MTB Epic Series

So you think you want to ride a Mountain Bike Epic? If you have put thought into riding an Epic ride or race but aren’t sure if you can do it. Well… let’s dip your toe in that water.

We will step you up in degree of difficulty with a series of rides. All dates are subject to change as we cannot predict weather at this time. Each ride will post as an events on Chainwheel Facebook. You must let us know you are attending via the FB Event. We need to know what size group to plan for.



1st course… 2 laps @ Cedar glades. Ride first lap as a group then ride second lap at your own pace or with lead group. October 1st – Details. 

2nd course 1 full lap of Iron Mountain. Date TBA soon via FB Event.

3rd course ride the Womble section of the Ouachita Challenge. 298 to North Fork lake and Fire Road back.  Date TBA soon via FB Event.

4th course ride the OC section of the Ouachita Challenge. Leave Oden… ride OC course to Story and ride road back to Oden. Date TBA soon via FB Event.

At the end of this training series you will see some amazing Arkansas trails and know if you want to click that sign up button on upcoming Arkansas Epic MTB events.

Rides are semi supported, we will help with mechanical needs. You are expected to have everything with you to fix a flat or a broken chain. You are also responsible for your nutrition. We can advise you on what is recommended before events.

We look forward to riding with you. Any questions please reach out to

Cane Creek MTB – Star City AR

Here’s a description of my ride at Cane Creek, it was fun but warm.

I left the visitor center and followed the ladies advise to go counter clockwise around the lake, which is best in the summer time, out in the sun early then in the shade during the heat of the day, Temp at start 85, temp at finish 97 high humidity, Rode the Surly ICE Cream Truck FAT Bike. You start out on a small trail that leads you to a pavilion by the lake, then onto pavement for a while, you turn onto a levee, the levee is bush hogged down the middle, the grass was 6 to 12 inches tall which creates a drag, it’s a long ride around the levee with beautiful views of the lake, you then turn into the woods on a bush hogged trail for a little while then it turns into single track, the back of the trail was littered with debris, logs, limbs, vines, and LOTs of SPIDER WEBS, there are also several swinging bridges and low water bridges that are fun to cross. I think during wet season they would really be fun, about 6 miles from the visitor center the trail improves and it flows much better I guess from bikes and foot traffic.

If I lived near star city I would ride it all the time. As an adventure bike rider it was worth the drive down from Little Rock. Load up and check it out.

The ladies at the Visitor Center are the Best, thanks for all the help.

-Charlie Westphall


Helmet hygiene

Do the guys in your club call you names? “Stinky Head”, “Rotten Helmet?

If so, learn helmet hygiene 101.

Step 1 – When your wife asks why you are taking your helmet in the shower, it’s pretty much the same conversation as when she saw you shave your legs for the first time. Simply explain that this is just something cyclists do.

Step 2 – Lather up a bath scrubby with your favorite shampoo or body wash. Bar soap has tallow and this will leave weird spots on the shell. Not pro!

Step 3 – Clip the chin strap together and tuck it inward, where your head goes. Now pre rinse your skid lid. Next, swirl your lathered up scrubby inside your helmet to clean pads and straps gently. Don’t go too hard and rip your pads out. Last, scrub any bugs and gnar off the outside of your helmetFullSizeRender.jpg

Step 4 – Rinse helmet under shower head.

Step 5 – Hold the straps firmly and whip your helmet to ring out any excess water.


Step 6 – Dry over a vent from the air in your home.

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Step 7 – Ride fresh as a daisy grown in an Irish Spring.


150 miles of new Trail for the IMBA summit.

We recently headed up to northwest Arkansas to visit and to ride with the Epic Ride organized by the F.A.S.T. (Friends of Arkansas Single Track) mountain bike club. Northwest Arkansas has more trails than you can shake a stick at. In addition to the existing trails, Northwest Arkansas is adding 150 miles of trails to what they already have. Yes… you read that correctly…150 miles of new trails.  F.A.S.T. hosted a supported 25 and 34 miles of mountain bike ride to break in and to preview what we can expect to be an attraction for cyclists all over the world. The portions of the trails we rode during the Epic Ride did not disappoint. Three trail building companies have been working full-time to make a diverse new trail system to connect with existing trails. It is mind boggling and amazing!



Bentonville, AR,  will be the host for the 2016 IMBA World Summit on November 10th to the 12th, 2016, and will officially debut the new trails. Being selected for thi12998748_10153612648636947_1198121463701752805_ns global event is almost as huge as being selected for the Olympics. As any host city prepares for such a prestigious opportunity, a lot of work is underway.  From what we rode at the Epic Ride,  Arkansas will be a must-ride state for avid mountain bikers around the world!

Learn MORE…

Check out FAST to learn about existing trails to ride.

Full details on the 2016 IMBA World Summit.

