How did you do?

Another Tour de Rock finished.  Whew! What a day!  Hot and windy but made that finish line oh so sweet!

Charles and I didn't get back to the finish line in time to see everyone finish.  How did you do?  If you get a chance, tell us about it.  Just comment on this blog - anonymous if you like - or send an email or post on Facebook.   

Also, if you'd like a jersey, they have extended the deadline to qualify until June 23rd.  They look pretty cool and you just need to raise or donate $150 to get your's.

Thanks everyone for participating in the training rides and the Tour.  We have really enjoyed the training for the first half of the year.  Now, it's on to get ready for the late summer and fall rides! 

Good luck and be safe with all of your riding!  See you on the trails!

Map to the TDR Start

Adrenaline pumping? Mine sure is.  In case you are unfamiliar with the Burns Park soccer field area, this is a map on how to navigate through the park to the Soccer Field Complex.  Once you get into the Soccer Fields, there will be folks to direct you to parking.  Yes, there are restrooms. :-)

Tour de Rock Starting Location

Directions to Tour de Rock start on 6/12:
From I40, take Exit 150
Turn right at the first turn which is Arlene Leyman.
Turn left on Tournament Drive.
Parking in lots off the right side of the road.

2010 CARTI Tour de Rock

It's here! Finally!  The 7th Annual CARTI Tour de Rock is this coming Saturday, June 12th, and it promises to be one for the record books.  The temps will be in the low 90s; more people than ever have been training; and the swag bag is bigger and better than ever! What about you - are you ready to ride?
Before one of my first rides, someone said to me "think of it as just another training ride."  Obviously that meant I was wound tighter than a top and should just relax.  Pretty good advice.  So, I share it with you now - especially if this is your first time out.

Go over your bike.
Check the tires, tubes, brakes, saddle bag.  If you need anything, get out and get it tomorrow.  Don't wait until Friday or worse Saturday to figure out you need to replace something.

Go over your apparel.
Now isn't the time to try new shorts.  That could be a real disaster if you haven't tried them before.  A new, untried jersey can also make a 100-mile bike ride very uncomfortable.  Now, where are your gloves and your helmet? How about your sunglasses? Are you wearing a sweatband?  Get 'em ready now.  Put your sunscreen with your apparel so you remember to put it on.  Now, whatever you do, don't forget the chamois cream, butt butter, whatever you call it. Those are not the kind of racing stripes you want!

Staging is a good idea so you don't have that last minute running around that makes you late and panicky at the start.

Got your water bottles ready?
Pack two.  Are you drinking just water at the start? Should you add ice to one?  Or, are you taking your CamelBak? Is it clean and ready to go?

Got your favorite gel, chews, or bars handy? Again, now is the time to stock up. Plan your ride, your pace. Know when and what you'll be eating and make sure you have it ready to go.

Registration/Packet Pick Up.
  • Thursday, June 10th at CARTI/St. Vincent, from noon until 7 p.m.
  • Friday, June 11th at Riverfront Wyndham Hotel, North Little Rock, from noon until 7 p.m.

What else?
Remember, ride the ride you have trained for and then just ride it like any other training ride.

Oh, one more thing,

Unofficial Tour de Rock Day at Dickey-Stephens Park
Saturday, June 12th the Travelers play the NWA Naturals and you're invited!  Every registration includes a free ticket to the game that evening (...while supplies last.)  You'll find the ticket in your goodie bag - it's small but it's in there! Wear your TDR T-Shirt and come join us!

This and That

Saturday, June 5th is our last training ride together for the 2010 CARTI Tour de Rock.  It has been a real blast!  We estimate that over 41,000 training miles were covered this season and hundreds of cyclists shared the road in preparation for the ride on June 12th.

This is going to be a good ride - plan on hanging around for a bit after the ride too!

This Saturday is supposed to be HOT!  Wear sunscreen! Bring water bottles!

Now most of you are planning on riding with the Advanced Ride (30-, 50-, 62- or 100 mile routes). Did you know that the TDR also includes the Arkansas Childrens Hospital Family Fun Ride on June 12th? Encourage your family and friends to dust off their bike and join the festivities. The Family Fun ride starts at 10:00 a.m. and is a relaxed, leisurely ride from Burns Park to the Big Dam Bridge and over to the ACH rest stop. When they get back to the finish line, there will be plenty of food, live music and tons of celebrating. Registration via the CARTI website – click on Calendar of Events and choose Tour de Rock.

