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EMMA JOHNSON TEAM LEBORNE & NICA CYCLIST

Arkansan Rides Oregon’s McKenzie River Trail

FIND OUT WHAT EMMA HAS IN HER KIT. (PAGE 24)

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ISSUE NO. 7 | 2018 ARKANSASWILD.COM #BIKEARMAG


1777 river road | lakeview, arkansas 870-431-5202 | gastons@gastons.com gastons.com | lat 36 20’ 55” n | long 92 33’ 25” w

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IN THIS ISSUE

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FEATURES

12

MY RIDE, MY TOWN

From the Guest Editors

Braking News: • Hot Springs Initiative for NICA • Lyon College Joins Varsity Program • New Cycling Club at UA Little Rock • Come Play in the Dirt • Bicycling Provides $137 Million in Economic Benefits • Northwest Arkansas School Brings Wheels to the Classrooms • Eight Week Program for Novice Female Riders

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Bike Gear

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My Kit: Emma Johnson

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My Kit: Cory Johnson

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Bob Black-Ocken takes readers on a tour of his favorite trail close to home

32 YOUNG GIRLS BUILD

CONFIDENCE THROUGH MOUNTAIN BIKING

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BIKES + UNIVERSITIES Arkansas colleges and universities lead the way in bike-friendly design

38 BIKE ADVOCATES FOR

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NICA BRINGS CYCLING TO SCHOOLS

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DON’T FORGET TO TAKE YOUR BIKE

PHOTO BY NOVO STUDIO

Bob Black-Ocken races across one of the new bridges built by the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance on the trails at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.

Oregon’s McKenzie River Trail

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FIVE NEW TRAILS FOR 2018 You’ve got to ride these

EVERY ISSUE

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Bike Shops Ride & Race Events Happy Trails: Meet the new Leborne Women’s Race Team

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS ON THE COVER Emma Johnson gazes off Big Dam Bridge, one of the most popular road cycling spots in Little Rock. Photo by Novo Studio.

4 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


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A special publication of Arkansas Wild arkansaswild.com

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THE EXPERIENCE THAT FITS

REBEKAH LAWRENCE Publisher rebekah@arktimes.com ELIZABETH HAMAN Associate Publisher elizabeth@arktimes.com MANDY KEENER Creative Director mandy@arktimes.com LACEY THACKER Editor at Large lacey@arktimes.com ADVERTISING LESA THOMAS Senior Account Executive lesa@arktimes.com KIMBERLY BENNETT Account Executive kimberly@arktimes.com PRODUCTION WELDON WILSON Production Manager/Controller ROLAND R. GLADDEN Advertising Traffic Manager LARISSA GUDINO Advertising Coordinator GRAPHIC DESIGNERS KATIE HASSELL JASON HO MIKE SPAIN OFFICE STAFF ROBERT CURFMAN IT Director LINDA PHILLIPS Billing/Collections

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All things Arkansas,

all in one place. We’re committed to Arkansas and to the people who live here. That’s why we created an entire site dedicated to our home state. Visit OnlyInArk.com for everything from great road trips and fun festivals to local culture and more. When your bank is only in Arkansas, you know it’s all about you.

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FROM THE GUEST EDITOR

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Bill Smith, associate vice chancellor for marketing and communications at Arkansas State University, races in the Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City.

ikes and universities have gone together for decades. Remember the movie “Breaking Away” and the Little 500? The 1970 yearbook at Arkansas State even has a twopage spread about cycling on campus; how very LimeBikes—just a different color and way to share. So what has changed? This is the first generation of students to have a lower percentage of driver’s licenses than its predecessor. They see a ride-share future ahead. Owning a vehicle doesn’t mean the same thing to them. People say Millennial; I see multi-modal. College campuses are what our cities are trying to achieve – mixed-use living. When you sleep where you work and play, it is easy to choose to travel based on the need. Walk to the cafeteria. Ride a bike share to class. Hop a shuttle bus to the stadium. Use the car to drive across town to shop. This is a lifestyle that our rising generation seeks. It is a critical reason why advocating for safe, efficient ways for people to bike a university campus becomes part of our leadership mission for our hometowns. Think universities haven’t figured out that the future has two wheels? Watch college sports and check out what we in the business call “the institutional”—that standard 30-second commercial. Wait for it . . . and there goes the bicycle across campus. It’s a 21st century meme right along with the smiling professor, the cool science lab and the leafy, tree-lined quad. When I roll into work most days, I get the usual list of questions: “Why do you ride your bike to work?,” “Don’t you get cold?,” “Aren’t you scared you’ll get run over?” My question: why are you wasting your money driving fewer than two miles? For me, it’s simple math. I live downtown. I could drive my commute in about six or seven minutes. I can ride that at a modest pace in 10. Save money. Get exercise. Even with the angst that comes from what feels like a daily battle with drivers who are distracted or still refuse to recognize state traffic law, I value the time spent on my bike. There is another important factor about riding to work, and it’s something I would recommend to everyone. Just one day a month: walk, ride or bus to work. Even if you live across town, drive halfway and peddle or hoof the rest. I promise you that your town looks different at three or ten miles an hour. You’ll see and hear things you miss wrapped in that metal cocoon. It might change the way you feel about local issues like infrastructure or quality of life. Remember those university students? They’re increasingly choosing their hometowns first, and their jobs second. Allez velo.

Bill Smith Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, Arkansas State University 8 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


Sore after the ride? Contributors

Smith’s Drug is truly everyone’s hometown pharmacy. Unlike others, we offer free home delivery services, phone-in prescriptions and have 24 hr emergency services.

We support the cycling community!

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PHILIP THOMAS is the owner and

operator of Novo Studio in Rogers, and is pumped about having the great trails at Lake Atalanta right in his back yard.

BOB ROBINSON enjoys all things

outdoors. He is the author of three bicycle guidebooks. Bicycling Guide to the Mississippi River Trail, Bicycling Guide to the Lake Michigan Trail and Bicycling Guide to Route 66 can all be purchased at spiritscreek.com.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 9


Bob Black-Ocken focused on racing through Camp Robinson’s trails in North Little Rock.

love riding bikes fast. I have always been an athlete. When I was introduced to cycling by a good friend in college, I could not stop riding. It does not matter what kind of bike—road, mountain, cyclocross, time trial—I just want to go fast. My first pursuit was the Hawaii Ironman, but now I am pretty happy with a 50 minute cyclocross race. I just love riding my bike. When I am not riding I love to coach kids to ride mountain bikes safely through the National Interscholastic Cycling League (NICA) Arkansas League program. I coach at Catholic High School in Little Rock and contribute to the Central Arkansas Razorbacks composite team. I believe learning to ride mountain bikes gives kids the confidence and strength to have success on the team or club and in life. I am very excited about the stories in this issue, which is really about kids and the people who help make youth mountain biking great in Arkansas. We highlight NICA, which has helped strengthen the lives of so many Arkansas youth. I also share my favorite local-to-me ride at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. And a huge thanks to Bike Arkansas magazine for the opportunity to spread the word about a subject I am very passionate about: kids on bikes! The NICA mission is to support every student-athlete in the development of strong body, strong mind and strong character through interscholastic cycling. I am really excited and honored to play a big part in this program.

Robert (Bob) Black-Ocken, Arkansas League Coach Supporter

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Clayton Marsh, Michael Crum, Marcus Chang and Hannah Bahn of Thaden School in Bentonville.

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s educators, we are always thinking about how best to equip our students with the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind necessary to lead happy, healthy lives. Of course, this leads us to teach the expected in our classrooms, like writing and critical thinking skills, but it also prompts us to think about how active our students are, the ways in which they engage with their community, and their willingness to take risks and try new things. The state of Arkansas has seen a surge of recreational biking opportunities in recent years that are reaching young people and adults alike. Whether commuting to school, mountain biking on the soft trails, or honing your skills in one of the many parks popping up across the state, there are many ways to participate in the cycling scene. In this edition of Bike Arkansas magazine, we sought to explore a question that has been on our minds lately: How do we ensure that our youth are interested in and prepared to take advantage these unique cycling resources? Too often biking is relegated to the after school hours, something to be done after homework is complete. But we at Thaden School believe that cycling can and should play an integral part in the school day as well. We hope you will come away from this edition Bike Arkansas inspired by the role that bicycling can play in our youths’ lives. We believe it is the perfect vehicle through which to teach students, both in and outside of the classroom, and we are grateful for the opportunity to highlight some of the exciting work being done by schools and nonprofits in the state. Clayton Marsh, Michael Crum, Marcus Chang and Hannah Bahn

PHOTOS BY NOVO STUDIO/THADDEN SCHOOL

FROM THE GUEST EDITORS I


Trailblazers

ADAM MOORE of Hot Springs has been cycling since he was a kid, but his love of mountain biking began when he was introduced to the sport at summer camp in the late 80s. He often rode the Womble Trail near Mt. Ida, as well as the now-closed waterworks trail system, and he spent hours at each testing his limits. Today, he rides for fun and fitness—though he can get “a little racy” with the right group. His son, Spencer, can often be found riding with him. While many groups focus on getting new riders, Moore’s advocacy is focused on connecting with city and park officials to gain access to lands that are not currently accessible to cyclists. Moore is one of a group of volunteer coordinators assisting International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Solutions in building Northwoods Trail, which will connect a trail on national park land with a trail in downtown Hot Springs; all told, the trail will be 46 miles long. By fall of 2018, 16 miles will be ready, with the completion estimated at two to three years out. —LT

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Braking News

LYON COLLEGE JOINS VARSITY PROGRAM HOT SPRINGS INITIATIVE FOR NICA

High school mountain bike racing is coming to Hot Springs! The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) of Arkansas is growing to include Hot Springs! A new junior high and high school team is being formed to include students from Hot Springs and the surrounding area. Hot Springs has become a major attraction for mountain bikers in the region with existing trail systems such as the Womble, Little Blakely, Ouachita Trail and Cedarglades. Further development of newer trail systems include LOViT, Iron Mountain and the Northwoods Project. The Northwoods has been funded equally by Visit Hot Springs and the Walton Foundation to create a 1.3 million dollar investment in multiuse trails. With 200+ miles of trails within an hour of town, it was only natural to develop a team to continue to grow mountain biking in the community. In January of this year, the NICA of Arkansas leadership team, including Kyla Templeton, Bob Black-Ocken and Cory Johnson, came to discuss the potential for development in Hot Springs. Adam and Briana Moore of Red Light Roastery hosted over 30 people for a lively, fun informational meeting and discussion. NICA Hot Springs has a promising future with a team of riders, coaches, shop owners and administrators agreeing to make the needed sacrifices to create a successful team. A leadership team for NICA Hot Springs will be attending the NICA retreat in Northwest Arkansas in April to gain further knowledge for successful development of competitive mountain biking in Hot Springs and Arkansas. —Stephen Harrison

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12 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

The Lyon College Bluff Trail is a trail along a bluff that borders the north side of the campus. It was completed in 2010 and expanded in 2016.

Lyon College has joined the South Central Conference of USA Cycling’s varsity cycling program. Lyon College, located in Batesville, is adding collegiate cycling to their athletics program. With Arkansas becoming a mecca for mountain biking, even hosting the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) world summit in 2016, this team looks to put its mark on the collegiate cycling program with access to fantastic trails and plenty of learning opportunities in the surrounding industry. The Lyon College Cycling Team will be a teamoriented program that welcomes both competitive and casual lovers of cycling who seek to expand their understanding of the outdoors through bike riding, adventuring and other activities. The campus is already growing their own trail system and looks forward to hosting events for the conference in the near future. Cyclists will compete in the South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference alongside other varsity and club programs. The college anticipates participating in mountain biking and road cycling during the regular seasons with hopes of attending national championships in each discipline and eventually growing the program beyond those two disciplines. Lyon cyclists will receive official Lyon kits, access to the college bike shop, scholarships, and money towards traveling and competing in cycling events. More information on USA Cycling’s varsity program and the full list of teams can be found at usacycling.org. —Bob Black-Ocken

PHOTOS COURTESY LYON COLLEGE/GRAHAM COBB


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Braking News

NEW CYCLING CLUB AT UA LITTLE ROCK

Before moving to Arkansas with his wife to pursue graduate school, Martial Trigeaud was a semiprofessional cyclist in France. While Trigeaud, now a business consultant with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, was thrilled with the beautiful trails and mountain biking opportunities in Arkansas, he was disappointed to find there was no competitive biking club at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. “A year ago, I was interested in racing at the cycling championship,” Trigeaud said. “They said I was eligible to race if I was a student at UA Little Rock, but we didn’t have a racing team at the university. I needed one in Little Rock.” While cycling with other members of Team CARVE, Trigeaud met Ian Hadden, UA Little Rock director of energy management. The two cyclists wanted to share the joy of biking with the university community by starting a cycling club on campus. The only qualifications to join the new cycling club are an affiliation with the university and an interest in cycling. UA Little Rock students, faculty, staff and alumni are all welcome to join. Membership in the club allows students to compete in cycling events through the South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference. “The world of cycling has grown a lot over the past 5-10 years,” Trigeaud said. “There are CEOs of banks, business owners, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and all kind of folks engaged in cycling. We want to use the cycling club to build better connections between the university and the community.” For more information, check out the UA Little Rock Cycling Club Facebook page or contact Trigeaud at mxtrigeaud@ualr.edu or Hadden at ithadden@ualr.edu. ­—Angie Faller

PEDICABS ARE COMING TO BENTONVILLE! Tour the town or catch a ride home on one of these muscle-powered cabs. Pedicabs will be leased by independent operators who will work for tips.

