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  1. #1
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    Groupus Rideus Eclecticai

    Normally, I photograph a ride according to the scenery which strikes my fancy and may include fellow riders in the shots to complete the story. Normally those rides are out in the country, and somewhat by default around here, in the hills.

    Last week’s group ride with the Ozark Roadies was different than our normal ride on a number of different levels.

    The initial difference was the number of riders, 22 as I recall. We had many of our “regulars”, but we welcomed a number of cyclists who had not ridden with us before.

    Here we are at the start of the ride near a restaurant in Rogers, AR, home of the Daisy Red Rider Carbine, if you remember a previous post. Our start/finish location was something different for this ride as well. Typically, we start/finish in an empty parking lot. Today, we would return, stow the bikes, walk over to the restaurant, and pig out!

    But some things about our rides never change. That’s ArkansasGal, orange helmet to match Orange Crush, second from the right laying down the law to the riders before we leave. Methinks there is a drill instructor lurking somewhere in her family tree. Though slight of stature, she does have a command presence about her.

    Holding ArkansasGal’s bike is BiggerAl, who has posted here. Typically, BiggerAl is at or near the head of the peloton, but today he would take the day off and serve as our SAG/Bike Butler. What a deal! That was also something different about this ride, our first-ever bike butler! I could get accustomed to this, easily.

    To the left of ArkansasGal in the red helmet and maillot jaune is Hell Bent, a/k/a Tom, rider of a Catrike and the evil black recumbent (Corsa) on which I have reported, here. To add to the different theme of the ride, Tom showed up on a regular bike, his Litespeed. We didn’t recognize him at first. I wouldn’t be surprised if, someday, Tom arrives for a ride on a Low Racer.

    To the left of Tom, is Cheri, better half of BiggerAl. She would be our ride leader/navigator for the day, and by the way, she did a heckuva job in that role.

    To Tom’s left is Steph, who is a recent addition to the Roadies crew.

    To the left of Steph is Connie, Craig's better half. Craig and Connie are regulars in the Krewe of Roadies.

    Having received the usual instructions, admonitions, and threats from ArkansasGal, we ventured out. Our route took us through Rogers, Lowell, Tontitown, Cave Springs, and out in the country side to the west.

    Part of the eclectic nature of this ride was the range of ages of the riders. We had twenty somethings, Andy and his friend, who were training for the Big Dam Bridge ride later this year, to seventy somethings.

    Here we are taking a little break in the shade. In the right hand side of the picture (to the right of the mail boxes) is Loretta, 77, a member and regular rider with the Bella Vista Bike Club. Her only problem for the day was a front derailleur that didn’t want to shift to the little ring on the hills. Bike butler up! BiggerAl adjusted the low limit screw, and all was well. According to Loretta, if I stay active, there may be hope for me, yet.


    On down the road a piece, we regrouped at an intersection

    The tall, and dashingly handsome, dude in the bright orange jersey on the right hand side of the pic is yours truly. To my right, and in an orange jersey, is Steph, and to her right is our ride leader/navigator, Cheri.

    An additional aspect of the “eclecticity” of this outing was the range of physical abilities of the riders. Competent cyclists all, we ranged from easy rider to iron man triathelete, Steph, to spin instructor to pace liners to a serious long-distance cyclist, Phil, who just returned from a solo ride from Fayetteville, AR to Fayetteville, GA.

    After 46 miles of conversation, cruising, climbing, and clamoring to stay on the occasional pace line, we made it back to the parking lot and began seriously lusting for food and drink.

    Seated just in front of our server is Steph, who, along with our server is describing the size of a really tall beer. BiggerAl is licking his chops in anticipation of said beer, as is Cheri, who is relieved that she successfully shepherded 22 cyclists though a brand new route for all of us.


    That’s ArkansasGal in the foreground. Down at the end of the table in the blue jersey is Phil, the resident loooooong-distance cyclist. The feeding frenzy had yet to begin.


    This surly looking dude is my buddy Jeff, a fellow tenor who sings next to me in the choir. If I recall correctly, he started cycling again about a year ago, got a case of N+1, and is now a strong rider. He is comfortable anywhere in the peloton, up hills, on the flats, descending, leading, or riding sweep. He may have been a bit tired here after having pulled me for a number of our 46 miles.



    So, I suppose the real scenery on this ride was the people. We were greatly diverse in our physical abilities, our ages, our occupations, and I believe our cycling goals, but we rode together and made an outstanding day of it. One amongst us commented thusly, “I continue to be amazed at the diversity of the people who ride with us and their engagement with life in general, and this is why I love this bike group.” That sorta nails it.

  2. #2
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    An interesting group that should be fun on a ride. It's good to have a ride leader (we usually do) and I wish we would have the safety lecture before taking off.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Nice report, thanks for sharing.
    What kind of bike does Lorettta have?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    We were greatly diverse in our physical abilities, our ages, our occupations, and I believe our cycling goals, but we rode together and made an outstanding day of it. One amongst us commented thusly, “I continue to be amazed at the diversity of the people who ride with us and their engagement with life in general, and this is why I love this bike group.” That sorta nails it.
    Thanks for posting - looks like a great group of people, and a perfect day!

    But from the quote above - 'greatly diverse??' You all look like a bunch of self-reliant enthusiasts with a taste for cycling, for keeping in good shape and for cooperating and socialising - which I'd have thought is a rather small and homogenous sample of humanity!!

    (I'm not teasing, I'm just admiring!)

  5. #5
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    Nice report. Anyone shoot their eye out?
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kr32 View Post
    Nice report, thanks for sharing.
    What kind of bike does Lorettta have?
    She rides a Softride bike (http://www.softride.com/bikes/bikes.html), but Softride doesn't make bikes anymore, they make bike racks now.

    Great ride report John, thanks, Tom

  7. #7
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    It was my pleasure serving as the bike butler, but would like to have been out with the group. I will be back soon. Nice write up John. What an enjoyable group to ride with.

  8. #8
    Clipless faller rainycamp's Avatar
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    Looks like fun. My wife's mother and sister live in Bella Vista, so it's nice to know that the next time I come up there, I'll find some people to ride with!
    2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact
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  9. #9
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great way to spend a day.


    One of my goals for 2009 is to join a group ride a couple of times. So far I haven't done it - just too easy to wheel out of the garage and go. Your post highlights what I'm missing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member PrairieDog's Avatar
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    Looks like it was a fun day!
    Specialized Ruby Expert; Salsa Casseroll, Rivendell Betty Foy; Xtracycle

  11. #11
    Senior Member arkansasgal's Avatar
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    Rainycamp - Dave Wolfe is the President of the Bella Vista Bike Club. If you would like to send me a private message when you will next be in Bella Vista, I will be happy to put you in contact with Dave. I believe the club rides on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and also participates in the Big Ride leaving from Bentonville on Saturday mornings. Of course, you could also ride with the Ozark Roadies.

    Arkansasgal

  12. #12
    Senior Member arkansasgal's Avatar
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    Thanks John for taking the time to do this. You do have a way with words. The Roadies appreciate you.

    Arkansasgal

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