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The Best

The Best

This week was the annual Best of Arkansas issue at the Times. This is always a big issue and a fan favorite. It also involves a ton of work and a few hellish days at the office. The issue is out now, it’s all over. Only one year left until the next one.

Last year, we tattooed one of our colleagues for the cover. This year we opted to just have a graffiti artist do his thing on some old wall blanks donated to us from the fine folks at The Rep.

The 2012 Best of Arkansas cover

Jose Hernandez provided the art. He whipped it up in just less than two hours right before our eyes in the art space he runs, Dedicated, on 7th Street. It’s an awesome space and it was interesting to watch him work.

Here are some in progress shots from Times photog extrodinair Brian Chilson (who, incidentally, won best photographer in our poll this year):

Best of Arkansas cover in progress

I snapped a couple myself on the ol’ iPhone:

The artists at work.

Working on the Ark

Adding the final touches.

Obviously I had to work a little magic in the Photoshop to make the wall fill up the entire cover, but nothing complicated here. Definitely one of the more unique cover photo shoots we’ve had since I’ve been the Art Director. I look forward to what we can cook up for next year.

***

Been a slow week in the cycling realm. I’ve got in my usual 20 km morning ride in every day this week, something I wasn’t sure I’d feel like doing with the extra hours I’ve put in at the office. But the rides have been good and relaxing. (Except for that whole bug stinging incident.)

I’m still sort of sluggish on the bike. This morning I had to stop at every traffic signal and stop sign on the route. That really kills the momentum. It’s also pretty rare that I have to stop that many times on an early morning ride. I guess I just hit traffic wrong.

I’ll keep plugging along the rest of the week. I’m planning on the same 46-mile route Saturday morning as I rode last week. It’s got a couple solid climbs in it and it’s a good route for beating the heat. There’s not a ton of traffic out that way early on a Saturday and plenty of shade.

My plan for July and August is just to keep logging about a 100 miles a week. I’m not really looking to improve my times or anything at this point. Just grind through and get my miles. By the time fall rolls around, I’ll pick it up and try to ride in a couple fall classic rides before time to get the cold-weather gear back out.