8:00am-1:30am Monday-Sunday

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PHOTO COUTESY BOB ROBINSON/BONNIE ADAMS/UALR

Leah Thorvilson, Ian Hadden, Martial Trigeaud and Chancellor Andrew Rogerson pose with their new cycling club jerseys.


Trailblazers

A group of cyclists ride Mt. Kessler Trail in Fayetteville, on which Ozark Off Road Cyclists (OORC) contributed over 850 volunteer hours last summer.

COME PLAY IN THE DIRT Northwest Arkansas (NWA) is fast becoming recognized as the mountain bike mecca of the country. In 2016, Bentonville was chosen to host the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) World Summit. In 2017, NWA was selected as the test location for Bike Magazine’s “Bible of Bike Test.” On October 26-28 2018, Bentonville will host the Outerbike expo, one of the largest bike demo events in the United States. With the explosion of newcomers attracted to the sport in recent years, the timing was perfect last Nov. 10–12 for Ozark Off Road Cyclists’ (OORC) “Playing in the Dirt,” a weekend celebration of the organization’s two decades of volunteer trail advocacy and an opportunity to tell the 30-year history of mountain biking in the Natural State, told by those who actually wrote it. OORC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and maintaining sustainable soft surface trails in the Arkansas Ozarks. Established in 1997, its founding members were pioneers of the sport, bouncing down abandoned logging roads on fully rigid bicycles when the sport first gained traction in the 1980s. And now, with the current membership logging over 4,000 volunteer hours of trail advocacy annually, no group is better equipped to tell the story of both the history and future of mountain biking in the Natural State. The keynote speaker for the event was Dave Weins, executive director of the IMBA. As a two-time US National Mountain Bike Champion, a two-time World Cup race winner, Adventure Racing World Champion and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee, his statements about how impressed he was with the corporate, community and state agency commitment he had witnessed in Arkansas spoke well for what is happening with mountain biking in the state. However, it was a personal story he shared that I felt best demonstrated the state’s current status. Weins told how, when recently mountain biking in Crested Butte, Colorado, he overheard a nearby group of cyclists excitedly talking about a trip they had planned. That trip was to go mountain biking in Arkansas. —Bob Robinson

KYLA TEMPLETON rode as a kid, but she was more focused on swimming. When she started running after high school, triathlons were a logical next step, so she began road cycling. When Alan Ley asked her to help start a kid’s mountain biking league—the Arkansas Interscholastic Cycling League of NICA—she figured she should start mountain biking herself. Today, it’s one of her primary hobbies. Part of her motivation is being a mother of two young boys—who, since they live in Bentonville, she knows will ride the many trails in the area. Kyla sees women’s cycling as intimately connected with kid’s cycling, because, if you get kids on bikes, the mothers have a bigger incentive to get on one themselves. Kyla says that while cycling alone can be rewarding, “There’s so much joy in riding with people.” —LT

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Source: 2017 Northwest Arkansas Trail Usage Monitoring Report

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COURTESY WALTON FAMILY FOUNDATION

Braking News

BICYCLING PROVIDES $137 MILLION IN ECONOMIC BENEFITS

ith an increasing number of locals and tourists taking advantage of its network of naturalsurface trails and shared-use paved paths, bicycling provided $137 million in economic benefits to Northwest Arkansas in 2017. According to three new studies from the Walton Family Foundation, the region has reaped these positive economic, social and health benefits while still managing to keep its trail building costs lower than many regions with comparable bicycle infrastructure. “While the energy generated by trails and paved paths is palpable across Northwest Arkansas, these findings validate cycling as a regional economic engine that supports local businesses, attracts tourists and builds healthier communities,” said Tom Walton, Home Region Program Committee chair. The first study, commissioned in partnership with PeopleForBikes, showed bike tourism is a significant economic driver for the region, with visitors spending $27 million at local businesses last year. In the last 12 months alone, more than 90,000 mountain bike tourists visited Northwest Arkansas at a rate comparable to notable destinations like Oregon and British Columbia. The report also showed locals reported spending more than $21 million in 2017 on bicycling goods and events. Many residents cite proximity to bicycle infrastructure as a major consideration when deciding where to live, work or locate businesses. Residents’ cycling habits are also above the nation as a whole. According to the study, 27 percent of locals rode bikes six or more days in the last year—a rate 11 percentage points higher than the national average. This level of activity contributed approximately $86 million in annual health benefits in 2017. The foundation has partnered with PeopleForBikes to offer the study’s templates free of charge to cities and regions across the country. This will be a resource for communities interested in measuring the economic benefits of cycling in a standardized way by utilizing the Northwest Arkansas study as a national industry model. The templates will be available 16 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

through PeopleForBikes later this year. “Northwest Arkansas is a shining example of the positive impact cycling can have on a community,” said Steuart Walton. “We hope to inspire other towns and cities by sharing the lessons and impact we’ve observed, such as the importance of quality miles over quantity of miles, the proximity of trails to downtowns and advocating for female and youth cyclists.” In an effort to obtain benchmark data on policy, funding, design trends and best practices for similar trail programs, the foundation’s third study evaluated information from eight peer cities and two aspirational ones—Austin and Minneapolis— against data from Northwest Arkansas. When compared to other cities with vibrant greenway trail programs, Northwest Arkansas ranked in the lower third for its trail costs. While the average cost of trails in peer cities was $313.75 per linear foot, Northwest Arkansas reported an average cost of $217.09 per linear foot. Outside of Northwest Arkansas, the foundation is supporting the development of a 30-mile expansion of the Big River Trail in the Arkansas Delta through its Home Region Program. Additionally, Steuart Walton and Tom Walton have provided grant funding for trail building initiatives, such as a 16-mile natural-surface trail system in Hot Springs; a bike and skate park in Fort Smith; mountain biking and hiking trails in Eureka Springs; and a 12-mile natural-surface trail system at Camp Orr on the Buffalo River. To ensure a quality riding experience all year round, they have also provided funding for a maintenance program for the state’s designated International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Epic Trails. With this investment, Arkansas is now the only state in the nation with a professional maintenance crew. Last month, Steuart and Tom partnered with IMBA to announce new Trail Labs educational programming and matching Trail Accelerator grants to bring more trails across the U.S., with matching funding available to communities in the American Heartland.


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Braking News

Sophia and William, two ninth graders in the Thaden Wheels program, practice their bike skills.

NWA SCHOOL BRINGS WHEELS TO THE CLASSROOM he recreational cycling scene in Arkansas has grown considerably in recent years. Thanks to local advocacy efforts and generous funding, miles of biking trails and cycling parks have been built. These great resources provide ample opportunities for young people in our state to explore their communities on bike. Too often, however, bicycling is relegated to a recreational activity. Thaden School’s Wheels program offers an innovative alternative: bring cycling into the classroom. Thaden School, a new independent school in Bentonville, opened its doors in August 2017 with approximately 45 students in grades seven and nine. The young school will grow incrementally over the next few years to serve students in grades sixth through twelve thanks, in part, to its innovative Signature Programs. In addition to offering traditional courses like math and English, all Thaden students enroll in the school’s signature Wheels, Reels, and Meals courses, which connect the school to the region and encourage students to combine multiple fields of study while engaging with the community in ways that foster civic and global responsibility. All three signature programs grew from Founding Head of School Clayton Marsh’s intensive exploration of the region in his first six months on the job. “From the beginning, Thaden has lived in my imagination as a school that will build upon the history, character and strengths of Northwest Arkansas. It was impossible not to notice the Razorback Greenway, the extensive networks of mountain biking trails and the strong culture of cycling,” says Marsh. Thaden School’s Wheels program takes advantage of the region’s extensive network of bike paths and trails and connects cycling to the school’s academic curriculum. Students use the motion and design of a bicycle to explore questions in math and physics. For example, math students in seventh grade recently tried to determine how far a bike will travel after one revolution of the pedals. With the help of math teacher Hallie Balcomb, cycle education specialist Michael Crum and the resources in

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the school’s bike lab, students used a combination of quantitative reasoning and real-life trial-and-error to explore how a variety of factors such as the terrain, the weight of the rider, and the size and aerodynamics of the bike would influence their answer. Visual arts students were challenged on the first day of class to draw a bike from memory, requiring them to consider design, style and the functional structure of a bike. Using their sketchbooks and later watercolors, the students drew and painted bicycles and their parts. This project challenged them to understand the physics that go into making a bike “bikeable,” while also creating space for students to cultivate their own artistic vision and voice. In addition to connecting cycling to more traditional academic coursework, the school fosters students’ cycling knowledge and capabilities. Students have opportunities to gain technical skills while building and repairing bikes under the guidance of local experts in the school’s innovative cycle lab. They learn about cycling and safety. Moreover, the school partners with local bicyling organizations. For example, Thaden students have partnered with Bike NWA on local bicycling advocacy projects, and they have learned from Progressive Trail Design about how to design bike trails. Finally, and most importantly, the students have ample opportunities to ride! Students ride during Wheels class, after school on the NICA team and will soon enjoy a bike course on their very own campus. In the words of the Thaden School’s cycle education specialist, the goal of the Thaden bike curriculum is to “connect some of the ideas and concepts the students are learning in other classes to an object nearly all kids are familiar with: the bicycle. Through the bicycle, we can learn about health and wellness, physics, math and geometry, as well as city infrastructure and its effects on citizens.” The school’s programs offer an innovative and advanced vision for what biking can look like in our schools.

PHOTO: THADEN SCHOOL

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BY HANNAH BAHN


KICK OFF THE CYCLING SEASON. DATE: Saturday, April 21, 2018 PRICE: $45 through 3/15 | $55 through 4/15 | $65 after 4/16 RIDE: 20 miles, 50 miles or 100K (63 miles) Register online at ARheart.com today.

CURIOSITY Naturally Made

Arkansas is causing a bit of a commotion in the world of mountain biking. bloggers, bike nuts and shredders from across the country are flocking to see if what they’ve heard is true. It is. Learn about the mountain biking boom in The Natural State at Arkansas.com/bicycling. What will you make in Arkansas?

