Yesterday was the Highway 71 Classic. A fundraiser race ride for the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks. The BCO is a local advocacy group doing good things for all of us who like to ride bicycles around here. I’m always glad to participate in this event. This year’s race ride was sponsored by Creative Awards. Thank you!
Link to Creative Awards
The BCO mission statement:
‘The BCO is a 501(c)3 non-profit working to create a more bicycle-friendly community through Education & Infrastructure. A more bicycle-friendly community is a happier, safer, healthier, more people-friendly community.’
The route is a 70 mile out-n-back, mostly flat with two wrinkles. Mt. Gaylor tops out right around 2,000 feet and you go up and over twice. Ascending from the south takes roughly 30 minutes. What makes this straight forward route interesting is the folks who ride it. I have been doing this race ride for almost 10 years and it’s always a knife fight for at least 40 of the 200+ participants. Why? Once a bike racer always a bike racer. My favorite moment was the 20 mile stretch back into Fayetteville. With a stiff tailwind the now much smaller group is going full gas at 30+mph. Some of the accelerations are savage and the average speed which the group collectively achieves is just awesome. Too much fun.