Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from!

It's been a breakthrough year for cyclocross in the Mid-South.  Let's make 2011 even better!

Remember that it's only a couple more weeks until the New Year Barrier CX Race.  Trevor has put together another great course, this time at Boyle Park in the heart of Little Rock.  If you weren't at the Turkey Burn, this is your chance to enjoy some tough, fun, grass-roots cross racing.

There are two Euro cross races this weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  They each start at 8am Central, and you can find live streams at  As I've said before, it's a great way to start the day and get some extra motivation for your weekend rides.

Have fun and be safe out there!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Superprestige Diegem

The last two laps of Superprestige Diegem from earlier today. Great, great stuff!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Todd Wells instructional video

A day or two before Todd Wells won the 2010 U.S. National Championships, he took time out of his busy schedule to give a cyclocross tutorial for his main sponsor.  It's actually very good!

Cyclocross 101 with Todd Wells from Jim Fryer/BrakeThrough Media on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

'Tis the season for...Euro holiday cyclocross racing!

The week between Christmas and New Year's is a great time for cyclocross fans.  Practically each day has a major European race.  For example, here is an excerpt from Sven Nys' racing calendar:
26.12.10 UCI World Cup, Heusden/Zolder
27.12.10 Superprestige Diegem, Diegem
29.12.10 GVA - Azencross / Cross of the aces, Loenhout
30.12.10 Bredene, Bredene
1.1.11 GVA - Grote Prijs Sven Nys, Baal
2.1.11 Vlaamse Witloof Veldrit, Tervuren

The races usually start at 8am Central time, and you can find links to live streams at  It's a great way to start the day, and great inspiration for those cold blustery winter rides.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

States video is up

Yet another total winner from More cameras than you can shake a stick at, including POV from Noah Singer, the A race winner. Check it!

[Note: You can see Craig Zediker winning the Masters state championship on a mountain bike.]

Arkansas Cyclocross Series Final Episode: State Championship from Bully Otter Sports on Vimeo.

Monday, December 20, 2010

If you think it's too cold to ride... this video.

And remember that January 16 brings cyclocross racing back to Little Rock.  Be prepared!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Details on the January 16 Little Rock cyclocross race

...are located HERE.

Keegen, Heather, and I will be giving a skills clinic at 8:30am on the morning of the race.  We'll cover the basics of getting on and off the bike, and how to carry it.  All skill levels welcome!

You don't need a cross bike to race cross.  Heather's first cross bike was a vintage Trek mountain bike (aluminum frame, steel fork, purchased in practically unused condition for two bills), and my first cross bike was a Surly Steamroller that managed to fit 32mm file-treads.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't mothball the 'cross rig just yet

This just came over the wire from Trevor Edwards of Arkansas Cycling & Fitness:

"Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that the New Year Barrier Cyclocross Race in Boyle Park, Little Rock, AR on January 16, 2011 is in the works. All the details are still being ironed out, but hopefully there will be a flier with all the details at the end of this week."

Watch this space for the latest news.

Monday, December 6, 2010

If you weren't at Burns Park on Sunday... missed out.  Simple as that.  Competitive Cyclist put on a State Championship race worthy of the name.
Photos courtesy of Rob Karman
A crowd of racers, family, friends, and curious onlookers enjoyed freshly deep-fried frites (with mayo and ketchup, of course) provided by the race organizers, brats courtesy of The Pantry, and root beer on tap courtesy of Diamond Bear.  The course was fast but tough, with lots of tight turns, a couple of fun, short, and steep drops, a swoopy groomed section of the Big Ballin' Dirt Track Classic race course, a short trip through the playground woodchips, and the confounding Spiral of Death.  The weather, clear and brisk; the atmosphere, congenial.

To top it all off, the Men's A race was an epic knock-down-drag-out mano-a-mano battle that people will be talking about for a long time.  From the first lap, it was clear that local favorite Noah Singer and Jonesboro's Nate Rice were the class of the field.  They were a contrast in styles, with Nate cutting a smooth, classic profile while Noah mashed a big gear and bunnyhopped through the playground woodchips.  Nate repeatedly attacked and gapped Noah, only to have Noah fight his way back up to his wheel.  Spectators were openly wondering when the string on the yo-yo was going to break, and it certainly looked like Nate had things pretty well wrapped up midway through the last lap.

Improbably, Noah started reeling him back in during the final trip through the section of switchbacks on the main lawn.  With 300 yards to go, Nate dismounted and portaged through the woodchips, but Noah bunnyhopped through them and immediately pounced on the pedals, barely catching and then nosing ahead of Nate before the final turn.  Noah managed to maintain that lead to the finish line as the crowd went nuts.  Both guys were absolutely at their limit and put on a great show.

There will be more images, both still and moving, landing here in the next few days.  Complete results are located HERE.
Photos courtesy of Rob Karman

Friday, December 3, 2010

States! States! States!

States are this Sunday!