Arkansas.com

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Braking News

EIGHT WEEK PROGRAM FOR NOVICE FEMALE RIDERS BY BILL SMITH

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athe Carnes and former Jonesboro resident Sally Broadaway were out on a group ride of mostly women along a county highway when she saw the need for a cycling class. “It was a hilly, winding road and I watched in horror as some of them rode three or four abreast along those curves,” she recalled. “Then Sally had a flat, and the group left us behind on the side of the road. We decided, right there on Highway 226, we needed to teach some etiquette, road rules and street smarts.” Adopting the famous Rosie the Riveter icon, Women Can Ride (WCR) began in 2011 and became an outreach of the Northeast Arkansas Bicycle Coalition (NEABC). The name was an adaptation of the popular Women Can Run groups across the country. Starting with the basics on bike safety and maintenance, the first ride typically is around a spacious church parking lot near downtown Jonesboro. As the twice-a-week meetings continue, the rides get longer by adding neighborhood streets, then parts of the hilly sections of tow, and, finally, incorporating the busy main roads. “By the end, we want them to feel confident with any road, any situation,” Carnes said. After the first course, Carnes and Broadaway paid their own way to become League Certified Instructors (LCI) from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). They adapted the LAB’s Smart Cycling course into their eight-week program designed to build skill and confidence for novice female riders. Perhaps as important, WCR is the network for the riders. Carnes maintains a private Facebook group for current participants, alumnae and other interested women in the Jonesboro region. Carnes has some male LCIs that assist as sweepers and support

20 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

for the twice-a-week course rides, and spouses of WCR alumni on the list, including her husband, Zeb. “I’ve found we feel safer riding in groups,” she said. “The list gives us a place where we can announce to others we trust, ‘Hey, who wants to do a ride tomorrow at 6 p.m.?’ You can let people know where you will be without the worry of someone using social media to find out that you are out in a remote spot by yourself.” The value of the training is real. Recently, a pair of teenage boys in a four-wheel ATV rode up alongside a group that included Carnes on a Sunday afternoon in the Valley View area of Jonesboro. One of the boys reached out and slapped Carnes on her rear as they passed. “I’m not sure what they were thinking, but I know if I hadn’t had the experience and training to hold my line when he startled me, I might have swerved into the rider to my right,” she said. “Two of the other three ladies had been through WCR and I think it helped them also.” While WCR concentrates on bringing newcomers onto the roads, Carnes knows there is something for everyone in these types of safety courses. She continues to assist with the traditional two-day Smart Cycling 101 curriculum of the LAB that is hosted by NEABC in the region. “Learning to ride in traffic isn’t difficult, but it is a skill,” she said. “The League’s motto for Vehicular Cycling is ‘Cyclists fare best when they act as, and are treated like, vehicles.’ It’s true. Even the most experienced road riders will pick up knowledge about crash avoidance or road strategy in one of these courses.” The 2018 program begins on the Tuesday after Mother’s Day in Jonesboro.

PHOTO: BILL SMITH

A group of female riders prepare for another local training ride on the dos and don’ts of the roads in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Cathe Carnes’ Women Can Ride group provides mentoring for novice riders and networking for advanced riders seeking safe groups with whom to ride.


America has fallen in love with cycling, and cyclists have fallen in love with the Arkansas Delta. Who wouldn’t be passionate about a region that offers miles of stunning scenic beauty in a gently rolling landscape that is easily pedaled, yet challenging enough to do your body a world of good? What kind of ride makes your heart pump a little faster? We’ve got it! Visit our website for everything you need to know about our routes, trails and tours. Come ride with us!

Jonesboro, Arkansas: A rider challenges his skills on the exhilarating trails of Craighead Forest Park.

deltabyways.com/cycling This ad paid for with a combination of state funds and private regional association funds.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 21


Bike Gear

CAMPUS GEAR

GET AROUND CAMPUS OR AROUND TOWN WITH THESE HANDY ITEMS. FROM OUR GUEST EDITORS For trips around campus or commuting through town, our guest editors have selected their favorite items to make the trip enjoyable and functional.

1

2 PHOTOS COURTESY OF VENDORS

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4 22 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

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2. Gore Power Trail GT Active

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3. Wald 582 Folding Rear Baskets

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4. iPhone

“I have apps that track your heart rate, power, distance and keep up with your friends. Also, route and trail map apps are essential to finding new trails and not getting lost. Siri helps with instant camera and video functions—that way you won’t miss that once in a lifetime shot of Sasquatch.”­— Bob Black-Ocken

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Items available from your local retailer. BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 23


MY KIT PHOTOS BY NOVO STUDIO

NAME : Emma Johnson HOMETOWN : Little Rock OCCUPATION: Student and cyclist WHERE I RIDE: I love riding down at Big Dam Bridge and Two Rivers because I can get there easily and tt feels like a safe place for me because there are so many people I see around that I know. My favorite type of riding is cyclocross because it’s just fun. It’s like a big party and it’s always entertaining and messy.

THE PLAYLIST: I listen to music when mountain biking but not on the road. I like upbeat stuff because it’s catchy and it keeps me energized.

THE BIKE: My road bike is a Fuji. I have had it for almost a year now and I really like it. It’s super light and a perfect fit for me with all the colors and patterns.

WHY I RIDE: I ride because it makes me feel good. It takes away all the stress I have going on and I can just focus on the bike. It’s also introduced me to some amazing people and they keep me motivated. It keeps me in shape and it’s something I really enjoy. Emma Johnson, NICA cyclist and Leborne race team member, sits atop her FUJI bike on the Big Dam Bridge. Emma’s dad, Cory Johnson, is featured on page 26. 24 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


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The trails in and around Eureka Springs have been a biking enthusiast’s dream for over 130 years. Today, some of the most challenging mountain bike trails in the region can be found here. These new trails have been cut by the experts. Some say they are the best downhill runs this side of the Rockies. So, the next time you and your friends are looking for some epic “hang time,” veer off the beaten path and shred the new mountain bike trails in Eureka Springs... your extraordinary escape!

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BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 25


MY KIT PHOTOS BY NOVO STUDIO

NAME : Cory Johnson HOMETOWN : Little Rock OCCUPATION: Principal Broker for JK Real Estate

WHERE I RIDE: When I mountain bike, my favorite place to ride is Camp Robinson. It is a great compact trail system for a “backyard” playground. If I day trip, then the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail is epic! I try and hit it a few times a year. When road riding I like to combine gravel roads with bike paths around town or just outside of town as much as I can. Lake Sylvia and Winona have some amazing forest service road rides.

THE PLAYLIST: I do listen to music except when riding with someone else on a road ride. Usually ride to jam bands or Jazz-Funk music... keeps my pedals cranking.

THE BIKE: I have a Moots Routt for my gravel/road bike. It’s an absolutely amazing bike. It makes me feel like going on an epic adventure ride every time I ride it. My mountain bike is currently a steel hardtail 27.5+ rig, but who knows next week or month what that will be. I trade in and out of mountain bikes way too much, but just like to be on the trails trying new options.

WHY I RIDE: The freedom and simplicity and just being outside with people who have similar interests. Bikes are just cool!

Cory Johnson, NICA coach and the father of Emma, featured on page 24, rides nearly every day, often at the Big Dam Bridge.

26 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


XLAB GEAR POD: “I’ve never liked a dangling saddlebag, so instead I carry a water-bottle-style tool holder.” $9.95

GARMIN 520: “I started using a Garmin again about a year ago. It meshes up my rides with my heart rate monitor.” $249

From paved paths through city parks to rugged mountain bike trails to sharrows on most main roads, Conway is working to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in the state.

MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR VEST: “This wind vest is really functional. It folds into its own mesh pocket and fits under my cycling jersey if I need to wad it up.” No longer available; comparable vests start at $59.95.

If you don’t own a bike, you can rent a cruiser for up to a full day from one of five bike-share stations throughout town. And when you finish your ride, stop in to one of our local restaurants to refuel. For more information about Conway bike trails visit CycleConway.com.

GORE BIKE WEAR GLOVES: “They’re windproof. Enough said.” $49.95 Items available from your local retailer.

CVB@ConwayArkansas.org ConwayArk.com 866.7CONWAY

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 27


BY BOB BLACK-OCKEN PHOTOGRAPHY NOVO STUDIO 28 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


Facing page: Bob Black-Ocken crossing one of many new bridges built by the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance (CATA) on the trail named Zig Zag. Below: The streams are beautiful in the spring at Camp Robinson. Bob rolls through the mystic Zig Zag trail.

A

s the father of four, it’s hard to find much time to ride my bike. I could travel over 40 miles to find awesome trails to ride, or I could just head to Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. The mountain bike trails there were founded by the good folks of C.A.R.P. (Central Arkansas Recreational Pedalers). The group, armed with tools, muscle, energy and coffee, has created an incredible system of trails worth checking out. There is also an interactive online map you can print and take with you to explore the trails. If you are tech savvy, download a map to a GPS unit. I have been riding and training at Camp Robinson with friends for almost 20 years. Every Wednesday, I meet my posse of four or five close longtime riding friends. We go for a weekly fast-and-furious ride of 10 to 15 miles, followed by a couple of adult beverages and sometimes a small cookout, complete with the dogs of death—that’s overcooked hot dogs charred to perfection and smothered in mustard, ketchup and relish. Camp Robinson, with its 40-plus miles of trails, makes me feel so removed from my busy life—and in an urban area, no less. Each time I arrive I pick a different trail depending on my mood and fitness level. There is always the right trail to ride. Sometimes I will bring my son and his dog; we can ride at his pace and take the dog off the leash. I feel secure on this trail system. The trailheads are well marked, and the trails also include shelters and port-a-johns. The best trail names in the state are found here: Advanced Trig, Ball of Nails, Can of Corn, Porta Potty, Buddha and Dead Elvis are some of my favorites. On the right day, riding Porta Potty feels like catching a wave for the first time. Riding so close to the trees and rocks, it seems as if they are going to crash into me at any moment. As I look up the trail on the horizon, I can see more gnarly single track. I position myself to ride the wave again, descending at breakneck speed. Somehow, I survive as I ride it out, looking for the calm out in the next section of trail, my heart pounding in my head. I am a surfer of the trail. On any given day, I can make new friends and see old ones at the trailhead. I always bring a chair and hang out for a while after I ride. One thing you will not find is the helicopter flyovers. We have a couple

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 29


Clockwise from right: The flow of a trail is very important to many riders. Bob finds fast flow on his favorite trail called Porta Potty.

of riders who are assigned to Camp Robinson and are pilots. If they see us riding, they do a low maneuver giving us a thrill while riding. Other things that make these trails particularly enjoyable include the fact that the system is a living, breathing thing. The trails are constantly changing. New trails appear, old trails get rerouted, new bridges show up— all due to a group of aging advocates who act on their dreams to improve the trails. I am on the board and love to hang out with the trail stewards at Central Arkansas Trail Alliance. After an evening ride, you’ll hear about new areas they have discovered, reroutes that will improve flow and new connectors allowing for better ride routes. You might also find a beverage or two! This is where mountain biking in central Arkansas was born and still lives. I love the excitement of bombing down some hand-cut single track, catching a glimpse of another rider or runner on another trail and then they’re gone, or stopping at an intersection and making the call for what you’re up for next. When you’re contemplating improving your personal record on Porta Potty counterclockwise, all stresses in your life just fade away. For the next 20 or 30 minutes you are a part of the trail; the rocks, the roots, the climbs and the tight turns are your entire life. Drop by the visitor center and fill out the check-in. You’ll need your driver’s license and tag number. It’s been recommended that you write them both on the back of your blue window card so you can just carry it in and sign. Get back in your car, show your Sportsman Pass to the guard at the gate and head out to ride. Cool.

30 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


Trailblazers

COREEN FRASIER has been road cycling since about 1985. And she doesn’t just commute or visit the occasional trail—she rides to see the country. She recently finished Route 66, and her next planned trip is in 2019, when she plans to ride the East Coast Greenway from Florida to Maine. On Coreen’s trips, she rides about 40 to 50 easy miles a day. While she usually travels with a friend, she’s perfectly content to travel alone when necessary because, “Most people are good.” Coreen’s bike, a Bike Friday, folds, and when necessary she can easily take it with her on a plane. Coreen, a board member of Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas (BACA), is a League Cycling Instructor, and she often goes to schools to speak with kindergarten classes about bike safety. She would like to see infrastructures continue to improve so cross-state routes can be added, particularly in Arkansas. BACA is working with the Bike Friendly City Committee and Metroplan on the in-progress expansion of the Southwest Trail .—LT

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 31


PHOTOS COURTESY OF LITTLE BELLAS

The April 2017 launch of the first-ever Little Bellas program in Arkansas at Blowing Springs in Bella Vista.

