madness!

I just thought this art was a hoot! It's actually from the Chainwheel (www.chainwheel.com) bike shop home page. Where does Pat and Bruce find this stuff?

Last nights group ride was a blast and a half! I parked at Burn's Park so I could ride a few miles to the start and feel warmed up. We had a nice sized group and I thought with the absence of Patrick and Robb the ride would be a tad slower. HA! Yeah right! We rode along at about 20 then 21 then over the bridge into Little Rock and then 22. Oh man, I had to pull at 22. I did ok for a bit and then noticed I dropped to 21 then to 20 and knew I needed to move over. The paceline passed along and for some weird reason I suddenly blew. I could not catch up. They got smaller and smaller. I kept thinking the next group would be here shortly but no one. I could still see my guys and as they got close to the new bridge there was a split. Some headed up Overlook. I turned and headed that way myself only to look up a few minutes later (yes, I did start to catch up) but it wasn't my group. It happened to be a few Carve riders training on the hill. I push my fat tail on up and up the hill and told myself "yeah baby" at the top. I let 'er rip on the way down. As I got to the bottom and hung a left I felt great! I finally met up with the guys and I was a little too proud to tell them I had just climbed Overlook. Several of the ones that started one the LR side were going to climb it now. I thought about doing it again but instead choose to stay with the group. We rode along at a nice pace and Wayne got to the front and began to pull and it was a perfect 20 miles per hour. We never went up or down. Great pull Wayne! As we came back over the Broadway Bridge we split up a little and I somehow ended up a couple hundred yards ahead (trust me, it wasn't because I was riding that fast!) and as I rode by the road to Ft Roots I turned and lo and behold I climbed it. I was really enjoying the ride! I solo'ed back to Cook's mainly to let everyone know I was fine. Our group is close knit and if someone drops, we check on them. So I said my goodby's and rode back to Burn's Park.

You know, some days you just get lucky to really have it in you and you have a great ride. Today was that day for me.

Other news:
Emily got her hard copy of her drivers license and the restriction was lifted. She is a real auto driver now. So that means I will be using my bike to get to work more now! I'm not complaining one bit!

Terri's folks arrived yesterday from Navarre, Florida for the long weekend and brought me a killer birthday present!! 8 lbs of fresh shrimp! Shrimp boil for the family at the house tomorrow night! Woo Hoooo!

Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm starting to miss it

Back in the winter when I was planning to repeat my state circle tour or the even bigger plan to ride from the Canadian border back to Little Rock, it would have been about to happen next week. There just seems to be a void right now. I thought I could fill that void by riding the NW Arkansas Challange but that has gotten put aside as well. I'm sort of in the "exactly what are your goals for biking this summer" mode. I'm hoping to get to ride the Arky 100 preview ride this Sunday. Also I'll do something on Monday since it's a vacation day. I know, I'm just whinning today.

Sean, Emily's boyfriend is looking at getting a crotch rocket. Suzuki, I think. Red and black. Fast. (I can't wait to borrow it!)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday stuff

Just a quick hit...

Spent the afternoon yesterday in Benton. Everyone doing well. Dad in good spirits.

Terri thought her flight from St Paul was from 9:30 this morning and when she called the shuttle to reserve a spot she realized it was for 9:30 pm. She caught an earlier flight and has been picked up by Sean and Emmy for an 8:30 arrival. Bet she's going to be tired.

Went to church. It was good.

Went to Friday's with Emmy for lunch. It was good. Had Pecan crusted chicken salad.

Went to train solo thi afternoon. Saw lots of bud's but needed to do my own thing. Repeats of Ft Roots and the goal was to stay in the big ring. Mission accomplished.

One of my departments I recruit for, Transport, just moved out of their old stand alone building to their new offices across the street. The old building caught fire yesterday and burned down. No one hurt.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Where did that come from?

With Terri out of town and the kids bored we went over to Cold Stone and had ice cream for Friday night out. I got a peanut butter and fudge shake that was out of this world! We were going to see the Da Vinci Code but it was sold out until the 10:30 show. No thanks. then this morning the early news has all these folks slamming it. I think I'll wait for the video.

