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Old 03-26-09, 11:34 PM   #1
Artkansas 
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50+ Cyclists on the cover of the Arkansas Times

Imagine my surprise when I checked out this weeks issue of the Arkanasas times and saw a huge color photo of two 50+ cyclists rolling down the River Trail. And I knew them both.

The photo was a shot for an article on the state of biking in Little Rock. It was a pretty good article and covered the general state of Little Rock pretty well. I was out and riding around but decided to shove a copy into my rear rack anyway rather than picking one up later and enjoying the pristine condition.

I went and did my chores, but on the way back decided to stop in and check out the new bike store in town. It had just opened up a couple of weeks ago. I turned out that the proprietor was new in town and didn't know of the Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas, or really much about the town. So I went out to my bike and pulled the rolled up copy out of my rack to share with him, and invited him to the next BACA meeting.

Here is the article. It's good, but unfortunately, the web version does not have the cover pic of my friends. http://www.arktimes.com/Articles/Art...0-207419dfa2e9
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Old 03-27-09, 05:11 AM   #2
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Nice article. LR seems to have a lot in common with Omaha, emphasizing rides by the river, and with a shortage of well-designed bike lanes to connect things... though we may be a little farther along in terms of total miles of MUPs. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-27-09, 10:50 AM   #3
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Nice article. LR seems to have a lot in common with Omaha, emphasizing rides by the river, and with a shortage of well-designed bike lanes to connect things... though we may be a little farther along in terms of total miles of MUPs. Thanks for sharing.
Does Council Bluffs have all the good facilities? With us, it's kind of ironic that North Little Rock, the smaller of the cities on the river had the best facilities. Their half of the river trail is complete, and they have a huge park with mountain bike trails, jump parks, bike rentals etc.

I think that politics has a lot to do with it. Large companies like Alltel(Verizon) and Dillards have their corporate HQ along the shore in Little Rock and want to open up the River Trail to car traffic so that their workers can drive straight through to the 430 bridge several miles away, and they don't want to permit bicyclists to cut through their properties. For other things like putting a real bike route through from west Little Rock to downtown, the mayor has been paying lipservice, but not doing much.
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Old 03-27-09, 01:46 PM   #4
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I was actually on that ride with the Arkansas Times Reporter. I think he was surprised at the speeds many of us "old guys" rode. Jim Britt fell back to ride with him to Cook's Landing. He was about half the age of most of us, and a very pleasant person.

The supposed bike trail through Little Rock, the capitol city, is a disgrace. I told myself I would be polite in describing the "trail" and I think I did OK.

The last time my wife tried to ride those tricky turns on the undersized sidewalk called a bike trail she fell. Many others have fallen due to this tacky twisting disaster called a bike trail.

I am still trying to be polite.
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Old 03-27-09, 04:10 PM   #5
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I was actually on that ride with the Arkansas Times Reporter. I think he was surprised at the speeds many of us "old guys" rode. Jim Britt fell back to ride with him to Cook's Landing. He was about half the age of most of us, and a very pleasant person.
Were you in the picture on page 9?

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The supposed bike trail through Little Rock, the capitol city, is a disgrace. I told myself I would be polite in describing the "trail" and I think I did OK.

The last time my wife tried to ride those tricky turns on the undersized sidewalk called a bike trail she fell. Many others have fallen due to this tacky twisting disaster called a bike trail.
Yes, in places that trail is an embarrassment. The North Little Rock side is okay, but some of the sections of the Little Rock side, particularly near the Episcopal Collegiate School are dangerous. I think the silliest part is the western section of the medical mile. It's a great ride along the river till you get stopped cold by the railroad tracks. Then you have to double back, ride through city streets and all till you can pick up the trail say 100 yards away.

But then again, that's why I joined BACA in the first place. The bike facilities must be improved. Though the owner of the new Rider's Ready store tells me that Little Rock makes Kentucky look like a dream.
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Old 03-28-09, 06:06 AM   #6
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Does Council Bluffs have all the good facilities? With us, it's kind of ironic that North Little Rock, the smaller of the cities on the river had the best facilities. Their half of the river trail is complete, and they have a huge park with mountain bike trails, jump parks, bike rentals etc.

I think that politics has a lot to do with it. Large companies like Alltel(Verizon) and Dillards have their corporate HQ along the shore in Little Rock and want to open up the River Trail to car traffic so that their workers can drive straight through to the 430 bridge several miles away, and they don't want to permit bicyclists to cut through their properties. For other things like putting a real bike route through from west Little Rock to downtown, the mayor has been paying lipservice, but not doing much.
Good MUPs lie on both sides of the river actually. Omaha's MUPS are extensive and of reasonable quality, but kind of divided into three big sections that are not well connected to each other. There are almost no bike lanes on streets yet. The downtown "Riverfront" MUP section is now connected to Council Bluffs trails, including the Wabash Trace leading down to Missouri, by a snazzy new "pedestrian bridge" (Google Bob Kerrey Bridge to see it). We too have a corporate HQ (ConAgra) sitting right by the river blocking some trail connections that would make life easier and safer. Politics and lip service involved? OMG, that would be shocking!

Here's some pics of my New Years Day ride on the new bridge, FYI...
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Old 03-28-09, 07:12 AM   #7
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I think one of my pedals is visible in the photo on page 9.

Actually, North Little Rock is working at improving the already nice trail system. Some new loops are under construction now. Also, a new route is being formed from down town to Hwy 165 on the East side. Mayor Patrick Henry Hays is very dedicated to the bicycle trail system. Many of the council members and the mayor ride in North Little Rock.

I was on a ride with one of the council members a few months ago. He noticed a sign was not placed correctly during the ride. The next day the sign had been moved. In Little Rock a sign was hit a number of times by riders. The sign was never moved, it finally fell down. A little difference in the cities.
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