YOUNG GIRLS BUILD CONFIDENCE THROUGH MOUNTAIN BIKING

F

BY HANNAH BAHN

or Kelsey Miller, the program lead of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Little Bellas, bicycling has always been about community at Blowing Springs Park in Bella Vista. A self-described “Walmart Kid,” Kelsey moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, when she was eight and, while she had always enjoyed riding bikes in her neighborhood, it was not until she befriended a girl named Ali in junior high that Kelsey became an avid bicyclist. The teenage duo fostered one another’s love of the sport. Together, they found bike routes to each other’s houses and to school; and they braved the slopes behind their homes, woods that would eventually become the Slaughter Pen mountain biking trail system. As the girls grew older, they left their mountain bikes behind and began to focus on road biking. For many years, this, not mountain biking, remained Kelsey’s passion. In fact, it was not until Kelsey moved back to Bentonville after graduating from the University of Arkansas that she again discovered the soft trails. Kelsey was planning to sell her mountain bike when some friends invited her on a ride. Thanks, once again, to her community, Kelsey became enamored with mountain biking. Today, Kelsey seeks to foster a similar sense of community for young, female mountain bikers in Northwest Arkansas through the Little Bellas program. While she had long been involved in programs such as Girls Bike Bentonville and Dirt Divas, Kelsey first discovered Little Bellas in a surprising location...Instagram. 32 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

After scrolling through the Minnesota chapter’s photos and reading the organization’s website, she knew she wanted to start the program here in Arkansas, so she did. The Little Bellas is a mountain bike organization whose goal is to help young women realize their potential through cycling. According to the organization’s website, Little Bellas aims to “create a community that will empower girls through the sport, emphasize the importance of goal-setting, promote healthy lifestyles, and recognize the positive effects of strong female bonds.” While the program is centered around creating camaraderie for girls on bikes, Little Bellas emphasizes that it is most importantly about “having fun in a constructive environment.” Founded by sisters Sabra and Lea Davison, and fellow mountain biker Angela Irvine, Little Bellas was created in 2007 to remedy the lack of female mountain bikers. The three women felt that the status quo in sports at the time too often decreased girls’ self-esteem and discouraged them from participating in the sport. They wanted to create a program in which respect and support were keystone values, and a where a community of women could encourage the next generation of girls to participate in mountain biking. Kelsey started Arkansas’s first Little Bellas program in Bentonville in the Spring of 2017. The program serves girls aged seven to fifteen, and it has been a hit so far. The Northwest Arkansas chapter of Little Bellas offers winter and spring


“I WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO SEE THEMSELVES AS SUCCESSFUL, EVEN IF THEY FAIL IN THE SHORT TERM.”—KELSEY MILLER sessions, each of which is supported by a team of mentors, so that participants have opportunities to form close bonds with one another and the adult leaders. On a typical day, the girls and their mentors start with a warm-up game. They then divide up the snacks, break into three groups (who they will ride with each week of the program), and hit the trails for a ride that typically lasts about 45 minutes. Each day ends with fun games that the girls play as a whole group. For example, participants might have to navigate a tight maze of cones without “dabbing” (putting their foot on the ground) or they might compete in a water gun biathlon event. As their daily schedule makes clear, the program emphasizes fun first and foremost. As Kelsey put it, “Little Bellas is a mountain biking mentoring program that focuses on building confidence and having fun. We want girls to gain mountain biking skills but that’s not the main goal. Our main goal is for them to build confidence in themselves and to know they can accomplish challenging things.” This emphasis on confidence building is captured in the program’s language. The adult leaders are mentors, not coaches. Their job is to cultivate a supportive environment for the girls to challenge themselves, all while building lasting friendships. When asked what she loves most about the program, Kelsey says she likes that Little Bellas is about a community of women helping to foster a future community of women: “I like building that confidence in girls, whether or not they stick with mountain biking. I want them to be able to see themselves as successful, even if they fail in the short term.” On the mountain biking trails, failure can come quickly and often. Falls are common, as are the scrapes, bumps and bruises that come along with them. But Kelsey and her fellow mentors love to encourage the girls to see these brief moments of failure as opportunities for growth. Mountain biking, in Kelsey’s mind, is often dependent on overcoming one’s fears. Kelsey wants her Little Bellas participants to approach life’s challenges, whether a difficult mountain biking trail or something much larger like applying for a job or navigating a tricky relationship, and to think, “I’m scared but I know I can do this. I am capable.” And the Little Bellas participants are just that, confident and capable. In these ways, Kelsey Miller’s story has come full circle. She cultivated her love of biking alongside friends as a child, and she is now creating similar opportunities for young girls to bond on their bikes. Those interested in getting involved with Little Bellas in Northwest Arkansas, whether as an adult mentor, as a participant or starting their own chapter elsewhere, should visit the organization’s website: littlebellas.com.

Top to bottom: Two Little Bellas in the Winter Session take on larger obstacles but still have a good time. A program favorite is the color day, in which the girls ride their bikes around and splatter each other with color powder.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 33


PHOTOS COURTESY OF UOFA/ASU/UCA

Students at the University of Arkansas navigate the hills of Fayetteville on the way to classes. Fayetteville, one of the leading bike friendly towns, recently gained a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly University.

BIKES AND UNIVERSITIES BY LACEY THACKER

A

ssociate Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications Bill Smith said, “Bottom line – this generation of students wants to ride more for transportation and drive less. The future is more active transportation in our state, and those of us at local universities can provide the leadership to make that happen.” As a part of its Bicycle Friendly America program, the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) has a special division for Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFU). To achieve BFU status, applicants must meet or exceed standards established by the League in five areas: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation. The applications are reviewed by league staff, local cyclists and outside experts. The state of Arkansas now has four Bicycle Friendly Universities with Hendrix College, University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and University of Arkansas in Fayetteville joining the first, Arkansas State University. While the state is only 35th in the LAB’s Bicycle Friendly State rankings, its four BFUs are more than all of its bordering states except Texas, which has six. A longtime cyclist, Smith arrived in 2013 as the new communications and marketing director. He’d worked on projects with other cities and universities for bicycle friendly applications, and he saw that there was potential for growth. 34 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

In a meeting with campus architect and planner Bill Hall, they discovered that with a little additional investment Arkansas State could become bicycle friendly. At the time, Jonesboro was home to the only Silver Bicycle Friendly Business in the state, Gearhead Outfitters, and A-State had a system of unmarked mixed-use paths. “I could see we had all the elements,” Smith said. “There was a bike share program. There was the start of a trail system. We’d just opened a residence hall with indoor bicycle storage. But the bottom line – the generation of students we were seeing come to town wanted that space to be a more bicycle- and pedestrianfriendly campus.” Smith and Hall proposed usage of on-road marking to encourage the use of campus core pathways. At the same time, the Student Government Association raised concerns about the need for more campus bicycle racks for residents. Bringing together the students, faculty and staff into a campus bicycle master planning committee, the result was the Pedestrian and Cyclists (PAC) Paths.” At just over eight miles of marked paths and roads, the PAC Paths became the key engineering and encouragement portion of A-State’s BFU application. Combined with more promotion of the campus bike share and enhanced involvement to grow the Tour Duh Sunken Lands, a 50-mile bicycle event linking together several tourist


locations—including A-State Heritage Sites like the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home at Dyess and the Southern Tennant Farmer’s Museum in Tyronza – Arkansas State became the first BFU in Arkansas during the fall of 2014. “Achieving status as the first BFU in the state has opened the door to more improvements,” Smith said. “We see ourselves as providing leadership and opening the door for more bicyclefriendly improvements in the city of Jonesboro and our region. There’s a strong bike community here, but creating our campus master plan and other enhancements is our way of giving back to the city.” The university commitment to enhancing its bicycle community led to a $500,000 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant in 2016 to build a mile-long separated path along West Aggie Road and the University Loop. Taking the PAC Paths to almost ten miles with other additions, A-State is planning additional separated bicycle lanes to provide connectivity through its campus to other sections of Jonesboro. In fall 2017, A-State achieved another milestone by partnering with LimeBike to become the first dockless bike share in the Mid-South. With almost 500 bicycles accessible by mobile app, the A-State partnership was featured nationally and is one of the top four universities in rider traffic for LimeBike. Where Arkansas State moved to provide leadership within its community, the University of Arkansas sought to leverage the power of the burgeoning bike culture of Northwest Arkansas.

With the city of Fayetteville considered one of the first, and strongest, Bicycle Friendly Cities in the state, the Razorbacks jumped into the Bike Friendly University rankings as a Silverlevel member in 2016. But the U of A is working to move up the ladder. “We’re proud of the Silver Bicycle Friendly University accomplishment, but we haven’t hit our stride yet,” said Eric Boles, director of the UA Office for Sustainability. “There are exciting bicycling improvements in the works. We’re determined to help bicycle commuters stay safe and have even more fun!” With an on-campus bike shop and UA police officers patrolling campus on bicycles, U of A also hosts fall and spring special events for students. The Razor Bikes program provides loaner bicycles to students, and the UA cycling team is the strongest USA Cycling collegiate division team in the state. The Fayetteville campus also received a major Transportation Alternatives Program grant in 2016 to build to better connection to the city trails that lead up to the edge of the largest university in the state. The connectivity allows UA students to live anywhere along the currently 34-mile-long Razorback Greenway that spans the two bike friendly counties of Washington and Benton in Northwest Arkansas. In the fall of 2017, nine representatives from the UA and the city of Fayetteville traveled to Colorado to tour platinum BFU Colorado State University and gold-level University of Colorado.

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Left to right: Partly to encourage more students to utilize campus routes, Arkansas State faculty and staff come out for a casual “Red Wolves Roll” each Friday evening around the campus. The slow-paced social ride welcomes newcomers to use the campus’ Pedestrian and Cyclists Path trail system along with the lower traffic roads near the A-State campus. University of Central Arkansas students gather outside the newly built Donaghey Hall for a sunset bike ride.

During the tour, delegates met with university and city staff to discuss how their vision of a bike-friendly community was made a reality. They also experienced first-hand the thriving cycling cultures in Fort Collins and Boulder through a multitude of bicycle tours. “Part of our goal is to integrate our two systems to make Fayetteville an eminently bikeable city,” Boles added. One of the steps in that direction was the establishment of a bike-ped coordinator who splits time between UA and the city. Conway may want to counter that it is the college campus biking town. The state’s second BFU was Hendrix College in 2016, joined by the University of Central Arkansas in 2017. Touting itself as the city of colleges for some time, the effort to connect UCA and Hendrix to its downtown area began in 2014 though sharrows and other trail elements in the Conway bike-ped plan. Meanwhile, at UCA, students were the driving force according to Peter Mehl, chair of the campus bicycle friendly committee. Starting with a push for bikes that could be checked out from the health and fitness center and the establishment of a campus bike club, it was student interest that led UCA to join with the city to bring Zagster, a docked bike share system, to campus. “UCA is joining forces with the city of Conway to expand recreational and commuter bicycling because we know that quality of place is an important consideration when students, faculty or staff choose where they want to live, work and study,” Mehl said. Mehl is quick to point out that having former UCA President Tom Courtway behind the initial push was important. “He’s a cyclist himself,” Mehl added. In fact, having a cycling chancellor or president is something common to most of the state’s BFUs. Both Hendrix and UCA share a common investment in infrastructure. For UCA, it was adding to its existing oncampus bike paths with a bridge across Dave Ward Drive

36 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

that will connect the south side of its campus to its main core. Hendrix has a similar flyover that connects its main campus to the Hendrix Village and athletics fields across Harkrider Street. Hendrix’s “Bike Revolution” student organization led the way for programs, including supporting Bailey Library in maintaining the fleet of campus bikes which are available for free check-out. While the current four BFUs in Arkansas get the attention, the movement to enhance the student cycling experience has spread to every corner of the state. In both Fort Smith and Russellville, city leaders have seen the value of making the connection between their four-year university campus and downtown. The Blue Lion Bikeway was a collaborative effort of UA-Fort Smith, the city, and the local Arvest bank management. With Arvest providing a $50,000 grant, the city utilized a mixture of on-road markings and signage to create the seven-mile path from UAFS to the Arkansas River and downtown in August 2016. Russellville’s 1.5-mile El Paso Avenue Trail is a traditional side path that separates riders and pedestrians from traffic. Ending at the gates of Arkansas Tech University’s football stadium, Buerkle Field, the trail is featured as a case study example of a separated bike lane by the Federal Highway Administration in the recent Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks publication. Published in 2016, the “STAR” handbook is the resource for rural and lower density localities to adapt national design standards. Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia joined the bicycle share trend as the Mule Rides, a traditional docked system, was launched in January 2018. UA-Little Rock added to its on-campus mixed use trail offerings with the state’s second dockless bike share, welcoming SPIN in February.


