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Crosswinds Classic

Tuesday, March 07, 2017
By: Wendy Kelley

Thank you to all you came out to Crosswinds Classic on Feb 26th! It was a fantastic day with beautiful weather! A number of pictures of the day taken by attendees were posted on the public Facebook page as well as a few write-ups from racers.  We had 318 total racers, 64% of whom came from out of state and $4,220 was paid out in prize money.  We really appreciate all those that made the trip to race as well as those that came out to volunteer and watch.  We could not have done it without you! Race results can be found here.

We have other races in the planning stages, including a Crit series and the State Time Trial, so stay tuned! 


New Hincapie CARVE Kits

Saturday, August 20, 2016
By: Aaron Greenfield

CARVE Nation,
We are happy to announce that Central Arkansas Velo and Hincapie Sports are partnering on production of our new kits for the 2017-18 season!  Hincapie has done a fantastic job of replicating our current design while also providing better quality, fit, and more choices.  With fall soon approaching we are preparing to open an on-line kit store from August 24th thru September 5th.  The kits can be ordered on-line with your debit/credit card and will ship on October 13th   directly to your chosen address.  In addition to high quality jerseys, bibs, and shorts, there will also be men’s and women’s specific jackets, vests and skinsuits available.  Yay!  We’ve also added caps, gloves, and shoe-covers for the full “Pro” effect as well.  If you are wondering how all this will fit and look; we have you covered.  The full range of sizes and items will be available to preview and fit from August 21st thru Sept 4th at Chainwheel. 

Keep in mind that CARVE HQ will no longer warehouse kits and will simply offer 3 on-line order opportunities each year.  We are planning additional on-line store openings in January for a March 1st ship date and again in April for a June 1st ship date.  If there is enough interest, we’ll add sleeveless jerseys, and ultra-lightweight options for the warmer months.  Keep in mind that there are minimum numbers (12) for each item to initiate production and shipping.  Expect there to be some “encouragement” from fellow CARVE Members when an item falls just below that minimum.  The benefit of this approach is better pricing for you and less confusion for everyone which means more time to ride!  We’ll send a newsletter with link, pricing, and instructions no later than August 23rd as a re minder.  Get ready to “Gear up”, CARVE!



Central Arkansas Velo


NWA Spring Classic Race Report

Saturday, March 26, 2016
By: CARVE Road Team

CARVE would like to thank the promoters of this year’s NWA Spring Classic for putting together a fantastic event. This year the event provided some great weather and awesome racing. CARVE represented with 18 racers across 7 fields. Please see a highlight of the top 10 placing and read some of the race reports below to get a better feel for the action! Congrats to all. 

Men 45+ Cat-5 – Paul Barre – 2nd Place 

Women’s Masters – Susann Szmania, Barbara Mariani, and Emily Hartman 1st, 2nd and 3rd! 

Women Cat-4 – Cheyenne Wilson – 9th Place

Men’s 4 – Travis Herdwaldt – 5th Place 

Men’s 3 – Kevin Solomon – 1st Place 

Men 45+ Cat5 - Paul Barre- 

The Cat 5 field grew to over 50 riders and the race committee decided to split the field into two: 44 and below, and 45+.  That put in the 45+ field of 29 riders.The race started out slowly with racers just feeling out the wind and other riders.  Bixby had a number of riders in the group and acted like they might put something together early in the race, but nothing really developed for them in the race.  As we worked our way westward the pace picked up and the guttering begin.  I held my position around 8th or so just watching for moves and gaps, looking for those racers not holding the right side tight –found a few and sheltered much of the way west.  As the group made its way downhill and through the turn to the north the pace pickup up and the field strung out for the next 2 miles or so.  A few guys kept the pace up front, holding the right side, and they begin shredding the field apart early.  By mile 8 or so the field was splintered pretty well.  We still had 15 or so riders in the lead group when the two leaders developed a small gap off the front. By the time I closed the gap and looked around we were down to 8 riders or so.  A few more rollers later it was just three of us off the front.  This lasted about a mile until three more bridged up to us.  With six of us now in the lead group, we organized a pace line.  Almost a big mistake here.  One of the Bixby guys called “clear” but still managed to catch his wheel on the guy in front (I was just behind the Bixby guy) and with sheer luck he managed to stay upright.  We decided to string it out one more time and drop who we could – about a mile later we shed two riders leaving four in the lead group.  The three guys with me in the group were good wheels, handled their bikes well and were strong – so I knew we would be able to stay away.   We stayed together through the final climb.  I think everyone knew no one would be able to go off the front alone, into the wind, with the other three feeling pretty strong.  We traded pulls the final 6 miles to the finish – I timed it so I could have a 1 to 1.5 mile recovery for the sprint.  Things started slowing down the last 1 mile as no one wanted the front.  I had marked #113 early as the strongest in the group and managed my way to his wheel on the left side of the road – happy to be sheltered by him and the two to my right.  Everything seemed to be falling in place as we started up the small roller to the final 200m.  When 113 went I held his wheel and half way through the final 200m my legs just couldn’t turn the cranks fast enough to go around.   We dropped the other two in the last 200m and I came in second by two bike lengths – sadly in the saddle as my legs couldn’t put a good sprint together.   Overall I am happy with the race – felt good to be in the breakaway group – first time for me.  I’ve seen plenty go off the front in the past.  

