Jen Chapman’s take on Joe Martin 64 mile stage on Friday

May 19, 2006 · Print This Article

Jen rolls in after a long day on the side of the road.

I was in a group of 5 including 2 Colavita and trying to catch back on to
the leading group that Hiroko had strongly pushed to stay with on the climb. My little group was so determined to catch back on to the leading group and we tried for a long time until I heard that familiar hissing noise from the little hole in the tube and had to wish my friends a good race and wait on the side of the road for a wheel.

Nothing happens to quickly in Arkansas and that includes wheel changes. It’s pretty funny actually. I was on the side of the road with my front wheel in the air and waiting for an eternity for someone to stop when finally after the last group on the road came through I see a neutral wheel support (Ford) truck behind them. They stop and the driver gets out and walks back to me asking what I needed. I thought the front wheel in the air was a pretty clear message but I responded, “I need a spare front wheel”. He pulled out a monster wheel I think might have come from a cruiser and I try to fit it on my fork. It takes a while but I finally make it work. The best part is that he actually apologized for my flat tire and gives me a quick push to get me back on the road. I had to start laughing at the push after I had been sitting on the road for about 5 minutes.
I can’t really complain that much because the weather was beautiful and I had a chance to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, oh and and after I got started again I imagined I was off the front on a solo break. It was a peaceful ride back into Fayetteville and I could pick whatever line I wanted.

Arkansas is great and when I say nothing happens to fast out here that is a big compliment, unless it pertains to wheel changes. I enjoy the slower pace of life and it seems to make folks really friendly and willing to talk to you about pretty much anything.

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