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BIKE ADVOCATES FOR NORTHWEST ARKANSAS BY HANNAH BAHN

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hat is the best way to cultivate a bike-friendly community? “Start them young,” says BikeNWA. Since 1999, BikeNWA has been working to make Northwest Arkansas a more cycling-friendly region by supporting the work of local bike organizations and advocating for better bike infrastructure and bike-friendly policies. According to the Arkansas-based nonprofit, bike-friendly communities require bike-friendly cultures and what better way to shift the culture of a car-centric region than by fostering an awareness-of and love-for bicycling among the area’s children? To make this vision a reality, BikeNWA has spent the past many years working in schools to bring biking to young people. The organization first began working in education in 2009, thanks to a grant funded by the national organization Safe Routes to School. With these funds, the nonprofit purchased a fleet of forty bikes for Fayetteville Public Schools that were stationed at each elementary school in the district for two weeks during the school year. While the bikes were on campus, every third, fourth and fifth grader participated in a bike education program through their physical education course. All students also received a helmet that they could take home with them. BikeNWA next partnered with the Bentonville Public Schools in 2012, where they purchased a fleet of 30-40 bikes for each school, all of which would remain on their campuses on a permanent basis, and expanded their curriculum to serve students in grades 3-12. This shift from a rotating bike fleet to one that permanently lives on each school’s campus allowed for far more extensive education and great collaborations between math, science and physical education courses. The organization later instituted similar permanent fleets in all of Fayetteville and 38 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

Springdale’s public schools (500 and 800 bikes, respectively) and in four of Rogers’ schools. Using BikeNWA’s extensive curriculum, students in Northwest Arkansas schools now learn how to ride a bike safely, navigating around people and other obstacles, and how to follow the rules of the road. BikeNWA staff offer additional in-person support in schools, as well, where they teach about awareness, appropriate behavior and gear, and why it is important to never assume that drivers can see people riding bikes. These lessons prepare young people to be safe riders, walkers, and future drivers. This spring, BikeNWA will build on their previous work in schools when they partner with Thaden School in Bentonville, Arkansas, to introduce students to bike advocacy work. The new independent school’s students will work in partnership with BikeNWA to investigate characteristics of bike-friendly communities and explore possible bike infrastructure improvements to a street close to Thaden. This course will move beyond safety curriculum, instead challenging students to consider what broader structural changes can facilitate a more bike-friendly community. This partnership represents a great extension of the organization’s work in schools, allowing BikeNWA to more closely involve young people in directly helping to create a more bike-friendly Northwest Arkansas. Asked what they would like to see going forward, Executive Director Paxton Roberts said that if he could wave a magic wand, he would start exposing students to cycling as early as kindergarten using balance bikes. The staff at BikeNWA all firmly believe that if you start introducing children to bicycling at a younger age, they will grow up on a bike, and it will become a part of their everyday life. This, in turn, can encourage them

PHOTO COURTESY OFSAM SLATON

Thaden School students navigate an obstacle course during a bike skills assessment.


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IT IS IMPORTANT TO NEVER ASSUME THAT DRIVERS CAN SEE PEOPLE ON BIKES. to become advocates for a bike-friendly community and to be more aware as both a biker and driver. Along with this, Paxton wishes that more schools would have opportunities to have fleets of bikes on their campus, so that biking can become a more integral part of schools’ curricula. BikeNWA believes that the presence of bikes in childrens’ lives will be two fold: it will help raise a generation of bike-friendly, bike-aware citizens and, hopefully, it will help to foster a better bike culture currently, as children are often best suited to educate their parents and inspire change. Shifting a car-centric culture, one in which people assume that a car is the way to get around is not easy. But introducing young people to alternatives at a younger age and giving them the tools to walk or bike safely can make a big difference. BikeNWA is leading the charge in Arkansas to bring biking to our schools. For those looking to support biking in schools, BikeNWA says that schools are always in need of volunteers, as getting thirty-to-forty kids on bikes in a one-hour P.E. class is a big task. Schools are also encouraged to contact the organization if they would like to bring the bike curriculum to their school.

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NICA BRINGS CYCLING TO SCHOOLS BY BOB BLACK-OCKEN

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he National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is a nonprofit organization that promotes high school and junior high mountain biking programs in the United States. NICA provides governance, leadership and program support to regional high school mountain biking organizations. NICA’s mission is to “develop junior high and high school mountain biking programs for student athletes across the United States.” It started in 1998: Matt Fritzinger wanted to start a road biking team at Berkeley High School. At his first practice, four kids showed up, but they were all riding mountain bikes. Because of this, Matt decided they would become a mountain bike team, the first high school mountain bike team in the country. Over the next six years, mountain biking would continue to grow, eventually leading to the creation of the Second League in Southern California. With the increasing size of the league, it was decided that a management organization of the leagues must be established. From this NICA was born. In Arkansas, Alan Ley and Kyla Templeton, friends with the 40 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

dream of teaching students the safe way to ride a bike, organized and started the Arkansas Interscholastic Cycling League in 2015. After finding out about NICA through Alan, Kyla wanted to know more. A mother of two young boys, she read the first chapter of the NICA handbook and thought, This is the kind of organization I want my kids involved in. Today, NICA has expanded into 23 states with 24 leagues and over 14,000 student athletes and coaches. In 2016, the Arkansas NICA program had 168 kids, 15 teams and 49 coaches. In 2017, it expanded to 295 kids, 20 teams and 108 coaches. In 2018, Kyla hopes to grow to 400–500 kids, 25 teams and 130 coaches. The goal of the program is to provide a fun, safe and highquality mountain biking program for students in grades 6 to 12. With the cooperation of our partners and our sponsors, we provide a first-class mountain bike racing experience. Regardless of ability level, the Arkansas League is committed to providing a safe and positive experience for all student athletes in accordance with NICA’s Five Core Principles: Inclusive, Equal, Strong Body, Strong

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB BLACK-OCKEN

Eighth-graders Mackenzie Chavez, Ryleigh Reddell, Emma Johnson and Dallice White line up before the start of a three-lap race at Lake Leatherwood near Eureka Springs.


Thank you!

Mind and Strong Character. In turn, Arkansas’ goal is to create lifelong cyclists who are conscientious, responsible and empowered, according to Kyla Templeton, league director. The Arkansas League is committed to teaching safe riding practices through fundamental skills training. The high school and junior high teams are the best way for students to learn how to ride safely. To learn safe riding techniques or to learn how to teach these skills, join our next rider camp or coaches’ conference. NICA is a youth development program on mountain bikes for junior high and high school age student athletes. This includes home schoolers. For many kids, it is an after school program much like any other school club. Some teams consist of kids from just one school, and other teams are composite teams of kids from multiple schools. Teams can practice starting July 1 and typically meet two to or three times a week from then until the race season ends in the beginning of November.  Teams often practice in a park or field during the week if there are not trails close to their school. On the weekends, they ride single-track trails across Arkansas. The program defines abilities at three levels. A beginner rider with basic skills, an Adventurer rider, and Performance rider. It is not mandatory for the kids to race to participate in the mountain bike team. There are kids on teams who don’t race at all. Each team has needs that don’t require the participant to be on a bike. Like any team, there are equipment managers, mechanics, photographers, and more. The Arkansas NICA races have a festival atmosphere with studentathletes, parents, coaches, siblings and friends camping out, hanging out, sharing meals and encouraging one another the whole weekend.  Students are divided into categories by age and gender for racing and awards. Most of the student athletes love to race, but they don’t all have to win to feel successful. I believe when a student athlete shows up to a start line, he or she has already won the race.

"

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BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 41


Don’t Forget To Take Your Bike Oregon’s McKenzie River Trail STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY by Bob Robinson

The lush Oregon Willamette Forest borders most of the McKenzie River Trail. 42 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


Bob Robinson, author of three bicycle guidebooks, crosses one of several single log bridges that crossed lower wetland areas on the McKenzie River Trail.

Sometimes good fortune just falls in your lap. Like my dad used to tell me, “Bobby, even a blind squirrel stumbles across an acorn once in a while.” This past summer I “stumbled across an acorn” when my friend Nancy and I were on a trip out west and our friend Michele texted me about a fun mountain bike trail she had heard about located near the area where we were. That evening I Googled the McKenzie River Trail (MRT). When I read that Bike Magazine named it America’s #1 bike trail, and MTB Project stated, “The MRT is often described as the #1 trail in the U.S.,” needless to say, a detour in our trip was in order. Start Point: 44.394259-122.002152 End Point: 44.218298,-122.059438 BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 43


THE McKENZIE RIVER TRAIL

Gushing 100’ Sahalie Falls on the McKenzie River Trail.

“I FOUND IT, WHIPPING THROUGH SWEEPING TURNS AROUND GIANT REDWOOD TREES, NOT KNOWING WHAT WOULD GREET ME AROUND THE CORNER…” 44 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

The southern end of the MRT is located about 50 miles east of Eugene, Oregon, on State Highway 126. You can start your ride at that point to ride an out and back, but that would mean a 3,300-foot elevation gain on your ride out that includes climbing up some extremely gnarly, techy lava rock. Most sane people are satisfied riding the 26mile trail just one-way beginning in the north at the Clear Lake Trailhead. Although many people who know me would not agree I fit in the category of “sane people,” I too began my ride at the Clear Lake Trailhead. The trail began as a nice four-feet-wide smooth dirt path that wound through healthy old growth coniferous forest. Shortly into the ride the trail split, forcing me to choose between following the east or west shores of Clear Lake. Having read the east side was filled with sharp tire-cutting lava rock, and knowing I would have plenty of “opportunity” to experience lava fields further along the MRT, I chose to not chance cutting my tires so early in the ride. I continued on the west lake shore. The west side trail soon passed through the Clear Lake Day Use Area with an interesting historic shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. This was a homey community that also had rustic cabins for rent. Exiting the day use area the trail transitioned to sweet single track with several short fun descents and views between tall giant redwoods of the pristine waters of Clear Lake. After crossing State Highway 126, I experienced my first encounter with the sharp rough rocks of a lava field. Executing a sustained balancing act, I worked my way over and around these intimidating obstacles. Soon I noticed a cloud of mist hovering among the trees ahead. After becoming immersed in this low-hanging haze, I paused to peer over a steep ledge into the rainbow-filled chasm of Sahalie Falls. This 100’ waterfall is the terminus of two thick flows of basaltic andesite lava that moved into the McKenzie River some 3,000 years ago. On the day I was there, massive volumes of water gushed over the jagged lava cliff to plunge into the pool below, the impact of the colliding waters filling the canyon floor with thunderous explosions. Leaving the falls behind I cautiously maneuvered my way down a long, steep, rocky descent, often pausing to enjoy beautiful views of the foaming white water cascading through the narrow river canyon that bordered the trail. Soon I passed an equally impressive Koosah Falls. The names of the falls came from Native Americans who once followed these same paths along the McKenzie River foraging for food and en route to trade in the Cascades, with Sahalie meaning “Heaven” and Koosah “sky.” The McKenzie River is one of the few rivers in Oregon that did not retain its Native American name, instead being named after Donald McKenzie, an early European expedition leader in the area. A lava flow from the Belknap Crater 1,600 years ago buried a threemile stretch of the McKenzie River, sending the water underground after leaving the second falls. The bike trail then bordered a dry river bed, snaking its way through heaping piles of hardened, jagged lava flow.


Top to bottom: John Fenger, frequent mountain biker, working his way through the rough lava section. A downed giant old growth conifer tree dwarfs Bob’s bicycle in the Willamette Forest.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 45


A tree clogged tributary alongside the trail.

Soon the short intermittent stretches of the rocky trail that were at least rideable disappeared, and it became an the endless fight to remain upright. With uninviting sharpedged lava mounds bordering the trail, I finally gave in and my fun jaunt through the forest became a hike-a-bike. My efforts were rewarded with a scenic third cliffrimmed basin vista from the crest of Tamolitch Falls. The falls themselves are not that impressive because they are usually dry. It is the pristine turquoise blue-colored pool some 49 feet below that has attracted visitors to the area for thousands of years. Blue Pool, as it is called for obvious reasons, is where the McKenzie River resurfaces to continue its journey above ground. There were a number of hikers on the trail after leaving Blue Pool who had begun their walk at the nearby Tamolitch Falls Trailhead. They were very friendly and accommodating to bikers, or else they moved out of my way in fear of my falling on them as I resumed my attempt to ride through the lava field. Soon the lava features were behind me, and the trail evolved into a gently sloping smooth dirt single track, with just enough narrow exposed ledges, surprise rocks and exposed roots to keep it exciting. Even though I knew I should take my time and enjoy the beautiful scenic surroundings, after the lava fields I was in bad

46 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

need of an adrenaline fix. And I found it, whipping through sweeping turns around giant redwood trees, not knowing what would greet me around the corner, but confident I would make the split-second decision needed to guide me safely through. With the end of my MRT adventure rapidly approaching, even though my legs were burning, I cranked it up a notch to push myself even faster. It would be a crime to end such an epic adventure leisurely pedaling across the finish. As I enjoyed a post-ride craft beer, I contemplated what was so special for the MRT to rate being the #1 mountain bike trail in the country? Sure, it contained super-fun downhill certain to fulfill a cyclist’s adrenaline fix, but I’ve ridden faster routes on other trails. And, yes, the waterfalls, dense redwood forest and the cascading river provided a natural picturesque setting. But I have ridden several mountain bike trails in other states that are equally as scenic. And the technical jagged lava rock does challenge a rider’s skill set. But once again, I’ve ridden harder trails. And that last 14 miles of winding flowy single track had me smiling so much my cheeks were almost too sore to smile for the post-ride photograph. Then I realized why the MRT is #1—the McKenzie River Trail has all of this on one trail! So next time you hit the highway, take your bike and find your acorn.