NWA Classic Road Race Report: Women’s CAT 4/Masters

By Susann Szmania

The fun started with a pre-race meal: angel hair pasta, garlic bread, roasted brussel sprouts, beets, salad and a lovely red wine. Dinner gave us a chance to get to know our newest race team member, Rachel Hendrix, who is not only loads of fun but also a brilliant researcher working on Alzheimer’s disease. We decided to split our entries between the master’s race (Barb, Emily H, Susann) and Cat 4 (Cheyenne, Emma, Rachel), as this gave us more chances for the podium while allowing us to still start and race together. The race official was not sure if the start was mass or rolling so the women’s field voted and off we went on our (preferred) rolling start. The racers jockeyed to avoid a 12-15 mph cross wind that hit us after the first turn. Emma provided me with essential protection and advice throughout the race. The pace was low tempo with a few short-lived attacks over the first half of the race. Once the tougher hills started, the attacks wore more heavily and the ladies started to show a bit of fatigue. Barb made a furious attack up the hill at mile 12 and put some serious hurt on several riders, slimming the pack down to about 10. Unfortunately, no one was willing to maintain the pace and so some of the pack caught back up to the lead group, but still the damage had been done. The longest hill, 1.4 miles long and starting at mile 18, was where several ladies were dropped hard. After that the pace of the front group remained up tempo while Cheyenne (who showed tremendous tactical and fitness improvement in this race) worked to the front of the trailing pack and acted to hold them back. With myself and Barb in the lead group, the pace continued to increase with a major sprint beginning at the last 300 meters. I was drafting in second place and, putting pedal to the metal, I gained on first but was unable to catch her. Just before the finish the shadow of another rider came into view over my shoulder. With a final bit of effort that I did not even think I had in me, I was able to hold off the attack and finish second overall, first in the masters division. Barb finished 2nd in masters while strong and steady Emily Hartman was 3rd in the masters. Among the Cat 4 field Cheyenne was 9th, Emma finished 13th, and Rachel finished 25th. We were ecstatic as we were able to get our wished for 1/2/3 masters podium, in large part due to the help and support of our team members and our Coach/Captain George Rhode. Photos courtesy of James Mann.

Men’s 4 – Travis Herwaldt

The 2016 NWA Spring Classic started off with absolutely beautiful weather and excellent turnout. We had 8 riders in the 63 deep CAT 4 field. With nearly all the top 4s from Arkansas in attendance and many from Oklahoma and Missouri, we knew we had some serious work ahead and needed to spend our chips wisely. Our goals for the day were to try to get at least one rider on the podium and to get myself 5 upgrade points needed for a possible upgrade for Joe Martin in a few weeks. 

On lap one we spent the first 15 miles or so staying near the front and out of the wind. On the first Weaver Hill climb, Martial put an attack in right from the bottom. A few guys reacted and I positioned myself right on their wheel. At the top, Martial still had a small gap and behind us there were other gaps opened up just as we had hoped. Just after the main part of the climb there is a short relief followed by another short incline, which we had hoped to use as another launch pad to further split the group. The field proved to be stronger and smarter than that and it was all back together shortly. Just before crossing the line to start lap two, a rider who had been out solo most of the first lap was reeled back in. 

Martial went on the attack on lap two once again, this time on the northbound section. Several riders joined in one by one and after about ten had begun to make up the gap Andrew Townsend and myself made a quick jump behind one and joined the party. We had a nice gap and were working together but the gap was closed and once again the race was back together. Another rider jumped off the front on the eastbound section. I nearly went with him but decided I'd wait for one more to jump before I did. For that reason I stayed positioned in the top 5 leading into the second and final Weaver Hill climb and anticipated that someone might jump. Nobody did and the now reduced group of around 30 seemed destined for a bunch sprint but still had a rider off the front holding a 30 second gap or so. 

