A Bright Idea

6 Nov

As the darkness closes in on our evening hours it becomes more important to have a good set of lights. The Serfas TSL-1000 is a great way to get both your headlight and taillight in one simple unit.

The battery pack has a built in led strip that allows it to double as a tailight.

The battery pack has a built in led strip that allows it to double as a tailight.

In addition to the taililght feature the battery can also serve as a mobile power source for other small electronic devices such as cell phones.

Easy access to the port for charging other devices.

Easy access to the port for charging other devices.

The 1000 can be mounted to either the bar, stem, helmet, or anywhere else you can get the mount to attach. It also comes with the optional remote to turn it on or off.

The remote allows for mounting the light in un orthodox ways.

The remote allows for mounting the light in un orthodox ways.

Best of all, it is a Serfas. That means that it is reliable and backed up by one of the best warranties in the light game.

We have the lights in stock at both the Rogers Arkansas and Fayetteville Arkansas locations.

Thanks for reading,

Branton

What’s with the Alias?

4 Nov

In today’s world of online interaction it can be easy to forget where the line between reality and fiction is. Cycling, in a way, allows us to morph into another persona for a time.

As a sport , cycling allows us to dress up in funny clothes, attack and counter attack our riding partners, and “win” town line sprints just like our heroes on TV.

Perhaps you prefer a more practical side of cycling. As commuters we can make believe that we are healing the earth one pedal stroke at a time as we wage war on car culture.

As triathletes we get the choice of three different activities to provide our alias. “I never thought I would discover my inner-Alias as a triathlete,” said Tara Costa, former Biggest Loser contestant “Training and competing in triathlons over the past few years, including my first Ironman finish, has been exhilarating and empowering on my journey to live a healthier life. This sport has the power to transform lives and Specialized is leading the way with all they do to support women in cycling.”

Unlike avatars and online profiles the person we become on the bike is completely based in the real world. Sometimes it is completely dictated by it. On the bike we can be whoever we want.
The power that the bicycle has to transform and inspire peoples lives is the same in adult life as it was the first time that your parent released the seat and you flew down the driveway under your own power.

Thanks for Reading

Going AWOL

30 Oct

Over the last few years the popularity of riding bicycles on gravel roads has skyrocketed. Gravel road rides or “gravel grinding” are a great way to see parts of the country you don’t normally see on the weekly group rides. The major bike companies are starting to get in on the action too. Specialized is introducing the AWOL series for 2014.

One set up for this versatile bike.

Check out the tumblr page that they set up to promote the new bike and see what they have going on.

We just got one in here at the store in Rogers and have more on the way. Come check it out and then start planning your own gravel grinding adventure.

A good website to get started is the gravelgrindernews website

Make it EPIC,

Branton

Bicycle Fayetteville Days are Here!

15 Oct

he 3rd annual Bicycle Fayetteville Days will be held from Wednesday, October 16th through Sunday, October 20th in and around Fayetteville, AR.

 

For this year’s celebration we are departing from the format of past Bicycle Fayetteville Days and are focusing on encouraging people in and around Fayetteville to get out and ride their bikes.  Next year we will work on organizing the block party on the square in addition to multiple events from partner organizations.  We are still working on getting local businesses and events to participate so be on the look out for more information. 

 

All week: 
From Oct. 16th – 20th post a picture of yourself or your family on a bike ride in Fayetteville on the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks page and be entered for prize drawings. Each day one lucky picture will be selected to win a prize.

 

Wednesday, October 16th
Jeff Olson Talk and Book Signing
6:30 to 8pm at Nightbird Books
Ride your bike to Nightbird on Dickson St. and enjoy the farmers market starting at 6:30pm and stay for a talk by Jeff Olson the author of “The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society” at 7pm followed by a book signing. We will have copies of his books on sale with proceeds going to Mt. Kessler Greenways and the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks.

 

Thursday, October 17th
Introduction to Cyclocross
5:30 to 7:30pm at Walker Park
Come join Highroller Cyclery, De Pijp Cyclocross Federation, and the BCO at the park and get a taste of cyclocross! The course will be set up by the playground and soccer fields at Walker Park. Experienced crossers will be on hand to show beginners how to navigate the course and KIDS ARE WELCOME! At 6pm you can watch the experienced racers do some laps and then jump in to a beginners race that will start about 6:30pm. Come learn the sport and/or enjoy the park. Afterwards, we will head to Tanglewood and enjoy great food and cyclist kinship. Please do bring lights and helmets for this event.