PLANNING YOUR MRT ADVENTURE

Top to bottom: Sweet rolling single track bordered by giant conifers. Bob with satisfied smile at finish of his McKenzie River Trail Adventure.

The MRT has camping within riding distance to the trail at Paradise Campground, Trail Bridge Campground and McKenzie River Campground. There is a great selection of lodging near the trail at Belkap Hot Springs Lodge, Inn at the Bridge Cabins and many others. You can hire a shuttle at Horse Creek Lodge & Outfitters to ride the preferred oneway downhill route. I recommend hauling your bikes on a platform-style bike rack, one that locks down on the tire and doesn’t have any parts touching the paint on your bike. I would also wrap a good sturdy locking cable around the bikes securing them to the car, not only to avoid theft but also in case the bike does come out of the rack the cable will keep it from flying into a car behind you. Spring for the extra expense to purchase the right equipment so you can mount your bike and forget about it, then enjoy the adventure.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 47


5

NEW TRAILS TO RIDE IN 2018 SILOAM SPRINGS TRAIL

Mountain biking in Arkansas has exploded in recent years, and trail construction has expanded right along with it. There have been many new trails built in just the past year alone. We thought this would be a good time to write about several of these new trails to help cyclists plan their upcoming mountain biking road trips. We hope this will encourage you to strike out on new mountain biking adventures within the Natural State. STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY BOB ROBINSON

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his trail was included in the “new rides to do in 2018” not only to get the word out about a new area mountain bike trail, but also because this is a great model for other communities to follow for bringing mountain bike trails to their area. David VanSandt, chairman of Borderline OORC (BOORC), began growing support for the trail back in 2001. By the time construction officially began in 2017, he had the cooperative support of Siloam Springs city officials, community members and experienced volunteer labor from area mountain bike group, Ozark Off Road Cyclists (OORC). The plan is to have a pump track and three miles of trail constructed around the City Lake area, and this will lead to another three miles of intermediate trails across the highway behind the lake. VanSandt and son Glendon met me at City Lake, located just north of Siloam Springs, in early 2018 to show me around. The trails around the lake were still under construction, but the intermediate trails were good to go. So, our group crossed the highway to the completed trail. Rogue Trails completed the initial three miles of trail and Borderline OORC, runners, hikers and other volunteers will construct the remaining trails. It is definitely some sweet single track, winding its way around and

over rolling hills. There are a few small short climbs, but nothing too challenging. Beginning mountain bikers will enjoy this trail and return often to refine their skills due to the limited exposure to injury if they make a mistake, which we all do. More advanced cyclists will also enjoy these trails, especially the nice downhill run located at the end of the trail. This run includes an elevated wooden launch deck to give riders a little push to get started and two tall wooden walls built by Fast Rack in the high-banked sweeping turns. The run then finishes at the bottom with three drops of progressing heights that guarantee cyclists leave the trail with smiles on their faces. If you want more miles, there is a three-and-a-half-mile connector bike path you can ride to reach the Sager Creek Mountain Bike Trail (SCT) located on the John Brown University campus, which is only about a year old itself. SCT has approximately seven miles of what they classify as beginner and intermediate trails. It’s flowy and fun, without too much climbing. Total miles for both trails plus the connector ride are over 16 miles, which will more than justify the drive to Siloam Springs to check it out.

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THE FAST AND FURIOUS

or those mountain bikers who like fast and technical downhill descents, Lake Leatherwood Park (LLP) should be at the top of your list of upcoming road trips. Unlike most trail systems in the area that offer only a single downhill course, LLP will have six separate downhill runs, each over a mile in length and loaded with an assortment of exciting super-sized features. Also unlike other area trail systems, all six routes will be rated as either intermediate or advanced—no beginner trails here. In early 2018, while researching trails for this article, Chad Landowski of Rock Solid Trail Construction gave me a tour of the first two trails they were working on at that time. En route to meet him, I ran into Chase Coffman of Springfield, Missouri, and invited him to join us. I had captured Coffman in four rapid-succession photos performing a backward flip on the Whale Tales jump at Rogers’ Railyard Bike Park for an earlier article. I knew he and Landowski would provide me with some great photo ops. The launch point for the two trails we visited began at the same site as the downhill route at the 2017 Fat Tire Festival. The elevated platform currently in use will be replaced by an even taller platform that will propel riders down both the existing downhill route and the two new ones. The trail Landowski led us on first was rated advanced, and the features constructed here more than lived up to that rating. However, even though the features are very technical and challenging, there is an easier bypass route around them. Landowski said all technical features on the new trails will provide a bailout path. The trail began with tall, perfectly angled earthen berms, allowing riders a chance to get into a rhythm. This was followed by a spacey double dirt jump that wasn’t too demanding, and a short drop, and then BOOM, the flow line was blocked by what

looked like a solid eight-foot rock wall. I quickly realized this was where advanced features began. I humbly chose the bailout route and then perched myself on a nearby rock ledge where I could photograph Landowski and Coffman, the real mountain bikers. I was glad to see that even they pulled up short at the base of this jump to study the ramp’s steep incline and discuss the tenfoot gap they would have to bridge at the top of the rock jump. Following more discussions and several practice approaches, soon both riders were speeding down the trail on their approach. Hitting the rock ramp, they were propelled high into air, gracefully flying across 10 feet of dead air space and then nailing a perfect landing. It was true art in motion watching the pair repeat the jump several additional times before proceeding to the next feature. The route contained several more equally demanding and challenging features that I, and by this time several other bikers who had gathered, watched while Landowski and Coffman did their thing. Landowski explained that the remaining four trails will be constructed on an adjoining mountainside. They are scheduled to have all six trails completed by the end of April 2018 and be included in the 2018 Arkansas Enduro Series, which is a qualifier for the World Enduro Series. So, start practicing your bike skills. Lake Leatherwood Park also offers camping and a 20-mile fun mix of cross-country mountain bike trails. It is also just a short five miles to visit the unique funky town of Eureka Springs, which offers lodging and an assortment of eating venues. The city of Eureka Springs is also considering adding a route from the lake to the top of the bike trails in their bus transit schedule, which will provide a welcome shuttle service for cyclists. 36.4251, 93.7680

EUREKA SPRINGS BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 49


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COLER WEST TRAIL

ith the grand opening back in the Spring of 2017, Phase 1 of the Coler Preserve Trails (CPT) rewrote the manual on mountain bike trail construction in Arkansas. For those cyclists who haven’t ridden this super-challenging and exciting trail, you need to put it on your to-do list, ASAP. For 2018, Progressive Trail Design (PTD) has written a new chapter in that manual with the construction of Coler Preserve Trails West addition, which premieres the Natural State’s first dual slalom downhill course. Sure, it’s cool chasing your friends’ King of the Mountain (KOM) or Queen of the Mountain (QOM) Strava segments, but as Chris Crone of PTD expressed, “There’s nothing like going head to head against your racing buds.” Case in point, when you’re cranking out pedal strokes at what you know has to be as fast as humanly possible, if this is a Strava segment, you continue pushing on. But, head to head, when you see that you are closing in on the rear wheel of your competition, you always seem to able to dig down a little deeper and find whatever it takes to pull ahead. You don’t experience this real-time adrenalin surge on Strava. But even if you are merely freewheeling it solo down the slalom course, packed with high-banked turns, rollers and drops, it will still be a sweet candidate for many do-overs. And, with PTD being longtime mountain bikers themselves, it was a given for them to include a quick short return route to the top. But there is much more to the seven miles of soft trails within Coler West than the Slalom, although that experience alone would be worth a road trip.

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There is also the very technical “Black Traverse Trail” that slices right across the middle, north to south. A totally hand-cut “old school” path that, for seasoned cyclists, will rekindle memories from the early days of mountain biking. It will have the young guns saying, “So this is what those old dudes have been talking about.” There are also four and a half miles of flowy single track called Esther’s Loop. Named after one of the area’s original homesteaders, this section may not have the hard-core features of some of the other trails at CPT; however, it is a fun, fast ride with minimal elevation gain to slow you down. There will also be three beautifully constructed wooden flyovers intended to keep the bicycle traffic flowing smoothly at trail intersections. On my last visit to the westside trails in early 2018, PTD was putting the final touches on the Dual Slalom trail and not all of the other features were completed. However, even at that time there was plenty of mountain biking adventure to be had; just honor the Trail Closed signs if PTD is still working on enhancements. The Coler Preserve Trails trailhead is located approximately six miles west of Bentonville on Peach Orchard Road. There are plans for additional trailheads and other facilities at the preserve, including a campground and music venue, so stay tuned. In total, with the completion of the westside trails, Coler Preserve Trails will have approximately 16 miles of exhilarating mountain bike trails for your riding pleasure. 36.3976, -94.2383

BELLA VISTA


COME EARN YOUR MERIT BADGE T

here is a new mountain bike trail within the Buffalo National River Wilderness Area. After 50-plus years of operation, the Camp Orr Boy Scout Camp, located within the wilderness, has added mountain biking to their list of outdoor activities. In January of 2017, Phil Penny and his Rogue Trails crew began laying out bike routes at the camp that will be available for use by the general public. Chris Daughtrey, executive director/CEO of the Westark Area Council explained, “We wanted more people to have an opportunity to enjoy this state jewel located in the heart of the wilderness area.” In early 2018, Penny invited me up to check out the trails, so I eagerly loaded up my bike and headed for the mountains. Turning off State Highway 74 in Mt. Sherman, I followed signs for Camp Orr down a steep gravel road that ran all the way to the banks of the Buffalo River, where I joined Penny. With Penny as anxious to show off his new creation as I was to ride it, we mounted our bikes and headed out. Per Penny’s suggestion, we rode the loop clockwise. As we slowly progressed up the often challenging climb, I enjoyed numerous vantage points with unobstructed

views of 300-foot walls of sheer rock, such as Buzzard Bluff, that frame the emerald-green waters of the pristine river. The Rogue Trail crew did a great job of leveling out the long climb, with only a couple of quick short climbs approaching a 20 percent grade and an overall average gradient of less than 5 percent. As the trail negotiates several sections on the steep, sheer mountainside, many riders won’t even notice the extended crib walls the trail crew had to construct in order to create a ledge that would hold the trail. But those of us who have built trails will both notice and appreciate the hard labor that went into their construction. Once cyclists crest the mountain summit, they will be rewarded with an exhilarating four-mile descent through deep woodsy hollows and drainages on the return route that will make them forget all about the strenuous near 1,000-foot climb up the mountain. Following this workout, the four miles of less strenuous trail on the south side of the river is a welcome sight. For more information, check out westarkbsa.org.