  • Thursday, June 10th at CARTI/St. Vincent, from noon until 7 p.m.
  • Friday, June 11th at Riverfront Wyndham Hotel, North Little Rock, from noon until 7 p.m.
Joining the fun at the Registration festivities on Friday is Stan Havlick.  Stan is a nationally known cyclist and cancer activist.  He will discuss his cycling journeys which took him across six continents. 

Dickey-Stephens Ballpark is donating a FREE TICKET to the baseball game on June 12th to every registered cyclist!  So, in addition to receiving the way cool 2010 TDR T-Shirt and the Specialized Water Bottle in your registration bag, you'll also receive the ticket for a great night out at the ball game between the Travelers and the NWA Naturals! Ride the ride, eat the food, dance to the music and PLAY BALL! 

Everyone wear their TDR T-shirts to the game and we'll ROCK the ball game too!


Bicycle Friendly?

To coincide with National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists announced it's 2010 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings.  Here it comes...wait for it...WHOA! Hold up, what's going on? Last year, the League's Bicycle Friendly States list ranked Arkansas as 38th.  The new report is out and now we are 45th!  What?!

First things first: Hats off to North Little Rock for everything that has been done to earn the Bicycle Friendly Community - Bronze designation receiving points in Engineering and Education (if I'm reading the chart right). Plus, two businesses received "Bicycle Friendly Bronze" nods - Chainwheel and The Ride.  Congratulations to everyone involved to earn that recognition!

I'm a little baffled, however, by the backward slide for the state.  It seems like there is so much going on - more riders than ever, more routes being developed, and more events to encourage the sport of cycling for every age.  The grading criteria included categories such as Policies & Programs, Infrastructure, Education & Encouragement, and Enforcement.  I was kind of a competitive A/B student in school - so let me tell you Ds and Fs on my report card are hard to take!

We're "The Natural State" for crying out loud; this ought to be a no brainer for us.  Arkansans bike for exercise; are we not commuting enough? Are we creating enough safe routes to ride and walk on? Does your business make it possible, that is, encourage you to ride to work?  Where can we get involved not only to regain our good ranking but to really improve our cycling situations?

BACA (Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas) actively promotes "many benefits of bicycling to our community."  Speaking with Tom Ezell, the new President of the group, it sounds like they have many of the aforementioned criteria on their radar and are actively pursuing ways to improve those areas and more.  It also sounds like they need more volunteers and community involvement.  More involved equals a louder voice, right?

Another group I've recently discovered is the Safe Routes Partnership.  This national program works to establish safe routes for our children to walk and ride to school including planning routes, training parents and children, and motivating school participation.  This partnership is working with many of the state highway departments as well including our beloved Arkansas.  Just think - this could actually change the mindset of a generation!  If you're a parent, ask your school if they are involved with this effort or lead them to get engaged.  Our kids need our involvement.

Admittedly, I want Arkansas to receive awards for our bicycle friendly communities.  I am slightly competitive afterall.  But, what would it take for us to really earn these accolades and have cyclists just be commonplace in our state? For me personally, I think I have to figure out how to get more involved with efforts like these and how to ride other than just supporting this cause so close to my heart.  I need to ride more for errands, for work, and over to the park for some plain ol' family fun.

Got any ideas? What can we do to climb back up the ranks and recover our cycling glory? Talk about it, make a plan, get involved, and Ride to Work. :-) 

(I'll let you know as soon as I figure out how I can do it too.)

Movies, Nutrition and Butt Butter, Oh My!

Okay, I started to use this space to recommend a new cycling movie that we recently watched.  Then, I remembered the blog is supposed to be about issues pertaining to the training including tips and tricks to help you get more out of cycling and to stay safe.  (Oh my gosh, we watched that movie at night and both of us wanted to pull out the bikes and hit the trail.)   Focus, focus.

This is it.  This is the time for you to be trying different foods and hydration to figure out what is best for you.  What do you need before your ride? During? How often? Water or sports drink?

There are several trains of thought on this but bottom line - do what works for you. Experiment.  Read up. 

