Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday Night's A Big Night

Down at the honky-tonk, Saturday night's the big night, but on the River Trail, Tuesday has evolved into the big night for group rides. The long-standing Fast Girls Slow Guys Tuesday/ Thursday rides have never really ramped up this year, after having been a reliable option for the last 4-5 years. Instead, there a two primary options available on Tuesdays. Tuesday Nitro is a race oriented ride that mostly sticks to the roads of the Burns Park loop. Anyone is welcome so long as you have the skills to operate safely in that environment. If you are unsure of your skills, start somewhere else. It's not an event, so nobody can tell you that you can't ride, but a sketchy rider will feel a cold shoulder, as nobody wants to fall victim to somebody who chooses to get in over their head. This is a "word-of-mouth" ride and not sanctioned by anyone. If you are up to it, I suspect you already know about it.
The Arkansas Cycling and Fitness group rides from the sub at around 6:30 and has evolved into a very nice, inclusive ride. There are usually three groups, casually designated A, B and C. You do not have to declare your intent, as natural selection determines where you'll be riding. While big groups on the trail portions of the ride can be intimidating to the uninitiated, the emphasis is on safety, both for the riders and for other trail users. The pace is restrained on the trail portions of the ride, but there are enough opportunities on the road for fast riders to stretch their legs.

Dan Lysk leading out the Tuesday night ACF ride.

With good leadership, group rides are a great way to improve fitness and hone bike  handling skills. The slogan of the Fast Girls was "Fast, Fun and Friendly", with a real focus on safety. The same philosophy seems to have found its way to the ACF ride. It is always rewarding to see new riders work their way up through the cycling pecking order as their fitness, skill, and confidence improves. I'd call both the ACF ride and certainly Nitro "performance oriented", but there are many other options for more casual riders under the auspices of such groups as the Arkansas Bicycle Club and the growing Melo Velos cycling club.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget about Kenny Massa's West Little Rock ride.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, don't forget about the War out West!!!!

Bryan said...

There shouldn't be big groups on the River Trail, that's not its intention. And if they choose to ride on the road on Rebsamen they need to heed city law and use the bike lane and not the main lane.

And for gods sake, stay off the BDB if you are a big group.

Greg said...

Bryan, the attitude in your post is snotty, and I would be disinclined to agree with you if you weren't correct. That said, do you happen to know which city law you cite in your comment regarding Rebsamen Park Road?

Bryan said...

Note: I'm not the Bryan that previously posted.

So here are the applicable bicycling laws for Central Arkansas that I've been able to find.

The law the other Bryan is referring to is LR City Ordinance 32-489.

Also, of particular interest are the following items which I suspect just about 99% of us cyclists are in violation of.

AR 27-36-220. Lamps on bicycles
LR 32-495. Lamps
LR 32-496. Other equipment.

Little Rock and Fayetteville city ordinances additionally require that a bicycle be equipped with a bell or other device for warning pedestrians...

Bicycles are illegal on sidewalks in LR and NLR. This would include part of the River trail near Dillards. :(

Bryan said...

Thanks, Other Bryan, for providing the link. A packet regarding applicable laws is handed out in the "Road 101" classes taught through the LAB/BACA.

My attitude was intended to be snotty. There isn't any reason for large groups of cyclists to use the River Trail like some sort of personal track. It's bad enough when you have one or two cyclists zigging and zagging at speed around pedestrians, children, dogs, etc now make those cyclists a 12-20 person group and it gets even more dangerous.

Sooner or later a cyclist is going to clobber a child on the BDB (and it'll probably be mostly the childs or their parents fault) and then the cyclists will be required to walk across.

FWIW, we ride with bells and lights on our bike. Fenders too, oh god! :)