Pedals and Pints Night
6pm to close at Tanglewood Branch Beer Co.
Work up an appetite at cyclocross first or just head over to Tanglewood Branch for “Pedal and Pints Night” where you can get a tune-up on your bike and some food and drinks. Phat Tire Bike Shop will be there with their mobil mechanic and the BCO will have Ale Trail pint glasses and passports on sale to help support the BCO. We will enjoy $1 off all beer all evening at Tanglewood. Please do bring lights and helmets for this event.

 

Friday, October 18th
Hazel Valley 100 Gravel Grinder
9pm at Hazel Valley Ranch
Ever heard of “gravel grinding”? This will be a great event to get out and enjoy the cool fresh night air of fall in the beautiful countryside outside of Fayetteville. Lights will be mandatory for this overnight ride which will be extremely tough, brutal & challenging. Only the fittest of the fit need enter this event, but for those of you who want just a sampling you could always turn around at any point and head back to the lodge and enjoy the hospitality of Hazel Valley Ranch. The ranch also has 14 miles of single and double track trails for your mountain biking pleasure that you could enjoy Friday night or on Saturday. You can find more information at http://goo.gl/z6dbaz

 

Saturday, October 19th
JDRF “Banded Suffering” Charity Ride
8am at Liberty Bank on Joyce Blvd.
Liberty Bank Racing presents the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “Banded Suffering” charity ride. Rides leave at 8am from Liberty Bank on Joyce Blvd. Choose from five routes ranging from 20 to 100 miles. For more information and to pre-register go to http://goo.gl/YEyIZB. You can also register on site from 7-8am. The BCO will be there with a booth so come out and support a good cause and enjoy the beautiful fall weather in and around Fayetteville! This will also be a great time to bring the kids out and ride the bike trail. The BCO will have some surprises for kids visiting the booth.

Fayetteville Ale Trail Ride
Leaving from Greenhouse Grill at 3pm
We will mount our bicycles from Greenhouse Grille to continue our Fayetteville Ale Trail quest. Pint glasses and passports will be available for sale prior to the ride. Our first stop will be at West Mountain Brewery where we will enjoy historic downtown. We will then bike to Hog Haus Brewing Co. where we will receive a 10% discount on all beer and food. Our final stop will be at Fossil Covewhere we might enjoy some fresh German b eer surprises! Please do bring lights and helmets for this event. We will spend approximately 45 minutes at each of our Ale Trail stops.

 

Sunday, October 20th
BFD Wrap-Up Party 
4pm till ? at Apple Blossome Brewing Co.
Bicycle Fayetteville Days 2013 will conclude with a bicycle party at Appleblossom Brewing Company. Enjoy the paved trail or mountain biking and then join us for some food and brews. We will have the patio reserved for our party and this will be a kid friendly event!  We will have some giveway items from the BCO, The Bike Route, and Greenhouse Grill.

Highroller 2.0 is up and running

4 Oct

Image

It has been a little over a month since we opened the doors to the Rogers location of Highroller. We are starting to see a steady traffic flow of people and repairs. New bikes have been sold, old bikes have been fixed, and we have made some new friends in the process. We have almost our full line of bikes in stock now.

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Come visit us at 402 S Metro Parkway in Rogers. We are across the street to the west of the Toyota dealership

The phone number is 479-254-9800

Hope to See you soon,

Branton

Beginnings

25 Jun

Each of us has our own journey in cycling. We all experience pivotal moments that determine what our path will be. One of those moments for me was getting my first job that paid me a wage, and was outside the realm of mowing lawns and doing chores. I was 14 years old the year that I started working at the Bicycle Outfitter in Harrison AR. If my Parents would have know what the ultimate outcome of this summer job would be I’m sure they never would have let me start.

I had already been riding for a few years before starting to work there and, like most teenagers, I thought I knew everything there was to know about bikes. Monty and Mary helped open my eyes to how big the world of cycling really is. Their experience in the industry is vast and their work ethic is superb.

I recently was back in Harrison and stopped to see them. These are some pics from that day.

The storefront has changed little in the last twenty years.

The storefront has changed little in the last twenty years.

Bicycle Outfitter was very active on the 90's

Bicycle Outfitter was very active on the 90’s

This is the same bench I learned to adjust cantilever bikes on.

This is the same bench I learned to adjust cantilever brakes on.

They always have an immaculate sales floor

They always have an immaculate sales floor

Im not even sure you can get parts for this vintage of ark stand anymore. I wonder how many bikes Monty has built / fixed here?