Before the ride -
Some suggest eating 1 to 2 hours prior to your ride.  For breakfast, I have friends that swear by peanut butter sandwich and a banana. Others are hooked on oatmeal. Still others swear by protein bars.  I think the common denominator is a little protein mixed in with the carbs to keep your glycemic levels steady and your energy high.

Speaking of glycemic levels, if you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, you have to watch the sugar intake closely.  Exercising naturally lowers blood sugar, so how does that affect you?  Consider too that many of the gels, bars and drinks are loaded with sugar for energy.  As a hypoglemic, I have to watch this.  Too much and I'm on a glycemic roller-coaster that can last for hours making the ride pretty un-enjoyable.  (Oy! the hills in that movie - it was incredible.  Made Overlook seem a bit tame.  Oops! I digressed.)  If you've ridden with me before, this is where I shamelessly promote one of our sponsors, Hammer Nutrition.  Hammer specializes in low-glycemic products and they have some of the best customer service I have ever experienced when ordering on-line.

During the ride -
Carry a gel, banana, or protein bar and try munching on it during longer training rides.  Gauge the distance or time when you begin to notice your energy draining.  Then you can start eating BEFORE you start running out of steam.  (In the cycling flick I mentioned earlier, the riders have a food pit stop.  Some roll through grabbing their food and they just keep on pedaling.  No breaks, that is unless you have a spill, flat, or are mere mortals.  This movie was so energizing.  Did I say that already?)

Also, consider electrolyte replacement.  This can be a pill, a sports drink or special food to replace the electrolytes lost.  This is especially important on warm weather rides.  Another good product for longer rides - Perpeteum (by Hammer) has the nutrition and electrolytes in one product.

There is so much information about nutrition and the ratios of food to time on the bike.  Do your homework and experiment.  If you need more convincing on the importance of this for long rides, ask a cyclist what it feels like to bonk.  We've all done it and it is quite miserable. 

Just a little note here about chamois butter aka butt butter.  A friend and new rider, gently broached this subject about chafing.  It made me think that newer riders get the talk about gears and gloves and helmets but we forget to share the secret of chamois butter until after they've earned their own first set of "racing stripes" (chafing).  Why do we do that? My gosh, that should come right after "get some good shorts".  So you ladies and gentlemen, new to this sport, invest in a good pair of bike shorts AND some chamois butter. 

There are many to choose from - TBS (a local product), D'sNuts, Assos, Bag Balm, Glide, etc.  Most apply it directly to the skin that might be at risk for a little friction during the longer ride, if you know what I mean.  Supposedly, if you have the right seat position, the right saddle, the right shorts and the right form, chafing is a non-issue.  I say 'whatever'!  That hot shower water HURTS when it hits a fresh set of racing stripes.  Trust me.  Just get the stuff and smear it on.    

Okay, I give - you knew I'd tell you, didn't you?  The movie is "Race Across the Sky" starring the Leadville 100 Ride.  This movie gives you the cycling bug like nobody's business.  The Leadville 100 race in Colorado has riders from varying skill levels trek up and over the mountain and back in 1 day! This ride in Colorado is fantastic and pulls in an amazing pack of riders.  One of the heroes of cycling, Lance Armstrong, has completed it a couple of years now but he's not the only hero as you will see in the movie.  Be forewarned - watch the movie in the morning 'cause I promise you will want to ride after you watch it!

Bike-to-Work Week is May 17th-21st

How much money could you save if you rode your bike
every day to work?  Find out during
National Bike-to-Work Week, May 17th - 21st. 

Then, join the end of week celebration on
Bike-to-Work Day, Friday, May 21st.

In North Little Rock:
meet at Cook's Landing for a 6:30 a.m. departure down the NLR side of the River Trail to the NLR RV Park Pavilion under the freeway bridge.

In Little Rock:
meet at Murray Park for a 6:30 a.m. departure down the LR side, over the Broadway bridge back to the river trail then to the NLR RV Park Pavilion.

At the Pavilion, there will be a great get-together with food and drinks, (hopefully, T-shirts and swag), lasting approximately 30 minutes. Afterwards, ride to work or back to your cars to cap off a great week supporting commuting and cycling in Arkansas.

