Arky 100 2011

We try to support the Arkansas Bicycle Club’s annual fundraising ride, the Joe Weber Arky 100, either by riding or volunteering to help. It starts and ends in Sheridan, which is about a half hour from our house. As we’ve done in the past, we drove down the night before, ate with cycling friends, and spent the night in tents behind the small-town community center.

Up early, we helped around the registration a bit and got Mandy started – she’d decided to ride the metric century with our friend Kathy. Her husband left in his ‘sag wagon’ with their dog and ours. And Bryan and I loaded up the supplies for Rest Stop 2 and headed for Poyen.

We arrived at our spot just after eight, set up to feed and provide drinks for nearly two hundred riders – fruit, cereal bars, hot and cold drinks, oatmeal, and – the crowd favorite – tiny pbj sandwiches. By eleven we’d fed everyone, cheered up the stragglers, reloaded the Subaru, and arrived at Rest Stop 5 to visit with friends before heading to the finish line to wait for Mandy.

She bailed at the 50 mile mark and caught the sag wagon in with Jim Britt. It was disappointing, but not too bad considering that she hadn’t ridden much at all since our summer vacation. After a couple of finish-line hot dogs, she felt better enough to get her unicycle out of the car to entertain the people still left in the picnic shelter.

Kathy finished the 62 mile course feeling good and decided, after a bite to eat, that she’d just ride home. The extra afternoon mileage meant that she met one of her big goals today – her first “century”, or 100-mile ride.┬áCongratulations┬ámy friend and thanks for sending “photographic proof” as shown below!

Arky 100

Every year, the Arkansas Bicycle Club hosts a 100-mile ride (with options for shorter routes, of course) called the Arky. We’d thought about riding in it this year, but way back months and months ago, Tom Ezell asked us to help out with the rest stops. We like to feel useful, so we agreed.

Sheridan, Arkansas lets the group use a picnic shelter (photo by Charles) near their community center for the beginning and end of the ride. Riders can use the restrooms and showers in the center. And they allow camping for whoever needs to spend the night before, so we drove down on Saturday night and set up tents and spent the night. The next morning we were up bright and early to help out with registration, and after the riders left, Bryan hopped in what would be the ‘sag wagon’ to shuttle supplies and hurt or tired riders back and forth across the routes.

Mandy and I helped Tom and Susan at rest stop 5. It’s a busy stop, since all the routes (from the 25-mile through the 100-mile) pass through the intersection nearby. The day went very smoothly, and most people were glad to see that we offered more than the standard gatorade and bananas. We even had boiled potatoes, which went over really well for those on the longer routes: after 75 miles or so, they were ready for something solid, not sugary. We had no mishaps or illness apart from a handful of people who reached us too tired to go on. A couple of riders felt bad enough to ask for a ride to the end, but for the most part, a rest in the shade and a snack was all they needed to feel a lot better and get back on the road.