Im not even sure you can get parts for this vintage of ark stand anymore. I wonder how many bikes Monty has built / fixed here?

Monty oversaw my first wheel build. The stand was different then but the location is the same.

Monty oversaw my first wheel build. The stand was different then but the location is the same.

For all you tech geeks this needs so explanation. For the rest of you... It needs no explanation.

For all you tech geeks this needs so explanation. For the rest of you… It needs no explanation.

Their website is worth reading if you have time. The Bicycle Outfitter

Thanks for reading.

Branton

Highroller Ride #3 Paris to Havana and Back

19 Jun

Last year the Highroller crew started the tradition of a Memorial Day Ride. Last year we rode from Fayetteville to the top of Mt Magazine. This year we wanted to see some new scenery and up the ante a little. The basic premise of the route was simple; start in Paris AR, head down to the top of Mt Nebo, loop back around to climb the back side of Mt Magazine, then descend back to Paris. A detailed version of the route can be found here.

Our Mantra for the ride

Our Mantra for the ride

Sam doing his best conqistador pose

Sam doing his best conquistador pose

We met at Highroller at five thirty and began packing up. I had it all planed out in my mind that we would use a combination of rear racks and bed mounts to make it all fit. In true Highroller fashion though, we ended up just throwing all the S-works bikes in the back of the truck tying them down with inner tubes and cruising down the road. I was super happy to see Scotty that morning on his enduro bike. He would prove an invaluable resource for water and support on the ride. The rendezvous point for the start was the Cowie Winery just outside Paris. All told we were Nine riders.

Getting started

Getting started

Nine is a good number of riders for a ride like this. If all are evenly matched the group will roll along nicely since each rider will have adequate time to rest during each rotation. The added benefit of this number of riders is that you don’t get stuck talking to the same person the whole day.Before we even started though we almost lost one of our riders. J had forgotten the bag that contained his cycling kit and nutrition for the day. Luckily, I had and extra set of clean kit in my bag and he was able to borrow it for the day. With everyone accounted for we rolled out of the parking lot at eight and didn’t have to stop to regroup until we got to the top of nebo.

Our nine man group.

Our nine man group.

Lake Dardanelle and the Nuclear power plant.

Lake Dardanelle and the Nuclear power plant.

The first thirty fiveish miles were mostly flat. We all enjoyed the conversation and great views along the way. Looming in the distance though we could see what would be our first major challenge of the day. Mt Nebo is one of Arkansas’ most well known mtns. Its slopes explode skyward pitching up to as much as 20 percent (according to the Garmin). Rising 1,350 feet above the mountain valleys of west central Arkansas, Mount Nebo gives visitors a spectacular view of Lake Dardanelle, the Arkansas River and the surrounding mountains. The climb is not super long but the pitches and switchbacks are backbreaking.

Another view from the top

Another view from the top

After regrouping at the summit. We all relaxed and enjoyed some ice cream that the visitors center sells. My trip was almost ruined here because the ladies at the visitors center noticed i had not signed the back. They had the scissors out ready to cut it up because I had left my id at the start. I had to sprint out side and get some of the other guys to vouch for me. The ladies thought it was hilarious. Once we started back down the switchbacks it was everyone for them selves again. We lost Alex somewhere along the way and only managed to get the group back together to start the worst section of the ride. AR 27 was a very busy road with very little shoulder. Thank goodness we had The motorcycle to help control the memorial day traffic. Our group started falling apart a little too. Several riders were getting tired and several others were feeling good. This is never a good dynamic for a group ride. Our next stop came just in time to raise everyone’s spirits. Corndogs are known to do that.

Corndog

Corndog

From there it was hwy ten to Havana and then a right turn up towards Magazine. The group worked well together through this segment. As we rode we were treated to the somewhat intimidating view of magazine from the valley floor. A picture is worth a thousand words so the next bit you can figure out on your own.

The view from Havana

The view from Havana

I love these signs

I love these signs

Somewhere on the mtn.

Somewhere on the mtn.

The overlook at the "top"

The overlook at the “top”

A group of us regrouped at the top and then decided to head down to the last stop of the day to wait for everyone else. The gas station/ restaurant we stopped at boasted the “best burgers around” After more than 70 miles in the saddle it did not dissapoint. burger

last stop

We were blissfully eating and joking around unaware of the drama that was unfolding behind us. The story is a long one that probably isn’t interesting to anyone who wasn’t on the ride. Let’s just say that it involved: one of our riders, a motorcycle, inner tubes fashioned into a tow rope, the phrase “this is F*;%ing AWESOME”, a crash, a skinned knee, and a bruised ego.