Weather Preparedness: A little reminder

With the dangerous storms this past weekend, now seems like a good time to remind folks what to do if caught outdoors during a thunderstorm or tornado.

Arkansas has the distinction of being 13th in the Nation in the number of lightning strikes per square mile. Lightning strikes the ground here more than 500,000 times in an average year. As cyclists, we should definitely be prepared if we are caught outdoors when a storm passes through.

30/30 Lightning Rule
Because sound travels at approximately 1 mile in 5 seconds, you can determine how far away the lightning is by using the "flash-to-bang" method. So, see lightning and then count seconds until you hear the thunder.  It is recommended that you seek shelter if the time between the lightning flash and the rumble of thunder is 30 seconds or less (6 miles). Now, Mother Hen here would prefer that her baby chicks seek shelter much sooner then this recommendation.  Once inside shelter, you should not resume activities until 30 minutes after the last audible thunder. This is known as the 30/30 Lightning Rule.

Okay, now what?  I did a little research and encourage you to as well to familiarize yourself. Here are a few recommendations for “outdoor survival” that I found online. 
  • Find safe shelter. Sturdy buildings are the safest place to be during lightning storms. Avoid sheds, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, and bleachers.
  • Avoid isolated trees or other tall objects. It's better to seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees.
  • Don't wait for rain to seek shelter.
  • Get out of the water. Water is a great conductor of electricity.
  • Avoid any metal objects such as metal fences, bicycles and golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets or tools.
  • Spread out and do not stay in a group.
  • Never lie flat on the ground during a lightning storm.
  • If on a bicycle and lightning is within 5 miles, STOP riding, get off and away from your bicycle, find a ditch or other low spot and sit down. (Watch for flash flooding.)
This weekend was a reminder that we live smack dab in Tornado Alley. The peak of the tornado “season” for Arkansas is March to May, but tornadoes can pop up at other times.

  • If you have time, get to a sturdy structure for shelter. Hail and lightning also often accompany tornadoes.
  • If you have no time, or there are no sturdy structures nearby, find a low place in the landscape and lay down. Do not shelter under a highway overpass if it can be avoided.
  • Stay as low as possible. Not only do winds increase with height above the ground, but the more exposed your body is, the more likely you will be struck by flying debris and seriously injured or killed.
  • Avoid sheltering by solitary objects or groups of trees. Lightning often occurs with tornadoes.

Obviously, the best thing to do is to AVOID & EVADE dangerous weather situations.  But, if you can't, if it catches you unaware, you should be prepared.  We encourage you to know ahead of time what to do in various weather situations.  AND, if you find a good website for what to do in these circumstances, please share - post a link or comment to this article and help a brother & your sister out.


It’s official…on May 4th the Team Rubicon-Orbea professional racers will once again descend on LR to host the AR LIVESTRONG BIKE RIDE and PATIO PARTY benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  This year will be even bigger and better: we’ll have another raffle for lots of good schwag, a silent auction with lots of great items...but new this year is FREE Firehouse Subs provided by State Farm Agent Lee Tuxhorn and drink specials thanks to Dave Fike at River Trail Rentals! There will be plenty of music on the patio (weather permitting) and fellowship for all!

Just a few of the raffle and auction items include-

Autographed LANCE ARMSTRONG "Hope Rides Again" Poster
Autographed Team Rubicon-Orbea items
Autographed Tour of Missouri items by DAVE ZABRISKIE and FLOYD LANDIS

Nike LIVESTRONG Technical Gear, Hats, and Bag
Team Rubicon-Orbea Cycling Kit (includes shorts, jersey, gloves, and cycling cap - Men's Medium)

Hammer Gel Gift Basket, Nike and SRAM Cycling Posters, Bike Tune-ups, Complimentary River Trail Bike Rental (half-day), Complimentary Tour de Hoot Registration (ride is June 5th), Arkansas Cycling and Fitness Famous "Still Plays With Bikes" T-shirts, AND...whatever else we can find to give away between now and then!

Wanna fight cancer and win cool stuff? Then place a bid on an auction item and/or buy a raffle ticket or two, or three, or 50...all contributions are tax-deductible. You’ll get to place your tickets into the buckets of the items you want! So, go ahead, indulge yourself, you know you want this schwag!

Raffle Ticket Cost is 5 for $5 or 12 for $10.