This morning I woke and knew I was going to ride. Flipped on the tube and Weather Channel is showing 72 degrees at 6:30 a.m.. Perfect riding weather. I left the house a tad after 7 and rode North Hills to the river and dodged a couple of road blocks for a charity 5K. Enjoyed a fast pace down the river and stopped for a moment at Cook's Landing. Lots of folks out enjoying the beautiful morning. Left Cook's to head back to the house and there had been a group coming toward me as I was coming towards Cook's, now it looks like they are getting back on the road after a flat or mechanical. I asked if all was ok. Got the OK and somehow ended up in the middle of the group since there was a break. I noticed that several guys had the Chainwheel jersey's on so I figured it was Bruce's Coffee Ride extended version. We started for the hill just before the Burn's Park golf course and several stood up to climb the hill. I did to and suddenly I danced the pedals and eat the hill. A beautifully excuted attack! I keep it going and turned on Championship Lane and keep the pace up until I was out of sight. The guys didn't turn on the lane but I suspect they were watching. I started thinking it was a dumb thing to do because of the energy used and the distance from home. I don't know what it came from but I keep it going all the way home. This never happens to me. I was wishing Robb, Patrick and Chris had been there becuase it was just one of those moments! I'm not bragging, it was just fun!

Friday, May 19, 2006

It's Bike to Work day!!!

ACH riders in the Bike to Work ride.

Riders coming over the Broadway Bridge from North Little Rock into Little Rock. This is a very heavy traffic road during rush and police blocked a lane for us.

My pal Ron Rizzardi riding with the trailer.

Ready to start the Bike to Work ride from Burn's Park

Listening to route directions

Keith (L) and I at the River Market when the ride ended.

Team ACH Riders

Today was National Bike to Work Day. This was the event a couple of years ago that prompt me to start bicycle commuting to work. I admit I haven't done well with it at all this year but then I usually started getting serious about it after this event. Terri is out of town on business so I didn't feel good about not having a car so I drove over to the hospital and rode back over the bridge to the NLR start point then after it was over rode with the gang back to the hospital. It's nice to have a big company owned fitness center and have locker room facilities for times like this.

Before every event ride I don't sleep well. I'm always afraid I'm going to over sleep. Last night even though Emmy said she'd set her alarm and wake me up, I still tossed and turned. I woke at 1:22 then at 4:26 and then off and on till 5.

It was a fun ride and I hope I start commuting again. Those morning rides just do something for me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thursday stuff

Yale and Brandon Funk getting ready to ride in the Ride of Silence last night.
Didn't ride tonight since Terri is in St Paul on business and will be till Sunday. I mowed the yard and cut tree limbs.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ride of Silence

Monty Cole, President of BACA (Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas) speaks to the crowd before the ride begins.Tonight we will have the Ride of Silence. It's a national ride honoring those who have been hurt or killed in a crash involving bicycles. Last year Jason Pratt was killed by a possible drunk driver as he rode along the streets of Little Rock. It was a hit and run and they caught the man that did it. I didn't know Jason but from what his family and friends have said, he was a young man that really enjoyed adventure and life.

If you are reading this and notice bikes out around 7pm tonight please be respectful.

People keep saying, "I saw you out at such and such riding and you were hauling it." Gee, what a head rush! I don't haul it at all compared to my buds. Now they can haul it to the exteme.

Last nights ride was a washout. As I left the office I went through a downpour on the river bridge and afterwards for a few moments. Then again almost at the turn off to Cook's Landing. As everyone arrived we all were looking out of the courner of our eye at the black clouds. "Whadda y'all wanna do?" Yale says. "Over and back!" Patrick says. "Crap!" George thinks. I went and was riding and feeling good at 24mph. This will be a good ride after all. SWASH!!!! Downpour! The paceline breaks up and everyone wobbles back to the start point. Bummer!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ready to ride!

I've not gotten to ride since last week so it's like a bad case of cabin fever during an Arkansas ice storm. Ya just wanna scream, "Get me outta here!"

I'll meet up with the club here in about an hour for our Tuesday night ride. It's been a fast group this year and pretty darn fun if you ask me. I need to do some hill training so I'm hoping for north side of the river with a Ft Roots climb session but I'll go with the club wherever they ride.

I'm still reliving the past weekend and the fun I had at the races.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Joe Martin and Fayetteville weekend

************Various Photos*********

(Right) Jose A and his cool SRAM Volvo. I worked for Jose this past weekend and for a guy that handles all the pro's bikes for mechanical problems when needed he is the most laid back guy I've ever met. Super nice and I learned a lot! Thanks Jose!
(Left) Riding behind the Toyota-United Team car. We were laughing that it looked like they were having a business meeting.