I was the sprinter on the day and for the next few miles we contemplated on organizing a lead out or making sure we ran down the solo rider. With the narrow roads and general chaos, we opted to spend chips bringing the rider back in so the race would be for a win and not 2nd place. Ben Washburn, Neil Simmons, Adolfo Cordova Andrew Townsend, and Dave Gill took turns on some big time pulls and did just that. Scott Hall was no longer with us after doing some work earlier in the race and was very fortunate to even get to race after a tough couple weeks. Martial attempted to clear a path for me in the last mile to better my position for the sprint but proved to be much more technical than I. I was positioned on the center line (wind was from the right) and had planned to jump to the far left side of the road at 200 when the road opened up. There was a short pause just before that point as 4 riders on the right side of the road had already jumped. That was enough to create a gap and I spent the final 200 meters trying to catch. My sprint felt very good but poor positioning on my part led to a 5th place finish. No podium for CARVE in the CAT4 race on the day, but since the field was so large I was able to nab exactly the 5 bonus points I was looking for. We all learned a lot on the day as this race truly came down to battles for position and a rolling chess match, just like we read in books and hear about in race broadcasts. 

2016 NWA Spring Classic- Cat 3

Kevin Solomon

I pre rode the course with Paul, Neil, & Travis the day before the race. It was a little different than the prior year's course, which had been rerouted due to road closures. The 24 mile clockwise circuit was in the rough shape of a rectangle with the north and southbound sides measuring about 9 miles in length and the westbound end being slightly longer than the eastbound end. There were rolling hills throughout with the last and largest climb being Weaver Hill, about 6 miles from the finish. 

On race day, the wind was coming from the S/SW in the mid teens with gusts that would occasionally throw us sideways a few inches. The westbound length of the course and following turn was the side that was the most exposed to the wind, making that section and the Weaver Hill stretch of the course the best spots to push to open gaps for a breakaway or selection. 

There was a lot of stop and go action out of turn one, but this was resolved when a break of 5 pulled themselves clear just over two miles in, opening up the race.  I was at the back of the 60 man group, happy I didn't get the chance to be tempted to jump into the break or work to bring it back.  The break held a 40 second gap for the first lap until just after Weaver Hill when they were brought back.

I used most of the second lap to move up in the pack anticipating the serious moves to begin.  A few smaller breaks were attempted early on without success. About halfway through, a few guys rode off the front, one of which was Duncan Warner (Walmart). They stayed under the radar through the next two corners and built up a decent lead. The second ascent up Weaver Hill wasn't full gas and the main group was able to stay together over the top.  The break out front had split up towards the end of the 2nd lap, leaving Duncan solo in the lead and a group of two riders in between him and the pack.

The attacks were a little more serious the last time across the south end of the course and there were a few attempts to force a selection.  I bridged a gap that Russell (Fayetteville Wheelmen) had established in hopes of initiating a break, but that was quickly shut down. Drew Haney from Tulsa Wheelmen countered, trying to bridge to the leaders. He stayed out for a few miles and was brought back with 15 miles to go along with the two others that had gone clear with Duncan a lap earlier. 

Duncan was in sight but was a long distance off with an advantage around 1:45 to 2:00. I thought he was gone and figured the rest of us were racing for second place.  There wasn't any commitment to catch him other than one Tyson rider, Michael Kirk, working for his teammate Sean Salazar. Kudos to Michael- he buried himself and pulled the group for about half a lap without much help, giving Sean a chance for the win. 

The pace picked up across the top of the course. After a short climb I found myself with a group of 8-10 riders and a gap on the main group.  The move was short lived as there was little cooperation and everything came back together. 

Going into Weaver Hill for the final time I was about 4 riders back from the front and Sean (Tyson) drilled it up the climb. Ben (SBC Brewing) followed Sean and I knew I had to stick with them. Halfway up the climb Sean had created a small gap for the three of us and maintained the gap to the top of the climb. We pressed on and began taking short pulls in an attempt to extend the gap, but four guys were able to bridge up to us. Two Tulsa Wheelmen (Trevor Fine & Drew Haney), Russell (Fayetteville Wheelmen), and Jared (Bentonville Racing) joined our rotation and we set to work trying to build our advantage on the field. 

With just a couple miles to go, we realized we might have a chance to bring back the lone leader. The selection was working well together and we had 7 guys rotating into the headwind against one guy that had been in a break for half the race. We ended up catching Duncan within the final mile- it was an impressive showing by him!

Sean Salazar hit the front with 1k to go and lifted the pace, trying to wear everyone else down and win from distance. Russell took the lead and tried to take it from the rise before the finish from 250-300 meters, forcing everyone else to react. Everything was developing a bit early for my liking going into a head/crosswind and with a slight uphill finish, but I gambled and jumped while I still had room to maneuver from just inside the 200 m mark. About 50 m from the line I looked over my shoulder, expecting the rest of the selection to blow by me. To my surprise, there were only two guys near me. Russell had put in a big effort and was falling back slightly. Trevor was coming up fast on my right so I shifted to a bigger cog, turned the pedals a few more times and threw my bike at the line. I ended up holding on for the win,  barely holding Trevor off. 