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BEST KEPT SECRET

A

lot of mountain bikers have probably driven past this hidden gem of a trail on their way to ride other trails. However, once they do stop and check out, it out it usually becomes a regular destination. The trail I’m referring to is located at Lake Fort Smith State Park, on State Highway 71 just north of Mountainburg. As of the start of 2018, the time of this writing, there were approximately 10 miles of completed trail, with another three miles under construction, and two miles in the planning phase. I have ridden the Lake Fort Smith Trail (LFST) before; however, preparing for this article I invited Shawn Griffith (park ranger) and Kyle Copeland (Arkansas State Parks Trail Crew) to join several friends and myself on a ride for some photo ops. The entrance to the trail is located on the right, immediately after entering the park headquarters’ conveniently located parking lot. The recommended direction to ride LFST trail is counterclockwise, but it is open to be ridden in either direction. The route is well marked with blue blazes; however, there are a couple tricky intersections that might split up your group. Just remember, “If you stay right, you can’t go wrong.” You pass two Y intersections early into the ride. At the second one, you begin a steady 600-foot elevation gain that takes you across the paved highway you drove on and then up the mountainside. As you grind out the climb, be sure to enjoy the views of Lake Fort Smith far down below, because on the speedy descent you won’t want to take your eyes off the trail. Griffith and Copeland did a great job laying out this threeplus mile out-and-back lollipop located across the highway, 52 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

incorporating well-positioned switchbacks and following the natural contours of the mountainside. They also did a great job eliminating momentum-killing sharp turns. It’s just “flo and go” all the way down. As the trail topped out and our group was about to begin our descent, we paused to watch the other member of the state park trail crew busy at work constructing new trail. Perched at the controls of a Kubota excavator, Sheila (Sissy) Hall paused just long enough for a friendly wave and smile, then resumed positioning a large boulder in place to support a sweet dirt high berm she was building. Hall and Copeland are members of Arkansas State Parks Trail Crew. They construct hiking, biking, and multi-use trails at state parks across the state. They began working on the LFST in 2013, constructing the trail a section at a time in between other projects around the state. They have been working on this lollipop section on the upper side of the highway since January 2017. Both of them have attended Professional Trail Builders Association and American Trails Symposium trail-building classes, so they are well-versed on how to build trails. The descent back on the lollipop isn’t a totally out-of-control freefall, but riders will satisfy their need for speed as they flow through double-banked berms and sweep around wide turns. Once you cross back over the highway and cruise down a short descent, riders rejoin the trail they rode in on to continue to their right around the course. With the major climbs behind them, riders can settle into an enjoyable fast and flowy five miles of undulating, twisting, turning, well-groomed trail. If you need to shorten your ride,


there is a blazed return trail branching off to the left that will knock off about three miles of trail. Everyone in our group passed it by. Even though construction on the original four miles of trail actually began in 2013, due to the trail’s limited visitation in those early years and the additional miles constructed over the past year, I wanted to include it here. When you plan your visit be sure to include time for a multiday visit. With beautifully crafted stone and wood cabins, swimming pool, hiking trails, 30 spacious RV sites, group facilities, a marina with boat and kayak rental and a visitor center, there will be plenty of activities to occupy your nonriding hours at the park.

Registration opens on Bikereg.com April 15

Sponsored by Rotary Club of Polk County/Mena

Wheel A’Mena Bicycle Tour to the Top www.wheelamena.org Email: rotaryclubofpc@gmail.com

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS BELLA VISTA | BENTONVILLE | EUREKA SPRINGS | FAYETTEVILLE HOLIDAY ISLAND | HUNTSVILLE | ROGERS | SILOAM SPRINGS | SPRINGDALE

35.6953, -94.1187 JUST NORTH OF MOUTAINBURG

AND MORE TO COME

On-road, off-road, mountain or freestyle, our 200+ miles of bike trails make Northwest Arkansas the place to be

There doesn’t seem to be any letup in the wave of mountain bike trail construction in the near future. The 16 miles of trail construction in Phase I of Cedar Glades Trails in Hot Springs is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018, with the remaining 28-plus miles of trail to follow. Beginning in 2018, construction of an additional 15 miles of trail will begin at Hobbs State Park mountain bike trail system in Rogers. Plans have already been approved for an additional 40 miles of trail to be added to Back 40 Trails in Bella Vista.

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Alma hired Progressive Trail Design to compile a master plan for construction of a mountain bike trail system around Lake Alma. The list of proposed biking trails continues to grow.

This ad paid for with state and private regional association funds

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 53


O

OTHER NOTABLE NEW ENHANCEMENTS

54 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

zark Off Road Cyclists volunteers logged over 850 hours this past summer on Mt. Kessler Trail to improve sustainability and to just make it even more fun to ride. Plus, Progressive Trail Design (PTD) has constructed a fast new run paralleling Crazy Mary that includes a rock drop and several other techy features. This nine-plus mile network is located in Fayetteville. Fort Smith’s Ben Geren Park Trail has a new flow trail added to its network of soft surface trails. With 41 dirt jumps, rollers, kickups and high-banked berms packed into a shortish mile, EnduroFlo provides nonstop action for cyclists. This is a great example of the cycling community working together, with J.J. Ames, Blair Lively and other volunteers providing the labor while Taylor Rental Center of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, sponsoring the heavy equipment. Even though it’s a short run, surrounded by 17 miles of old-school trails, it is well worth a visit. If your only experience on Ben Geren Trails is from the River Valley Rumble Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series race held there each year, you probably haven’t ridden some of the best trails at the park, which were not included in the race course. Zippidee Doo Dah and Gravity Fed are two of the fastest routes in the park. Conveniently located just a short ride from the trail is the Fort Smith Brewing Company, home of an impressive selection of thirst-quenching, great-tasting, handcrafted Arkansas brews. Over the fall/winter of 2017, Slaughter Pen has experienced numerous major enhancements. PTD, Rogue Trails and Rock Solid construction companies have all left their mark on a long list of the trail’s improvements. From the tech-gnar Apple Turnover and Schroen Train, to the fast-flowy runs on Ozone and Angus Chute, and the Arkansas signature stone on Rim Trail, these crews have taken an already versatile network of trails and made them even “mo better.” Located in Bentonville, I recommend beginning your tour of these revamped trails at the parking located on NE A Street where NE Cub Circle joins. You will be centrally located to launch onto these and other improved trails in this area. Back 40 Trail system has also received some recent “trail love.” Connector trails like Taylor Homestead and Rago saw a lot of the attention with berm and tread work, along with a few added fun rock-kickups, but you might just discover something new on other sections also.


a cut above. FULL LINE AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL RIGGS CAT & RIGGS OUTDOOR STORE

$4,499.00 BENTON 501-776-0679 *Taxes & fees not included. See dealer for details.

WWW.RIGGSOUTDOOR.COM

WWW.RIGGSCAT.COM BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 55


BIKE SHOPS

LYON COLLEGE BIKE SHOP/BATESVILLE

LITTLE ROCK

ARKANSAS CYCLING & FITNESS

315 N. Bowman, Stes. 6-9 501-221-BIKE (2453) arkansascycling.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Haro, MasiIn-House Specialties: Service/repair, demo bikes and wheel sets on select models, financing with the Specialized S-Card, Specialized Body Geometry bike fittings.

CHAINWHEEL

10300 Rodney Parham Rd. 501-224-7651 chainwheel.com Bike Brands: Trek, Catrike, Orbea, Moots In-House Specialties: Servicing all  major bike brands with a goal of  48-hour turnaround; perform professional fit services; financing available.

GIANT BICYCLES

11525 Cantrell Rd., Ste. 607 501-508-5566 giantlittlerock.com Giant Bicycles Little Rock is a locally 56 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

owned partner store. Bike Brands: Giant, Liv, Momentum I n-House Specialties: Repairs

ROCK TOWN RIVER OUTFITTERS

Little Rock River Market 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-690-2277 rocktownriveroutfitters.com In-House Specialities: Rentals, tours, service.

THE METEOR

1001 Kavanaugh Blvd. (Hillcrest) 501-664-7765 themeteorcafe.com Bike Brands: Cervelo, Cannondale, Orbea, Felt, Niner, Electra In-House Specialties: Repair,  service, financing. Endurance ride Saturdays at 9am from the store.

THE COMMUNITY BICYCLIST

7509 Cantrell Rd., Ste. 118 501-663-7300 thecommunitybicyclist.com/index.html Bike Brands: Fuji, Breezer, Jamis, All City In-House Specialties: Service for all bike shop brands.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK

ANGRY DAVE’S BICYCLES

3515 John F. Kennedy Blvd. 501-753-4990 angrydavesbicycles.com Bike Brands: Scott, Ridley, Santa Cruz, Marin, Juliana, Electra, Redline SE Racing, Wethepeople, FIT BMX, S&M Bikes, Subrosa, Kuwahara, Supercross In-House Specialties: Service and repair, custom wheel building, custom bike builds, professional fit service; financing through Synchrony Bank, layaway.

RUSSELLVILLE

CARR’S CHAIN REACTION

506 N. Arkansas Ave. 479-890-4950 carrschainreaction.com Bike Brands: Trek, KHS, Cannondale, In-House Specialties: Full service repair shop; Trek financing .

PHOTO COURTESY LYON COLLEGE BIKE SHOP

Central Arkansas


SHERWOOD

ARKANSAS CYCLING & FITNESS

3010 E. Kiehl Ave. 501-834-5787 arkansascycling.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Haro, Masi In-House Specialties: service/repair, demo bikes and wheel sets on select models, financing with the Specialized S-Card, Specialized Body Geometry bike fittings.

J & P BIKE SHOP

7910 John F. Kennedy Blvd. (Hwy 107) 501-835-4814 jandpbikeshop.com Bike Brands: Cannondale, Raleigh, Schwinn In-House Specialties: Full service repair, tune-ups, check overs, tire and tube replacement, brake and gear work, wheels; financing with no down payment, no interest for 12 months W.A.C. Northeast Arkansas

BATESVILLE

LYON COLLEGE BIKE SHOP 301 23rd Street 870-307-7529 lyon.edu/ bikes In-house specialities: Quality, affordable bikes, parts and repair services, as well as bike safety, repair and maintenance education to the community.

JONESBORO

GEARHEAD CYCLE HOUSE

231 S. Main St. 870-910-5569 gearheadcyclehouse.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Trek In-House Specialties: Full-service bike shop, Shimano Certified Service Center

SEARCY

THE BIKE LANE

2116 W. Beebe Capps Expressway 501-305-3915 thebikelane.cc Bike Brands: BH, Cannondale,

Devinci, KHS, Pivot, Rocky Mountain, Wilier In-House Specialties: Repairs/service Northwest Arkansas

BELLA VISTA

Do something good for yourself

GPP CYCLING

34 Sugar Creek Center 479-657-2078 gppcycling.com Bike Brands: Cannondale, Scott, Felt, Cervelo, BMC, Masi, Ellsworth In-House Specialties: Coaching services, bike fitting, full-service repairs, fitness center.

BENTONVILLE

GPP CYCLING

2614 SE J Street 479-633-8810 gppcycling.com Bike Brands: Cannondale, Scott, Felt, Cervelo, BMC, Masi, Ellsworth In-House Specialties: Coaching services, bike fitting, full-service repairs and multisport fitness facility

MASSAGE THERAPIES • HOLISTIC THERAPIES FACIAL THERAPIES AND SKINCARE BODY THERAPIES RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED

870-867-1220 TURTLECOVESPA.COM 181 CLUBHOUSE DR., MOUNT IDA, AR

MOJO CYCLING

2104 S. Walton Blvd., Ste. 1 479-271-7201 mojocycling.com Bike Brands: Orbea, GT, KHS, Jamis, Transition, Canfield Brothers, Haro Bikes

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

125 W. Central Ave. 479-715-6170 phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 57


EUREKA SPRINGS

ADVENTURE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

151 Spring St. 479-253-0900 adventuremountainoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Specialized In-House Specialties: Full-service bike shop, certified suspension technician, custom builds, professional fitments, rentals, guide and shuttle service to Eureka Springs and greater Ozark Mountain area trails.

FAYETTEVILLE

GPP CYCLING

115 N. Block Ave. 479-316-8030 gppcycling.com Bike Brands: Cannondale, Scott, Felt, Cervelo, BMC, Masi, Ellsworth In-House Specialties: Coaching services, bike fitting, full-service repairs, fitness center and rentals.

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

3775 N. Mall Ave. 479-966-4308 phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days.

THE BIKE ROUTE

3660 N. Front St., Suite 2 479-966-4050 facebook.com/thebikeroute Bike Brands: Cannondale, Cervelo, Pinarello, Moots, Niner, Electra In-House Specialties: Full service mechanics/repair, rental of bikes and race wheels

THE HIGHROLLER CYCLERY

322 W. Spring St. 479-442-9311 highrollercyclery.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Yeti, Pure Fix, Pure City Cycle, Reid Cycles 58 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

In-House Specialties: Repairs all types, suspension overhaul services, bike fittings (using the Body Geometry fit system with motion capture software), bike path use rentals, bike financing available through Synchrony Bank.