The left over after the massive pile up when the peleton hit the train tracks. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting guys to the feed zone to hook up with their teams again. I spoke Sunday morning with one of the guys we helped and he finally went to the hospital on Saturday night. No broken bones but he was really sore. At one time I reached down in my cargo shots pocket and had a fork of one of the Abercombie and Fitch team. I found the rider after the race and returned the piece. We both had a good laugh.

A shot of the mountains at Artist point on Mt Graynor.

**Toyota-United Photos**
Here are some of the bikes Toyota-United ride. They were great bunch of guys and I would have had a lot more photos of them but I messed up my camera. Actually still learning a lot of the features.

Sean Sullivan of Australia. Yep, he has that cool Aussie accent. Fun to listen to him talk.

Ivan Stevic pedals away after watching the women's race for a moment. Stevic is from Serbia.

The Friday afternoon race and the Toyota-United Team car.

Hunter East (?)on the time trial. Carve was tearing up the hill.

Got to cheer on the home team!

Friday Report:
Got to Fayetteville via Hwy 71 after leaving a few chalk messages for the guys. Grabbed a bite to eat at McDonalds and headed over to the Wal Mart parking lot where the men's pro race would start. I met up with Vince, busy as ever. Jose got there a few minutes later and I walked up and introduced myself. I half expected him to tell me to go get him some water but that was the opposite from his character. He was one of the nicest, most laid back guys I've ever met. Professional to a tee but in a great way. I was excited to know I would learn from this guy over the course of the weekend! We loaded the trucks with extra wheels, secured the bikes on the roof of the car, then I got busy helping all the pro's get their tires aired up. All were friendly and apprecitive. I just I was thinking they'd all have the Lance Armstrong complex but nope, they were just normal guys that enjoyed riding. The race starts!
Watching Jose change a wheel and get a man back on the road was a experience in itself. In seconds everything is done and the rider is back in the race and Jose is driving Euro style, honking and swerving and back to the front behind the peleton.
Evansville, the train track that took down a peleton... Just as we rounded the corner it looked like a tornado hit the group. Guys laying everywhere. They had to cross some train tracks and down they went. Several got up and took off only to be picked up hurting later. We picked up and shuttled guys the rest of the afternoon. We had 3 in the truck and I really felt bad for them because they were all hurt and bleeding and disappointment not to get to finish the race. A couple of them I never saw again this weekend. Got finished around 7 and went to Peguin Ed's BBQ with Ryan and Melissa to eat.

Saturday road race....
Met up with Jose, aired tires, tightened a cage then shifted over to the trucks. With over 200 riders we had a lot more trucks and wheels. With the Cat 3-5's they bring their own replacement wheels and the guy that was driving the truck I was going to work with hadn't done this before and wasn't into bikes. He just was talked into driving. There was a pile of wheels in the back and I had to get back there and get them set up and tagged. Jermey would drive the truck and I would jump out and change the wheels and get them back on the road...just as Jose had taught me the day before.

Saturday Time Trails...
Bascially just watched from the mid way point and encouraged riders. The course was just 2.5 mile time trail but it was all up hill. It was great to watch their endurance and then fun to see them ride back down the hill to their team cars. They would rocket down the hill.

Sunday: Met up with Jose and since I wasn't really scheduled for anything I just told him thanks for letting me work with him this weekend and how I had learned a lot from him. He LOADED me up with goodies as I was leaving. A true pro! He wanted me to come back and work with him next year... that comment was worth more then all the goodies. I walked around and spoke with Vince and others I knew and went to the Toyota-United tent. Cool stuff. I saw the guys come in as the women were racing and got to speak with Sean and Ivan for a moment. Then walked around to where the bus was and they had all the bikes out and I saw Frankie Andreau, the team director, and asked if I got get close up to the bikes and shot some photos. Got a couple of cool ones! Andreau was like Jose. Not what I expected! A nice guy and very fan friendly.

I watched Carve take the winnings on the Cat 3 race. They were great. The first few laps was a breakaway by Carve and he held on for several solo leads.

All in all, it was a good time had by all.

The picture everyone in my family wants to see!!!

Melissa and Ryan
and the twins!!!
Here's the first pregnant family portrait made this morning just before church.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I really should be packing!

Happy Birthday Lil Sista Barbie!!!

It's the night before the Joe Martin races in Fayetteville and I should be packing. After a crazy day at the office and some software not working I was bushed by the time I got home. I had a project for the VP that had to be done today for the printer and I thought it was never going to get finished. But it did.