Burns Park: Start/finish and registration are on Arlene Layman, just west of the BMX track. Ryan and Noah from Competitive Cyclist have done a lot of work to put together a great event. The course is fast, challenging, and spectator-friendly, with roughly equal parts grass, dirt, and pavement. There have been a couple choice edits since the course map was drawn up, including the addition of the soon-to-be-world-famous Double Helix.

If you've never been out to a cross race, this will be a perfect opportunity to check it out.  Last year's race brought people from all over the state, and beyond, and it was a really good times; this year promises to be even better.

Sunday's forecast calls for clear skies and light winds.  Dress warm.

B Race: 40 minutes 10:00am-10:40am
(Cat 4, 5 men, Women Open, Master 35+) Merchandise primes

A Race: 60 minutes 11:00am-12:00pm
(Cat 1, 2, 3, Open) Cash and merchandise primes

Any questions?  Check out

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Arkansas Cyclocross State Championships this Sunday

It will be a great day in North Little Rock this Sunday.  Fantastic course with a lot of variety, and if it's anything like last year, there will be plenty of racers from all over the state.  Plus frites, mayo, and trombone!

Cash payments down to five places in the men's A race, with merchandise primes for all classes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It was brung.

Oh yes.  It was a fun day of hard racing at Kanis Park, in the heart of Little Rock.  The deafening echo of yelling and cowbells as a pack of harriers made their way through the double-sandpit under the I-630 was...most excellent.  The course was a leg-wrecker.  Recovery came in all-too-brief snatches, with the vast majority of time spent on the gas pedal.  Ease off, and watch your friend ride away from you.

Conditions: Crisp and clear.  The recent rains made the grass soft and sticky.  A couple of tricky leaf-strewn corners took victims.  The course had a little bit of everything, grass, gravel, pavement, some off-camber, some on-camber, and the aforementioned sand-pit that more than made up for the lack of vertical gain.  Meanwhile, a motley crew of the fraternal, familial, and merely curious enjoyed the great weather, with pizza and potables provided by Vino's.

I managed to grab a couple of frames, but there will be more---still and moving---arriving in the next couple of days.

EDIT: My original post didn't give nearly enough credit to Trevor Edwards, who almost singlehandedly envisioned and realized this event.  He had a great idea, and made it happen.

P.S. Arkansas State Championships are less than a week away.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Burn in Two Days!

One last reminder about this Sunday's Turkey Burn cyclocross race, right here in Little Rock!  Pre-race skills clinic at 8:30, Men's B and Women's Open race at 10:00, Men's A race at 11:00, and kids race at high noon.  Registration: $10.

Click here for more details.  Be there!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


OK so every so often I'll just post a link or vid that I like. No big whoop.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey Burn coverage in the Democrat-Gazette

Woke up this morning, opened the ActiveStyle section, and:
Don't forget about the skills clinic that starts at 8:30am.  Even experienced racers might learn a trick or two.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Burn off all that turkey and stuffing!

Trevor Edwards of Arkansas Cycling & Fitness is putting on a cyclocross race in the heart of Little Rock on November 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The race is called the Turkey Burn.

It takes place in Kanis Park, which is an underappreciated gem of a place. The course is mostly grass, with sections of paved and gravel paths, twisty turny sections through the woods, and two trips through a gnarly sandpit. No serious elevation change, but a true cyclocross circuit with a lot of features to make it interesting and challenging!

It's an unsanctioned race, meaning that you don't get any USAC points, but the entry fee is only ten bucks. A perfect opportunity for beginners, and for more experienced racers wanting to put some hurt into the legs and dust off the cross skills exactly one week before the Arkansas State Championship race.

In the immortal words of Bamacross impresario Brent Marshall, Get you some!


There will be a short pre-race skills clinic put on by Keegen Knapp of Bully Otter Sports, Heather Ladd, and yours truly. It starts at 8:30 and will cover the very basics of dismounts, remounts, and portages.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beginner's Corner

Here are two decent beginner's videos I came across today.

The first one is about dismounts and remounts.  Great soundtrack.  The merits of "stepping through" on the dismount are debatable.

I think the section on corning is pretty spot-on. But don't get too caught up in playing games in corners.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bunnyhopping, part II

A great interview with Adam Craig, who bunnyhops barriers, just after the race where Todd Wells stacked.

Watch more videos on Cycling Dirt

Notable quotables:
"It's never faster [to bunnyhop a standard barrier set]."
"It's all about exit speed, regardless of what the obstacle is, or if it's a corner."
"[Tim Johnson]'s a ninja."

Bunnyhopping barriers

This year the UCI changed its cross rules to allow barriers shorter than 40cm.  I don't know if that's why, but I've noticed more pros bunnyhopping them instead of portaging this year.

If you choose to hop any obstacle in a race, you have to consider the possibility of failure, especially when your muscles are stealing oxygen from your brain.

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[Tim Johnson ran this barrier section every lap.  And won the race.]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great day of racing in Memphis

Outdoors Inc put on a great event, the 24th annual race, in fact.  Great course, great riders, and the crew from Little Rock represented themselves proudly across multiple categories.