Thanks to Fayetteville Wheelmen and all the volunteers for putting on another well-organized event!


2016 State of the "Union"

Thursday, March 10, 2016
By: Scott Penrod

CARVE Nation,

As we begin the slow climb out of the cold and into spring I hope you share my anticipation of another great season of riding in Central Arkansas.  I’m very proud of the success we’ve had in the past and I want to thank each of you for being a part of our Club.  Along the way I’ll also let you know a bit about what is going on in our club for the coming year.

First off, I want to let you know how unbelievably proud I am of the organization that we have evolved into over the last several years.  Back in 2010 we relaunched CARVE with a vision of growth and inclusion.  We set about drafting a mission statement and charter and held our very first election.  In the ensuing years we’ve experienced unprecedented growth and success.  We’ve also endured difficult times together which served to bond us in unexpected ways.  Through it all I’ve been privileged to travel along with you.  Sometimes I’ve been on the front; guiding or protecting.  Other times I’ve been one on the receiving end of your draft.  Thank you for allowing me to serve you and also taking care of me and others in time of need.  It humbles me when I reflect on the serving attitude of our members.  I may not always voice it publicly but I think about you every day and am amazed at the personal and collective growth I see.  I believe that cycling bonds people together like no other athletic endeavor.  It rewards cooperation and is allegoric to the way we travel through life with others whom we share our passion.  

Some highlights of this past year, are the growth we saw in our Ladies of CARVE as well as our partnership with the BDB and execution of the 5 Hour Pacing Initiative.  Both of these endeavors took a vision of progress as well as untold hours of planning and execution.  On an individual level, I saw several of our members embark on personal quests that challenged them in unexpected ways and emerged from the experience better for it.  Another success we witnessed was our friend Kurt Searvogal who conquered the “HAM’R” with the help of CARVE as well as local cyclists all over the country.  2015 was an amazing year for our Club, Members, and Central Arkansas’ Cycling Community.

For 2016 we’ve set some lofty goals as it concerns races and events that we support.  Our very first event on the calendar was the Crosswinds Classic on February 28th.  This was our third year promoting the event and with almost 300 registered riders, it was a total success.  In late May we’ll be partnering with the Capital Hotel and LR Grand Fondo to put on the Rock City Races.  We’ll have specifics in the near future but combining these events will be nothing short of Awesome.  As you all know, we had to cancel the Burns Park (Ronde Van Burns) Criterium series last year due to the flooding and damage to the riding surface.  We’re relaunching the event which will provide local cyclists a fun and competitive series starting in June.  On October 23rd, we will host the Slobberknocker off-road challenge ride in the Ouachita Mountains surrounding the Lake Winona and Lake Sylvia Recreation areas.  This is a gravel Grinder suitable for MTBs and Drop-bar bikes as well.  It’s not a race but as we all know; whenever more than one rider shows up…  Well; you know the rest.  This year’s event will include a short and long distance as well as post event food and music at camp Ouachita’s great Hall.  Finally, we have once again been asked to host the BDB 5 Hour Pacing group this year.  The BDB foundation is working hard to get George Hincapie on-board and I’m certain that we will build on the success of last year’s event.  Those are just a snapshot of the things we are involved in this coming year.  What we can’t forget is that CARVE was formed to serve our members and the local cycling community.  As a Non-profit organization, we rely on the graciousness of our sponsors and the loyalty of our members in order to fulfill our goals.  Our success is directly related to our ability to promote and host rides, races, and events in the local area. I have challenged our Board to consider these goals in every initiative we undertake.  We are committed to serving and better communicating for the benefit of all Central Arkansas’ Cycling Enthusiasts.  Our organized Road, Mountain, and LOC Squads are great examples of our commitment to this ideal.  It is our hope that through this communication, our members, sponsors, and associates will be better informed about our activities and thus have a better understanding of our driving motives.  Thank you for supporting our vision.  Feel free to contact any of our Board Members directly if you have any questions, concerns or ideas that might be helpful.  We value your input.

Finally, I would like to humbly ask each of you to consider renewing your membership for 2016.  As a life-long cyclist, I understand the ebbs and flows of life.  There have been times when I was able to participate in the act of just riding my bike with great frequency. There have also been times when I feel sorry for my bike for lack of my attention, as other aspects of my life just take priority.   No matter where you are on the “Cycling Participation Spectrum”, know that your active membership provides benefit to you individually, as well as the local cycling community at large.  As a non-profit organization we are able to greatly multiply your individual contribution to increase the impact we have on all of Central Arkansas’ Cycling Community.  I know that 2016 will be a banner year for CARVE’s Members, Sponsors, and Supporters.  I Thank you for being part of our amazing club and look forward to riding with you.

As always…

Let’s roll!

Scott Penrod


Central Arkansas Velo

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