UREC OUTDOORS

1 University of Arkansas, HPER 102 479-575-CAMP urec.uark.edu In-House Specialities: Full-service, Open Self-Maintenance Hours. Available to UREC HPER members and students.

FORT SMITH

CHAMPION CYCLING & FITNESS

8201 Rogers Ave. 479-484-7500 championcycling.com Bike Brands: Specialized In-House Specialties: Full service and repair to all brands, 0% financing for 24 months.

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

1700 Rogers Ave. 479-222-6796 phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days.

HEBER SPRINGS

SULPHUR CREEK OUTFITTERS

625 S. 7th St. 501-691-0138 screekoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Kona, Surley, All City In-House Specialties: Full service, sales and rentals.

MOUNTAIN HOME

MOUNTAIN HOME BICYCLE COMPANY

1310 E. Side Centre Ct. 870-425-2453 mountainhomebicyclecompany.com Bike Brands: Trek, Electra In-House Specialties: Full service repair, Shimano certified techs.

ROGERS

GPP CYCLING

318 S. 1st St. 479-372-4768 gppcycling.com Bike Brands: Cannondale, Scott, Felt, Cervelo, BMC, Masi, Ellsworth In-House Specialties: Coaching services, bike fitting, full-service repairs, fitness center and rentals.

LEWIS & CLARK OUTFITTERS

2530 Pinnacle Hills Parkway 479-845-1344 lewisandclarkoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Giant, Liv, Kona In-House Specialties: Full-service bicycle repair, rack install, 6- and 12-month financing.

OZARK BIKE SHOP

Cash Village Shopping Center 400 S. 8th St., Ste. K 479-636-0394

THE HIGHROLLER CYCLERY

402 S. Metro Parkway 479-254-9800 highrollercyclery.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Yeti, Pure Fix, Pure City Cycle, Reid Cycles In-House Bike Specialties: Repairs for all types, suspension overhaul services, bike fittings (using the Body Geometry fit system with motion capture software), bike path use rentals, bike financing available through Synchrony Bank.

SILOAM SPRINGS

DOGWOOD JUNCTION TRIKES & BIKES 200 Progress Ave., Ste. 5 (Signature Plaza) 479-524-6605 dogwoodjunction.biz Bike Brands: Terra Trike, Catrike, KHS, ICE Trikes, Bacchetta recumbent


AVID BIKER?

PULASKI COUNTY HAS YOU COVERED!

BIG DAM BRIDGE AT 4226 FEET THE BIG DAM BRIDGE IS THE LONGEST PEDESTRIAN/BICYCLE BRIDGE IN THE WORLD! TWO RIVERS PARK ALLOWS VISITORS TO EXPLORE AND RELAX WHILE ENJOYING NATURE'S BEAUTY. THE 1000-ACRE PARK, LOCATED JUST SIX MILES OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN LITTLE ROCK, HAS MANY AMENITIES TO INCLUDE BIKE TRAILS, WALKING TRAILS, GARDENS, AND ABUNDANCE OF WILDLIFE. JUNCTION BRIDGE PROJECT WILL ADAPT THE JUNCTION RAILROAD BRIDGE FOR PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE USE, LINKING BOTH SIDES OF THE ARKANSAS RIVER. IT WILL BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE SIX BRIDGES PLAN AND RIVERFRONT DEVELOPMENT IN BOTH CITIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.PULASKICOUNTY.NET

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 59


We Keep You Riding

In-House Specialties: Repair, service, sales, limited rentals, financing, layaway, test rides, winter storage and recycled bikes.

SPRINGDALE

LEWIS & CLARK OUTFITTERS

4915 S. Thompson St. 479-756-1344 lewisandclarkoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Giant, Liv, Momentum, Kona In-House Specialties: Full-service bicycle repair, rack install, 6- and 12-month financing.

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

Over 80 rental bikes E bikes offered Serving you in Arkansas & Oklahoma

PhatTireBikeShop.com

SAVE THE DATE

JULY 21, 7AM

101 W. Johnson Ave. phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days. Southwest Arkansas

HOT SPRINGS

PARKSIDE CYCLE

719 Whittington Ave. 501-623-6188 parksidecycle.com Bike Brands: Trek, Felt, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service repair and fitting.

SPA CITY CYCLING BENEFITING ST. BERNARDS CANCER CENTER

25 & 50 Mile Rides

Register at www.RacesOnline.com

St. Bernards Health & Wellness, 1416 East Matthews Ave. Jonesboro, AR www.facebook.com/StBernardsHealthcare • St. Bernards Healthline (855) 207-7300 60 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

879 Park Avenue Ste. B (501) 463-9364 spacitycycling.com Bike Brands: Orbea, Scott, Cannondale, Alliede In-House Specialties: Bike Service & Repair, Parts & Accessories


TEXARKANA (TX)

BERRIDGE BIKES

321 Texas Blvd. 903-794-2453 berridgebikes.com Bike Brands: Felt, Giant, Intense, Electra, Sun, Torker, Redline, Phat Cycles, Trek In-House Specialties: Service and repairs, custom builds.

BICYCLE REPAIR & SERVICE ONLY

BICYCLE OUTFITTER

110 N. Walnut St. Harrison 870-741-6833 Bike Brands: Trek, Diamondback In-House Specialties: Parts, accessories and service on all makes and models of bikes.

EXPLORE MILES OF EPIC TRAILS!

Check out our seasonal TRAIL ADVENTURE PACKAGES on our website, starting at $383 a WEEK!

MOTIVE BIKE SERVICE

Mobile repair service to the Little Rock Metro Area and beyond 479-366-7926 motivebikeservice.com

OZARK BICYCLE SERVICE

W. New Hope Road Northwest Arkansas Area 479-715-1496 ozarkbicycleservice.com

BICYCLE MANUFACTURERS

ALLIED CYCLE WORKS

2201 Brookwood Dr. #108, Little Rock 844-442-8356 alliedcycleworks.com Bike Brands: Alfa In-House Specialties: Customized road bikes.

SAVE THE DATE:

Allied Cycle Works Factory Tour May 3 at 5:30pm

See how we make carbon fiber bicycles right here in Arkansas!

WHEN YOU’RE DONE RIDING THE TRAIL ... Relax and recoup in our comfy guest rooms, cottages with hot tubs or logsided condos! Restaurant, spa, marina and world class service! Located minutes from the LOViT- an IMBA EPIC model Trail – 1 of only 40 in the world!

870-867-1200 • 800-832-2276 994 Mountain Harbor Rd. Mount Ida, Arkansas MountainHarborResort.com

winners announced in the summer issue

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 61


EVENTS

LITTLE ROCK GRAN FONDO

APRIL 28

WOMBLE ROMP: THE OG ARKANSAS EPIC

MAY 5

LITTLE ROCK GRAN FONDO

JULY 13

EUREKA SPRINGS FAT TIRE FESTIVAL

JULY 27-29

ROGERS CYCLING FEST

littlerockgranfondo.com

Fattirefestival.com

rogerscyclingfestival.com

Community Bakery proudly supports cycling in Central Arkansas. • Bike Friendly Ride Stop • Plenty of Caffeine & Carbs

• Bike Rack Parking • Outdoor Seating

Join us for Bruce’s Saturday morning Coffee Ride! SoMa District | 1200 Main St., Little Rock, Arkansas | (501) 375-6418 | communitybakery.com

62 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

PHOTO COURTESY LITTLE ROCK GRAN FONDO

www.bikereg.com/womble-romp


Woolly Hollow State Park

EVERY PARK IS

EPIC.

With 23 Arkansas State Parks that offer mountain biking, there’s a trail for everyone. Choose anything from scenic beginner trails to technical routes that will challenge the most advanced riders. And when you hop off the bike, you can enjoy all of the fun that each park has to offer. Browse by difficulty level and plan your next mountain biking trip at ArkansasStateParks.com/biking. #ARStateParks

ArkansasStateParks.com

For reservations, call 877-879-2741

My park, your park, our parks

Little Rock is home to a wonderful collection of bike-friendly places that both challenge the experts and delight the family. Whether it’s competing in the Big Dam Bridge 100 or taking a leisurely spin down the Arkansas River Trail in Riverfront Park, it’s easy to enjoy our city’s amazing pathways that lead to adventure and fun. When the ride is over, be sure to enjoy great food and drink as you recharge – right here in Little Rock.

Riverfront Park> Learn more at LittleRock.com

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 63


APRIL 14 SYLLAMO’S REVENGE Syllamosrevenge.com

APRIL 21 CARDIAC CLASSIC arheart.com

TOUR DE HILLS Harrisonarkansas.org

APRIL 26 TWO RIVERS TIME TRIAL SERIES RACE #4 APRIL 29 NWA SPRING CLASSIC

Nwaspringclassic.com

MAY 5 TOUR DE TOAD Active.com

TOUR DE HOOT Bikereg.com

MAY 12 THE 65 ROSES TOUR The65rosestour.com

MAY 27 HIGHWAY 71 CLASSIC www.highway71classic.com

JUNE 2 TOUR DE ROCK Carti.com

JUNE 9 PEDAL THE RIDGE Pedaltheridge.com

JUNE 10 LADIES DU FAYETTEVILLE fayetteville-ar.gov/ladiesdu

JUNE 23 TRUE GRIT RIDE 100 Truegritride.com 64 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7


AUGUST 10-12 THE EUREKAN BIKE RIDE Eurekesportsfestival.com

AUGUST 18 TOUR DE CURE: ARKANSAS Main.diabetes.org

AUGUST 27 BIKE & HIKE FOR ALS

LOViT!

Bikehikeforals.com

SEPTEMBER 8 BIKE MS: ROCK’N HOT RIDE bikearr.nationalmssociety.org

SEPTEMBER 15 CONWAY FALL CLASSIC Cycleconway.com

OCTOBER 5-7 OZ TRAILS OFF-ROAD epicrides.com

OCTOBER 6 TOUR DA DELTA Tourdadelta.net

OCTOBER 27 TOUR DE PUMPKIN Mainstreetrussellville.com

2018 ARKANSAS INTERSCHOLASTIC CYCLING LEAGUE RACE SERIES arkansasmtb.org

SEPTEMBER 9 SAGAR CREEK TRAIL, SILOAM SPRINGS SEPTEMBER 23 TBD OCTOBER 14 CEDAR GLADES NOVEMBER 4 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Free Morning Bike Shuttle with Paid Two Night Stay! At Echo Canyon Resort and Marina, you’re that close to the LAKE OUACHITA VISTA TRAIL. You’re even closer to our full-service marina, restaurant and all-around family fun. And Hot Springs is just a 15-minute drive. Come discover the best-kept secret on Lake Ouachita. 2645 BLAKELY DAM ROAD | ROYAL, AR 71968 501-767-2997 ECHOCANYONAR.COM | INFO@ECHOCANYONAR.COM BIKE ARKANSAS issue no.7 65


Happy Trails

HEY LADIES

Little Rock welcomes the new Leborne Women’s Racing Team. According to Nathan Miller, the operations director at RADUNO and The Fold restaurants in Little Rock and an avid road cyclist, “Their main objective, other than training hard and winning races, is to introduce more women to cycling and racing. They’re creating an awesome, supportive environment for women of all skill levels to get stronger, faster and have more fun on the bike. Want to ride with a member of Team Leborne? Caro Poole is the ride leader of an Endurance Ride, Saturdays at 9 am. Ride leaves from The Meteor, coffee shop sponsor of the first female racing team in Arkansas.

66 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 7

PHOTO BY CHASE ERTZBERGER

Lindsay Petruk, Caro Poole, Barbara Mariani, Emma Johnson, Coach Scotti Lechuga and Katy Simmons make up the recently formed women’s racing team sponsored by RADUNO, The Fold.


PEAK

PEDAL POWER

The Arkansas River Valley region boasts three premier peaks to test your biking abilities—on road or off. From the 34-mile Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail over the shoulders and summits of Mount Magazine near Paris, to the Winona Scenic Drive winding through the Ouachita Mountains near Perryville, or the 28-mile Moccasin Gap Trail just off Scenic 7 Byway North near Dover. Come see the River Valley from a whole new perspective.

This advertisement was paid for with a combination of state funds and private regional association funds.

1-800-561-6508

#VisitTriPeaks


Bike Arkansas Issue No. 7 | 2018  
Bike Arkansas Issue No. 7 | 2018