The starting point for the BIKE RIDE, sponsored by Hematology Oncology Services of Arkansas, will be River Trail Rentals (near Arkansas Queen/sub area) off Riverfront Drive. The ride route will follow the NLR River Trail and Burns Park Golf Course Loop; appox 20-25 miles. Families and riders wanting a shorter distance may turn around at the Fraternal Order of Police.  Festivities will begin at 5:30pm, ride will depart around 6:00pm. Silent auction and raffle will occur rain or shine!


Welcome new cyclists training for the 50 & 62 mile distances! 
Your first ride will be a 20-mile ride through the NLR River Trail system to include a Group & Traffic Safety course led by League Certified Instructor Tom Ezell!  We'll start at the River Trail Rentals at 8:00 a.m.

With the longer distances and the sun shining earlier, we're moving the start time earlier so you have more daylight left on your Saturday.  New Start Time - 7:00 a.m.!  So, pre-ride meeting will be at 6:50 a.m.

And, since the rain spoiled our fun for the April 24th ride, we are changing the routes and planned distances.  Note the new route for the May 1st ride - for those training for the 100 miles.

Travelling Side-by-Side: Legal or Not?

For many cyclists, socializing with others while riding, is one of the fundamental pleasures of the sport. But the question arises: Is side-by-side riding legal?  Is it safe? 

Bob Mionske asks this very question in an article for In the article, Mr. Mionske indicates that Arkansas has not explicitly stated that riding two abreast is legal or illegal.  Therefore, according to the author and lawyer, it should be allowed and legal whereever it is safe to do so.   
Finally, eight states [Arkansas included] neither explicitly prohibit nor permit riding side by side. Because the activity is not prohibited by law, and because the vehicle codes of these states contemplate that cyclists will be sharing lanes when it is safe to do so, riding two (or more) abreast is implicitly allowed by these states. Sometimes, law enforcement officers in these states will cite two-abreast riders because one of the cyclists is not riding as close to the right as is practicable.
He goes on to say, 
"And, legal considerations aside, when contemplating riding two abreast it is important to remember common courtesy. Helping motorists safely pass your group by singling up when you can will go a long way to improving cyclist-motorist relations. It’s a small courtesy worth extending."  
Bob, we agree completely.  
[Full article]

We love riding in groups.  It is one of the best parts of the weekend. (I mean really - mow and clean or ride my bike?) One of the goals for our pace setters/leaders is to help everyone be safe not constricted.  No bossiness intended but we may get a little anxious when cars are backing up or cyclists are needing to cross over into oncoming traffic to pass. 

So, with our bigger groups, let's all be cognizant of traffic in front and behind us and let's not impede traffic in any way. Who knows? Maybe next year, North Little Rock will be a "Gold" Bicycle Friendly Community and Little Rock will be in the top half of the Best Cities for Bicycling.

For more on the Arkansas statutes and code, I found this document.

(If you are interested, more on this topic will be discussed in the upcoming Group Training course on May 1st!)

Ya'll, I'm not a lawyer and don't even want to play one on weekends (no offense to my legal buddies).  I do want to convey why some of the volunteers may "fuss" a tad to help keep the whole group safe and citation-free.  

See you Saturday!

Group Traffic Safety Class & Ride- Saturday, May 1st

Attention 30-, 50- and 62 milers:
We are excited to announce that League Certified Instructor, Tom Ezell, will be hosting a Group Traffic Safety Class on Saturday, May 1st.  Best part - this course is normally $20, however, Tom is donating his time to CARTI & Tour de Rock so it is FREE to everyone who attends!   
If you are planning on joining our 50/62 training group, or riding any distance at the Tour de Rock, we highly recommend this brief course. 
This training will include tips on how to ride in groups, on roads with automobiles, traffic laws, and tips for your bike.  It will also include a ride (approx. 20 miles in total) and bike maneuvers to help improve your safety and comfort while riding in groups.  

The route will be within the NLR River Trail system.  Starting location TBD.  Start time will be 8:00 a.m.

Register as soon as possible by sending an email to  Include your first and last name, telephone number and email address.

Stay tuned...more details to come!  


Starting April 3rd, training rides begin at 8:00.
Pre-ride talk starts at 7:50.

Come early!