Video and stills will follow in the next couple of days.

A reminder of three upcoming Arkansas cross races:
On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, you have your choice of Jonesboro or Little Rock.  And the following Sunday, December 5, is the Arkansas State Championship at Burns Park in N. Little Rock.

Be prepared!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving weekend race in Little Rock is ON

This will be a fun one.  Heather and I got a chance to preview the course a couple weeks ago, and it's a great location and course.  If you're in town, come get some!
When – Sunday, November 28, 2010
Where – Kanis Park; Little Rock, AR
Time – B Race & Women’s Race 10:00am, 40 Minutes
            A Race 11:00am, 50 Minutes
            Kids’ Race 12:00pm
Course – Pavement start and finish, mostly grass, wooden barrier dismounts and sand pit
Registration - $10.00; From 7:00am – 9:45am
What to Bring – Cyclocross Bike or Mountain Bike; Helmet and Shoes; The Whole Family; Cowbells or Noise Makers for the Kids!!!
Questions – Contact Trevor Edwards at 501-837-8485 or trevor at arkansascycling dot com
Ever have the desire to burn off all that turkey we all love so much from Thanksgiving Day? Then join Arkansas Cycling and Fitness for our very first cyclocross race the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Riders of all levels, come have a chance to enjoy riding your cyclosross bike or mountain bike in your local park. Kanis Park is located at the corner of Mississippi and Rodney Parham. The course is mostly flat with a few inclines; all grass except for starting, finishing and sand pit. There will be multiple barrier dismounts and one wicked sand pit. This is a family event, so bring them all—from Grandma to the kids. Noise makers are encouraged for the kids to keep racers motivated. Hope to see everyone there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Next Sunday, November 14, Cross Racing in Memphis

Looks like there should be some good solid racing in Memphis next weekend.  Get you some!

For more information, click here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Collarbone update broke his collarbone exactly two weeks ago at cross practice.  So I can no longer say that I've never heard of anyone breaking a collarbone doing cross.

We were doing hot laps at Burns Park and were ready to pack it in, when Ryan says, C'mon let's do one more!   Always be very careful when you hear those words.  Especially if you are (1) tired and (2) cranky.

I took it way too fast off of the pavement onto a slight grassy downhill.  I'm not sure what made my front wheel suddenly turn left, might have been a rock, root, or sand, but the end result was me flying over the handlebars and landing on my left shoulder.  A (long, crazy) visit to the ER confirmed the broken bone.

Last Friday I had surgery to match the two ends with a metal plate so it heals straight.  I seem to be recovering fine, each day it feels a little bit better with a little more range of motion, but I have to keep it in a sling for the rest of the month.

Moral of the story?  Be careful!  Any time you go downhill on a cross bike, stay loose and relaxed and keep your weight back.  I've decided to put bar-top brake levers back on my cross bike for exactly that reason.  [If they are good enough for Adam Craig and Katie Compton, they are good enough for me.]  Even without cheater levers, you still want to keep your butt behind the saddle and ride those bumpy speedy sections conservatively; there's far more time to make up on other sections of the course.

Ride safely and have a great cross season!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Great video from Memphis Halloween race

Keegen and come up with the goods again.  A fun time was had by all.  Unless you happened to be at home nursing a broken collarbone.

2010 Arkansas Cyclocross Series Episode 2: Memphis from Keegen Knapp on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Memphis Halloween cross race gets high marks

Found this in my inbox:

Man Memphis has a sweet scene, and this course was sweet.  My favorite course I've ridden yet.  I raced cat 4 and got 7th out of twenty four.  Was sitting better but on a piece of single track I took a downhill too fast into a turn and took out some branches.  I lost two spots there with 3 laps to go.  Next lap one of the guys that passed me did the same thing at the same spot.  Almost beet the other at the staircase finish.

This race will be on next years calendar.

Video from Ft Smith races

Keegen is a local cyclocross enthusiast who recently launched an online venture called Bully Otter Sports.  He went out to Ft Smith and put together a really nice montage of the October 24 races.  Modest field sizes, but a lot of power and skill on display.  And kudos to Jonathan Sebring for his candor.

2010 Arkansas Cyclocross Series Episode 1: Fort Smith from Keegen Knapp on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Burn off those calories on Thanksgiving Weekend!

From Trevor:

There will be a cyclocross race sponsored by Arkansas Cycling and Fitness November 28, 2010 in Kanis Park at the corner of Rodney Parham and Mississippi Rd. Start times and entry fee to be announced soon. I will have a flyer ready in the next few days. Please spread the word to anyone with a bike that could be ridden in a cross race. Everyone is welcome!!!!

We will provide updated info as it becomes available.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Suitcasing and Shouldering

This is a great pair of videos.  Somebody took footage from the 1996 and 1997 World Championship races, isolated the segments showing dismounts, portages, and remounts, and put them on slo-mo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arkansas Cyclocross State Championships, December 5

Get ready for States!  There are also links to other area races here:

Time to get your dismount, remount, and portage skeelz in line.  Practice makes perfect!