Once we were all back together we rode the last miles back to the winery as a group. Everyone was tired and the group quickly dispersed into cars bound for home.The winery was closed, but a couple of us were poking around the winery and noticed a guy walking around like he owned the place. Turns out he did. Robert Cowie was kind enough to show us around his collection of church bells and give us a private tour of the winery. We enjoyed talking to him and left with more than a couple of bottles.

Robert standing next to the largest church bell in AR

Robert standing next to the largest church bell in AR

I really enjoyed the ride and am already planning next years route.

Thanks for reading ,

Branton

HIghroller’s Ride #2: Mulberry 2013

18 Apr

On Sunday April 14 2013 a group of Highrollers set out on a ride.

Cue Sheets and Map

Cue Sheets and Map

The idea was that we all needed a fitness check and prep for our annual Mt. Magazine ride in May. I came up with a good route that would offer us a couple of good climbs and some nice scenery. The basic premise of the route was leave from the Mulberry River, ride a rectangle in a counterclockwise direction, eat some food along the way, and return to the starting point. More route details can be found at the link below:

The Route

I had a sinus infection the week prior and didn’t feel I had quite gotten over it so I decided to drive the follow car. It bummed me out to not be on the bike but ultimately it was the best decision. As we headed out through the river valley I snapped a couple of pics of the group. I always love the way that the Highroller Shop jerseys look in a group. That vertical line is very visible on the road and looks very classy.

Heading over the Mulberry River Bridge

Heading over the Mulberry River Bridge

Cool old barns are some of my favorite backdrops

Cool old barns are some of my favorite backdrops

A few miles past Turner Bend the road kicks up for the first time. The climb isn’t really long but it does have several steep and winding sections. The sweeping left-hand corners would provide a level point to gain some speed before the steep right-hand blind corners. We were a pretty evenly matched group overall, but a couple of the riders were much better climbers. Consequently, our group split up a little bit on this climb. After the hill topped the group enjoyed descending rollers with huge panoramic views into the AR river valley. The rolling nature of the road and car traffic kept our group somewhat separate. We didn’t get back together until the first left turn on 352. Once the group reunited the pace was brisk but comfortable all the way to the first rest stop.

Sweeping corners were a super feature.

Sweeping corners were a super feature.

Rolling down 23 after the hill topped out

Rolling down 23 after the hill topped out

Our first rest stop was at the Swiss Family Bistro in Altus

Our first rest stop was at the Swiss Family Bistro in Altus

I drove ahead of the group after the rest stop in order to try and get in a few miles in my legs. Even though I was in a car I was still impressed by the beauty of the route. I knew it would be nice but I never thought it would be as nice as it was. The views were magnificent as we made our way through the valley towards the foothills of the Ozarks. The only downside to the scenery was the knowledge that those hills had to be conquered before the end of the ride. As I drove my car up the switchbacks on 103 toward Oark I was somewhat sad that I wouldn’t be suffering up the climb with everyone. I didn’t take any photos of this section because of the unique nature of this road. It was so impressive that if you want to know what it is like you should just go and ride it yourself.

The Foothills of the Ozarks loom in the distance

The Foothills of the Ozarks loom in the distance

After I had driven a bit ahead of the group I parked and readied my bike for a little ride. I tooled along and eventually found myself climbing up the back side of the 103 climb toward the group as they descended into Oark. I waited for The last rider to top out and rode back down into Oark with them. Only half of the group made the turn to go to the cafe for lunch. The rest of them somehow missed both the sign pointing the way and the turn listed on the cue sheet. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves but rest assured those of us who did make the lunch stop won the ride even though we ended about an hour and a half after the others.

Rest stop number 2

Rest stop number 2

Winning

Winning

Homemade pecan pie with ice cream, of course

Homemade pecan pie with ice cream, of course

After the lunch stop We rode the 15 miles mostly downhill to the finish where we found our mates all huddled under the one shady spot in the parking lot. They looked tired and hungry. We tried not to rub it in too much.

Thanks for reading.

Branton

2013 Hwy 71 Classic (Dirty Version)

11 Mar

The Hwy 71 Classic for 2013 has come and gone. This is the report from the Gravel Grinder option.