I missed my group ride tonight but had dinner with the family and that was fun. Tyler was here and we messed around a little after dinner.

Well, I really do have to go pack! Oh by the way, I get to see Melissa pregnant with her twins tomorrow!

I plan to take a lot of photos so keep watching!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Got a little stormy!

Last night storms came through and I didn't realize it was that bad until driving to work. I got up at 6 and had just come into the kitchen and the garage light came on then went off. Then it did it again. I had not turned on the kitchen lights and knew the dogs were in the garagr since it was raining. What on earth were those dogs doing out there I wondered! Then I realized the stove clock was off. The electricity had just gone off. Terri said it came back on about 7:30. Once again, we were lucky.

As I drove down the road there were a couple of trees down and no lights anywhere except across the valley I could see street lights. JFK was all backed up and the brave NLR police were in the middle of the intersection directing traffic. Lightening was still going across the sky. There were also a couple of stalled cars in the road.

As of 11:43 this morning, it's still going on and my building has very limited power.

On a different subject, last nights ride was 34 miles of speed! I looked down and we were moving along at 24mph. I'm not sure we ever got under 18 last night. Myself and a few others stopped at the stop lights along the way and broke off from the group. They didn't run the lights but we just got caught as it changed to red. On the way back Keith, Chris, JBar sort of stuck together and made it back. Keith, if you're reading this, thanks for the long pull!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Triple Bypass

Just a cool photo I acidentally took.

The ABC Bike Club ride that we merged with. I was getting ready to take a photo and I heard folks talking behind me and felt bad that I wasn't watching. Sorry guys!

Chris Shaw and Mark Rogers talk about Chris' trip to Tour de Georgia

Will, a very strong rider.

The Fast Girls and Slow Guys club discussing the game plan for the day.

We all met over under the I-430 bridge. Actually just passed it. 1pm came and everyone was ready to roll out. The weather was hot and humid as the sun broke through the clouds and cool when the clouds would roll by can cover up the sun.

Our pace was good and steady and at first I thought we were going to be in an all out leg burning session but things calmed down as folks began to warm up. Most of the time we were in the 19-21 mph range and the paceline was set up nice.

We crossed over the bridge and I was behind one of the new guys and he rode with a removable cast on his arm. He went over the bridge with one hand in order to keep the shock of the bumps from bothering him. He's an excellent rider without the cast and a pretty amazing rider even with the cast! Stayed with the group the whole time.

As we got over the bridge we had to slow several times for familes along the trail but the speed picked back up as we got out on the road. We were moving along at about 18 or so and I thought it was a good time to grab my camera and get some action shots but the ABC ride had caught us and merged. I didn't realize someone was drafting me. Felt bad not watching and listening for them.

We turned and headed up Ft Roots and I felt good climbing. Still had a couple more gears to go at the top and had kept my speed around 10mph up the hill. Everyone made it to the top and we stopped for a second to gab about who rode what ride yesterday. Weather threw a monkey wrench into the day yesterday

Next was a nice pace out and around Burn's Park and on the road by the tennis courts we cranked it up! Rawked through there and as I looked down I saw the number 32. Paceline moving at 32 mph!! WoHooo! We got over to Cook's Landing and regrouped and started back to the Little Rock side. Robb's chain decided to play boa constrictor and wrap up and squeeze. He had to remove the back wheel to get it back on thread. Bummer!

As we got to the end of the road by the dam Chris Irons pointed to Overlook. I got excited! We were going to climb all three hills!! I'm not the best climber but I enjoy it. My goal again was to make the climbs without using the granny gears and I did it! Overlook is a beast but it's not really because of the length and the grade but because the road is slanted to the side and for some reason that messes with me. We got to the top and regrouped. Everyone did great! As we were about to head down there were other cyclist training on the hill. My bud, Charlie Haight was one of those. He's a lot of fun to ride with.

Next hill which is not much further is River Mountain Road. Again, up we went. I felt good going up although I was slow. Mark passed me on the way up and I studied his cadance and tried to find a gear that would put me in the same time as him but I was at my low gear on the mid ring so it wasn't going to happen. Mark is my mentor as far as riding. I try and copy him as often as possible. He and Chris Shaw are both very strong riders and worth trying to copy. I kid with Chris about whenever he rocks his neck back and forth that is a sign that he is about to attack. HA! We all made it to the top with no problem and headed back down to the cars.

So we did it! The local version of the Triple Bypass. Good weather and good friends. It was a dandy way to spend the afternoon!