Mind Your Paces

I don't know about you but I continue to be amazed each week at all of the new faces we see come out for the training rides.  It is so exciting for CARTI and the Arkansas bicyling community to see such growth and energy around our beloved sport, hobby, fav fitness activity...  This week, we had several questions pop up about the pace groups so we attempt to answer them specifically here:

“Which Pace Group Should I Ride in?”
To this we ask, what pace can you average consistently including stops? 16 mph? Definitely should ride in the B training group. (You should know they claim to be “the cool group that has the most fun!”)

Do you run about 19? That's a tough one. To meet the need of faster cyclists, the A group’s goal is to average 20 mph on the way out and possibly faster on the way back in. You could start in A and then merge later with the faster B riders for a bit. Please understand if the group maintains their faster pace.

“Why do I need to set my pace?”
The training rides are geared (yes, pun intended again) for cyclists who have certain distance and completion time goals. Why? The Tour de Rock has a time limit for completion of the 100-miles. We have to train at certain paces to make sure we finish before the cut-off.

“What if I can’t keep up?”
No worries.  Typically, our groups break up into smaller cells as the roads get longer. Don’t get mad or feel bad, just merge in where you are most comfortable. Remember, # 6 of the 10 Commandments of Group Cycling (previous post):
Don’t become upset if you get dropped. Remember that group riding provides not only company, but also raises the awareness of cycling with motorists. Even if you aren’t with the group, knowing that other cyclists are on the road at the same time brings you safety. 
“But I want to go faster.”
Please feel free – catch the next fastest group. We want everyone to challenge themselves to ride a faster pace or go a longer distance - if that's what you want to do.  But keep in mind, the rest of the group may not be able to or want to go faster than the posted pace.

“No, I just want to learn to RIDE faster!”
Okay, here’s a Speed Work Tip - on a flat-to-rolling road, choose an object, like a mailbox, 50 meters out. Jump out of the saddle to sprint, then sit and hammer to the marker. Recover three minutes and repeat twice. Do the same sprint/recovery sequence with an object 100 meters out, and again with one 200 meters out. Use your small chain ring for the 50s; shift to the big ring for the 100s and 200s.

As a reminder - the TDR Training Rides have three pace groups:
“A Group”: averages 20-plus mph – seriously. (Last weekend, on the way in, one group broke away and I heard averaged 26 mph. Others, were more like 22 and 20.
“B Group”: averages 16-18 mph.
“C Group”: averages 14-16 mph.
Overall, there is a “no drop” policy. This means there will always be someone behind you to ensure you make it back in to the start. Always. (The A group has the B group. The B group has the C. And, the C group has the sweep.)

For whatever ride you are training for this season, we hope to help people meet their goals. If you’ve got a different pace or still unsure which group to ride with, let us know. If we can accommodate you, we certainly will do our best. Send an email to

Wow'd by YouTube

There I was with my little iPhone scrolling through my apps for something to do.  Ahhhh, YouTube.  I look at YouTube every once in a while to see the latest funny commercial (I love the E*Trade baby commercials!).  For some crazy reason, I searched for bicycle videos. 

There are literally hundreds of short videos for every cyclist - how to ride rollers to how to change a flat.  I've listed several here hosted by Kevin Livingston (Professional Cyclist/Pedal Hard Training), and a few from the League of American Bicyclists.  There is a TON of information out there - you'll have to decide which videos are worthy.  Here are several to keep you busy on your next sleepless night:

The Ten Commandments of Group Riding

I received this in an email today and thought it VERY appropriate to our training and unlike the original 10 Commandments, these are subject to change.
  1. Please ride with the appropriate group. This keeps cohesion within a group. If you are a beginner don’t leave with the fast group. If you would like to ride fast, leave with the fast group, please do not ride with the slower group. This is very important in maintaining a good group dynamic.
  2. Be considerate of others. Communicate. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Signal your intentions. Signal road debris. Don’t blow snot rockets in a pace line. Don’t ride aero bars in a pace line, etc.
  3. Stop and help riders who have mechanical issues or have been dropped. If you see that someone is having trouble and no one has stopped to help, then you stop and help.
  4. Don’t hog the front. A good pull is 2-4 minutes. Any longer and you are depriving others of the chance to pull.
  5. Keep your place in line. If you do not wish to pull, then stay in line and roll off the front when your turn comes.
  6. Don’t become upset if you get dropped. Remember that group riding provides not only company, but also raises the awareness of cycling with motorists. Even if you aren’t with the group, knowing that other cyclists are on the road at the same time brings you safety.
  7. Know the route. You are responsible for knowing where to turn. The route we will be taking will be announced each week. Be sure to know what route we are taking before you leave on the ride.
  8. Obey all traffic laws. If we expect motorists to respect our right to the road, we must also respect their rights to the road and the rules.
  9. Use lights, front and rear, if you will be out before light/after dark. You must insure that you will be seen. This is the law in AR.
  10. Give back. If you see a need in group riding or cycling in AR, look for solutions and fill the need.

What's All The Fuss About?

CARTI patients and their families. That’s why the fuss. The CARTI Tour de Rock is a fundraiser to help create awareness and bring in funds to support CARTI.

FIRST, what is CARTI? CARTI (Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute) provides radiation therapy for cancer patients across the state of Arkansas. CARTI is a non-profit that treats more than 3,000 cancer patients each year. Each patient receives the highest quality of radiation therapy and compassionate patient care across the state, and regardless of their ability to pay. And, it has been this way for over 34 years.

SECOND--and what really sets CARTI apart--they offer education, retreats, lodging and transportation to their courageous patients and their families. If you’ve ever had a loved one go through treatment, you know what a difference this added support and genuine concern could mean.  It's a little sad to say, actually it's a lot sad to say, that cancer seems to run in our families.  My mother, our fathers, aunts, grandmothers have gone through it...when you find a place that digs down into the trenches and fights the fight with you, you want to keep them around.

So, we do it for them - the patients and their families, to help raise money and create awareness in the community. Join with us – please support CARTI. Join the fundraising efforts and earn a way-cool, limited-edition Tour de Rock jersey! (Besides, you get to ride while you help your neighbors …. what could be better?!)

Why do you Tour de Rock? 
Do you ride for someone special? Tell us about it!

Always Follow the Rules of the Road

Recently, many of the Training Ride volunteers attended a bike safety course taught by local LCI, Tom Ezell. This was an excellent course that we hope every cyclist will get a chance to attend. In this class, we had a few semi-new cyclists and some semi-professionals. All of us learned something new about safety and riding in groups. Thus, one of our goals for this year's training rides:

100 Days Accident Free!

To that end, I wanted to share a few tips from the League of American Bicylist course on Group Riding.

Be Predictable
Other riders expect you to continue straight ahead at constant speed unless you indicate differently.
Look Before You Make a Move
A good cyclist always looks or scans behind before moving laterally to a different position on the roadway or in the group. You are looking for cars as well as other cyclists.
Use Signals
Cyclists use hand and verbal signals to communicate with members of the group and with other traffic. Within a close group, it makes sense to use verbal signals such as "Right turn!" "Slowing!" or "Stopping!" rather than hand signals, but riders at the front and rear of the group should use hand signals as well for the benefit of other road users.
Give Warnings
When riding in close formation, each rider must feel a responsibility toward the riders behind. You must warn of road hazards and of changes in your direction or speed. The lead rider should announce turns and hazards well in advance so that members of the group have time toposition themselves properly and safely.
Ride One or Two Across
Ride single or double file as appropriate to the roadway and traffic conditions. Double is always more fun. Nevertheless, as a courtesy, we are quick to single up when this will permit faster traffic to move by us more efficiently. "Car back!" is the signal to get into single file.
Change Positions Correctly
Remember, when passing, always pass on the left saying "On your left!" Now don't scream this - startling a cyclist is never a good idea.
Stop for Stop Signs and Signals
It is important to obey traffic rules such as stop signs and traffic signals. Cyclists sometimes get into trouble by developing bad habits and stopping only at stop signs and/or signals where they perceive cross traffic. Remember, these traffic devices are placed there for your safety - observe. If you are in the back of the group, do not follow the leader through intersections. Be responsible for yourself when changing lanes and at intersections. Eacy cyclist must look for, and yield to, any other traffic that has the right of way.
These are just a few of the excellent suggestions from the course for keeping safe and avoiding accidents.  Any other suggestions?