The idea for the gravel grinder started two years ago and has taken this long to come to fruition. For more on the history and the rides that inspired the Gravel Grinder option check out these two previos posts. Well Sort Of and Dirty Version One

The 71 Classic is always the unofficial start of the racing season. Local teams toe up to see who has been training and who hasn’t. It is also the first major organized ride of the year and tends to draw riders of all levels. This year’s event was a sanctioned USAC event and the set up at the start was very well done. Volunteers helped make this a very smooth running registration.

Greenhouse Grill Serves Hosts the registration each year

Greenhouse Grill Serves Hosts the registration each year

A very classy hat was available for purchase this year. We will have some here at he shop to sell shortly.

A very classy hat was available for purchase this year. We will have some here at he shop to sell shortly.

As usual, I showed up to the start of the Hwy 71 classic early enough to peruse the bikes and people. The event is a great place to see and catch up with lots of people that you dont normally see or haven’t seen since last riding season. The parking lot was overflowing with cars and bicycles. I walked around a bit chatting with riders and admiring their bikes. I normally have a few pics of bikes that I like but this year I guess nothing really struck my fancy to take photos of.

I did really like Jason BB’s Sworks though.With fresh Zipp 404 Firecrest Clinchers With fresh Zipp 404 Firecrest Clinchers

All Sports productions was on point as well.
photo-4

The Dirty Version riders convened at Brentwood in time to see the road riders race by. Quin arrived in our follow vehicle and were off and away by 10:15. Not too bad for a hastily put together endeavor. We lost a few riders and our follow car in the first 10 miles but had regrouped by the time we reached our second rest stop.

Which way do we go George?

Which way do we go George?

I lost my phone somewhere along the way, so I don’t have pictures of the rest of the day. I did get it back through a team effort of the De Pijpers and a good samaritan. Thanks Guys!

You can watch a comprehensive video shot by one of the riders here

Thanks for reading, Hope to see you at the next one.

Branton

R.I.P. Pinky

26 Feb

In my life I have owned many bicycles. MANY bicycles. Of all those bicycles only two really stand out from the rest. This is the story of one of those bikes.

The Cannondale R3000

The Cannondale R3000

In college I worked at Highroller. In those days I knew more about riding the bike than I did about the actual bicycles themselves. I had been riding product that was pretty far beneath the level of riding that I was doing at that time. As a graduation present to myself I decided to buy myself a brand new bike, and I would spare no expense in it’s build. The year was 2001 and in those days Cannondale was the best bike in the world. Period. The highest quality aluminum expertly welded by American craftsmen. It didn’t get any better than that.

Handmade in the USA

Handmade in the USA

For the upcoming model year they were making a special color run of pepto pink in the R3000. The bike boasted; a caad5 frame with integrated headset, first generation Ksyrium wheels, and a full Shimano Dura Ace build. I knew that I had to get that bike.

Over the next three years I rode the wheels off of that bike. I was probably the fastest that I have ever been during that time in my life. We raced together, trained together, traveled the country on paved and unpaved roads. I truly was happy on that bike. Eventually as my knowledge of the industry grew I became aware that I needed to try out some other bikes to be able to sell them. I started down a long and winding path of bikes. I was definitely a man whore for bikes. I rode every type of material and brand I could get my hands on. I never let go of that bike frame though. It was always close by. Occasionally, if i was between bikes I would build it up and ride it in the interim.

When I moved back to AR from TX in 2007 I was fortunate to work at Highroller again. I was working on my house alot and not training much. The R3000 got built up with a full Rival Kit from Sram and I began to use it as my main bike again. While riding one day I noticed that my lower pulley on the rear der was really tight. No big deal, I thought. I finished my ride, parked the bike at the shop, and walked home for the night. The next day I walked to work in the morning. At lunch I hopped on the bike and was headed up the hill to my house for lunch. I had forgotten about the pulley. About midway up the hill and mid pedal stroke the pulley failed and lodged the chain. It was too late to react and the Der ripped off and was pulled into my frame and cassette.

photo4

The end. A bike with a dent that big in aluminum so thin is a no go for safety. I held onto the bike for another year just hoping that a magical fix would be revealed to me. I knew it was useless, eventually, I had to say goodbye. Last week my cherished frame made the quick transition from high performance racing machine to very expensive wind chime.

You can see the angst in my face. As I commit to the inevitable.

You can see the angst in my face. As I commit to the inevitable.

Awaiting its next life.

Awaiting its next life.

Thanks for reading,

Branton