5News story about IMBA Summit with video

Shop ride update – New Tuesday night route

IMG_2823.jpgThere is such a thing as a good problem. We have bicycle traffic in Little Rock now and we could not be more happy about this. We see this as an opportunity to move our ride Eastward away from the River Trail and offer you an enhanced route. FullSizeRender.jpg


The Chainwheel Tuesday night ride leaves The Clinton Center parking lot every Tuesday evening at 6PM

The route is unique as it passes through a national airport on its way out to a loop of some classic Arkansas Delta.

We look forward to seeing you on board!

Full Route Map and Turn by Turn for 25 Mile course:

(Note) as the days get longer we will add a 30 mile A group option.

Rules, Cautions and Instructions

We are excited to lead the Tuesday night road ride once again. Each Tuesday night we will roll out at 6:00pm from The Clinton Library parking lot. We ask you to help us by following a few safety rules on our Tuesday night ride:

  • Helmets are mandatory
  • No Headphone or music, everyone needs your full attention.
  • No time trial bikes or TT bars, please.
  • Know the route and help each other.
  • Be courteous, helpful to all riders. Call out road furniture, road kill and such.
  • Yellow line rule is effect for the entire route. Please don’t cross into oncoming traffic.
  • If riders in your group are getting dropped yell “Gap” to slow down for them.
  • All riders ride at their own risk.
  • Know who you’re A group and B group leaders are; they will be announced before we roll out.
  • Flat repair kits are recommended for this route. Prevent flats by checking your pressure before the ride.
  • If you do not know the route, do not get ahead of the group and ask “where do we go?” Follow your group leader, please.

What to expect / Route:

(Abbreviated version below, see Strava route for full turn by turn directions)

Leaving the Clinton Library parking lot, follow South West trail toward the Airport. This will be a neutral section till we cross over I-440. Watch for utility hole covers and railroad tracks. While on Airport road please do not cut the route on the 2 roundabout’s.

After airport terminal area we take the first left onto E Roosevelt. Follow for about 1 mile and make a right on Fourche Dam pike. Follow to Thibaut and follow right.

Watch for rumble strips on Frazier pike, commit to taking these on and do not swerve to avoid. Let’s keep everyone upright.

Look for the right hand Turn onto Harper Road. Watch for loose dogs. These guys tend to be playful and not aggressive, but still dangerous to a bicycle wheel.

This is a great area for Sprints and attacks, have fun be safe. Watch that Yellow line.

Continue on toward Sweet Home and ride toward 365. Continue on 365 and watch for traffic heard toward the 3M plant. Onward up to Confederate Blvd and Sprint to the Hill top to 3M road. Regroup at the top of the hill. Once we are rolling be careful on descent back to Frazier Pike, there can be water on the road and it can be slippery. This is a very fast downhill please be careful.

Onward and left on Frazier Pike back toward the Airport and back into the start area via Bond St.

Good job! And now it’s off to Diamond Bear








 By Velo_DCA

42.That’s the age. I proved it. The one where the aches start to present inexplicably.  The one that starts the conversation of “hey, staying fit is going to get tougher.”  The one that acts as a mirror to the previous 20 years of beer, deep-dish pizza and French fries, and the on/off season where you could drop 15-20lbs with ease. My forty-second year on the planet saw a series of annoying pains, muscle strains, and an attempted dust-up with a barrier on a span bridge while traveling at 20 mph on my bike (I lost).  To top it off: I ended 2015 with knee cartilage problems requiring surgery.  For the first time in 10 years, I had a forced full stop from the bike.


No commutes…no lunchtime rides…no long weekenders….no nothing where a knee was a key contributor.  When this happens, you quickly grasp what the bike means to you.  For me, it told me what I already knew: the bike was an intrinsic part of my being.  I started to get irascible on Day Three of my forced rest–like a smoker trying to kick a habit—the memories of fresh air, speed, and freedom still an exposed nerve.  Not good for anyone.

So, I decided to grow up this year.  I began a quest at the start of 2016 to restore from my past transgressions–no more off-seasons for 20-year-olds.  A better, more resilient 40’s decade lay just ahead of me.  In addition to surgery/rehab, I began with the only thing I had (or, more aptly, needed):  a functioning CORE.   Now, there are more than enough resources out there spewing core-based philosophies, so this isn’t an endorsement of some new-fangled routine (3 SECOND ABS!!!).  It’s just a friendly reminder that success in the spring/summer on the bike continues to depend on how you spend your off-season.  If you typically spend November-February enjoying Lost Forty’s wares a little too much (no judgments), it’s not too late to book some gym time.

Here are a few of my favorites to get you ready for that 100km gravel grinder, epic century, or Tuesday night crit.  Do them three times a week, with one day’s rest.  Do it for 3 months.  EASE INTO THIS!!!  Not even Mighty Hercules could lift the big rocks after a layoff. 


Five CORE exercises I regularly do that you can use for a great 2016 on the bike (everything sounds better with an English accent):


Don’t forget the abs either, but get to all of them (hint: the crunch is one of the least useful).  This bicycling article provides a great overview, and it’s a workout I do every other time I’m in the gym:


Ya gotta have goals…