Longtime bicycle racing team, Dickson Street Cycling, has announced 2021 to be its final season as an organized club.
After 16 years of supporting competitive road cycling in Northwest Arkansas the group has decided it’s time to move on to other projects and divergent interests in the sport.
The club has consistently fostered an environment of elite level cycling in the region through sponsorship of local racing events and weekly training rides as well as junior development. Over the years, DSCC raised and spent more than $200K investing in training, racing, and rider development. This allowed the mostly Fayetteville-based membership to compete all over the country in events as noteworthy as the Men’s Elite National Road Race Championships.
The club’s identity is best known by the title sponsors on its jerseys, which have included Johnson Plumbing, Accelerade, Snapple, Three Happy Cows, Tyson Foods and City Title & Closing.
The team’s co-founding member, Ben Upchurch, cited a healthy proliferation of the sport beyond road racing, as a contributor to his support for the change. Upchurch’s shop, The Bike Route, has been the team’s largest and most consistent supporter and Upchurch believes the time is right to redirect his focus to a broader grassroots effort more aligned with cycling growth in other disciplines such as mountain biking and gravel riding.
“It was a great run and we’re all proud of what we did in support of our members and the sport, but it’s time to look ahead,” Upchurch said. He further commented that this is by no means the end, but rather a hard fork to focus on the changing needs of cycling enthusiasts.
Co-founder Pat Zimmerman is also a supporter of the change, but for different reasons than Upchurch. “DSCC has been a big thing in my life for a long time, sort of an identity, but nothing lasts forever,” he said. Zimmerman said he’s looking to share cycling with other enthusiasts in a more inclusive way.
“My love of cycling and passion for Arkansas have had me thinking about promoting an annual event in the Ozark National Forest,” he said. “I’d like to contribute to cycling in a different way and I’ve been planning this event in my head for 10 years. It’s time to make it happen.”
DSCC was exclusively focused on road racing which is at a crossroads in cycling. Upchurch said difficulty promoting road events has led to significantly fewer races over the last 10 years. That, he said, combined with divergent interests in gravel riding, mountain biking and touring, are taking the sport in a different direction.
Zimmerman said the executive committee and founding members recognized that fact and unanimously made the decision to bring the club to a close.
“We believe we’re leaving the sport in much better condition than when we started in 2005,” he said. “Much of that is related to the explosion of cycling in NWA, but we’re proud to have been a part of it and look forward to branching out in an equally meaningful way in the years to come. See you on the road. Or maybe the gravel.”