From NLR Parks' Jeff Caplinger:
Thursday, May 28, 2015
From NLR Parks' Jeff Caplinger:
Friday, May 22, 2015
I've encountered several riders over the last few weeks who had flatted and either 1) did not have a flat kit, 2) had a flat kit but had used their tube and/or CO2 previously, or, 3) had everything they needed but didn't know quite how to execute the repair.
I'll address the situations in order with yet more unsolicited advice:
1) With cycling events and the long rides of summer upon us, no road rider should be without a flat repair kit. That's true even if you're just cruising the trail, but vital if you're going to head out on the road. Somebody will inevitably stop to help you, and it's really appreciated if have your own stuff and you can use the opportunity to learn from your good Samaritan.
I stopped to repair a flat for a couple of women a week or two ago. They had apparently been equipped with a tube and a CO2 between them, which they had used the day before.If you have never had a flat, it's easy to be confident with minimal gear. I gave them a tube and used one of my CO2s to get them going. I also suggested that when they visited their local bike shop to restock their kit that they buy at least two of everything.
The trail west of Burns Park was already under water Friday night with more to come. Plan your weekend rides accordingly.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
- Burns Park Soccer Complex and fields, Dog Park, and Victory Lake areas will be closed to all users;
- Tournament Drive will remain closed to all users between Championship Drive and Arlene Laman Drive allowing no access to Victory Lake, dog park, and the soccer complex.
- Arkansas River Trail will be closed to all users between Burns Park and the Big Dam Bridge;
- Arkansas River Trail - east of Riverview Skate Park will remain closed;
- Isabella Jo Trail - southern end will remain closed;
- North Shore Trail - southern end will be closed;
- Pfeifer Loop will remain closed.
- Burns Park Victory Lake boat launch will remain underwater;
- Burns Park Soccer Complex - moats around soccer fields
- Burns Park Dog Park - underwater;
- Arkansas River Trail - by Burns Park Victory Lake will remain underwater;
- Arkansas River Trail - immediately west of the western end of Burns Park underwater;
- Arkansas River Trail - east of Riverview Skate;
Things were getting back to near-normal on the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River Trail before more rain fell overnight and into Wednesday morning. With the exception of the S-turn bridge just east of the Pfeifer Loop, the trail was dry and rideable on Tuesday night. A few areas in Burns Park and along Cunningham Lake that were submerged are still dirty but city crews have been busy cleaning off the worst of the silt and muck.
The situation is dynamic and subject to change by the hour, as the river is forecast to rise again, though not to last weeks levels.
I ran across ranger Ian Hope and goose dog Shep as they employed a blower-equipped ATV to clean silt from the Victory Lake parking lot. Shep was alert and keeping a wary eye out for geese or aggressive squirrels.
I'll provide updates as my schedule allows, but I think that cyclists will be able to ride the length of the NLR trail over the weekend, assuming no more heavy rains upstream. Some detours to higher portions of the trail may be required, and some park roads and parking areas may still be closed.
The Little Rock trail sections and Two Rivers Park trails are open other than the ongoing construction detours downtown.
Go ride your bike.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
People who know me know that I love dogs and that I have always had a special place in my heart for my dog Zuli. Most of our cycling friends may not know our dogs, but they have been full-fledged members of our boating family for many years, so this is also a way of letting them know of Zuli's passing.
Zuli on shore patrol with Josie at the Cossatot.
Diane's dog Josie was already an accomplished river dog when Diane and I got together, and Zuli followed suit. They rode on the decks of our kayaks, ran the bank, swam the river, or hitched rides on the canoes or rafts of friends as they made their way down the creeks of the Ozarks.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Friday, May 8, 2015
It is not my intent to criticize this particular group, as you see examples of these things (except the litter) in almost any group ride that has a good sprinkling of inexperienced riders. Take advantage of these rides as opportunities to teach, learn or both.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau added some touches of class to the Big Dam Bridge, Junction Bridge, and the Clinton Presidential Center with the addition of postcard frames so that tourists could pose at the big city attractions for their friends back in the sticks.
Flags Return to The BDB
Broadway Bridge Detour-Little Rock
There have apparently been problems with pedestrians and riders entering the construction zone at the Broadway Bridge site on the Little Rock side---to the point that officials have threatened to post officers there to issue citations. From the east, the site seems pretty secure, so I doubt that many recreational riders are going to the trouble to pass the barriers. By nature, we want to get the best result for the least effort and that generally excludes climbing fences, lifting barriers, or getting our nice shoes dirty.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
No, we could not talk him into painting in some bike lanes. I think he muttered something about continuing his employment and contractual obligations, but all I really heard was, "no". The activity may limit our rides for a couple of days, but the smooth new surface will be great for road bikes and speeding vehicles.
As with any contracting operation, the schedule is subject to change due to weather or other factors, and I don't know what conditions will be outside of working hours. I assume the road will stay open but lane closures, hot sticky tar, and loose gravel do not generally enhance the road bike experience.
Pass it on.
Monday, May 4, 2015
This is why we should attend meetings and support groups like BACA rather than just complain about results. A public meeting was held Monday on proposed traffic calming measures along Riverfront Drive, which is also part of the Arkansas River Trail System. Riverfront is currently a 4-lane, divided road with very narrow bikes lanes in each direction for most of its approximately 1.2 mile length. The traffic count is very low. The road was built at a time when it was thought that a Cantrell-like artery would be built along what is now Murray Park, Rebsamen Park, River Mountain Park, Two Rivers Plaza, and a vital stretch of the Arkansas River Trail. Voters of the city were more wise than the planners as they took action years ago to overwhelmingly approve an ordinance prohibiting that disaster. I think it specifically prevented a traffic bridge from crossing Jimerson Creek.
The fast lane. Roads like Riverfront encourage high speeds. The current bike lanes are 4', but that includes a more than a foot of gutter, leaving little buffer from traffic for cyclists
There goes the neighborhood. Proposed redesign for Riverfront Drive
Angry Neighbors put down the idea.
The folks from Canal Pointe came out from behind the walls long enough to round the corner to the meeting at the Winrock Center, and proceeded to vow bloody combat before they allowed such a thing. I'm sure that most of them drove the 100 yards from their gate to the meeting. They attacked hard and fast, leaving the crowd reeling. I was not at the meeting, but I did not see or hear anything like a rational argument against the plan. Why, they would have to drive the 6/10 mile on a single lane. They might even be behind somebody at the lone traffic signal. There's plenty of reason for despair in there I'm sure.
Yes, I'm being snarky.
I really do understand when sidewalks and bike lanes displace parking or otherwise diminish another resource, but this design will only make the area more attractive and more valuable. The residents point to future development, but even if traffic doubles,the road will still be considered lightly used.
Reasonable voices get right back up again.
After the meeting, folks went back to work. E-mails in support of the project poured into theoffices of directors, the mayor and the city manager. By Tuesday, it was suggested that the city move forward with a grant application and City Manager Bruce Moore agreed.
More Powerful Voices Call City Hall
By Friday, the City had backtracked yet again, announcing that a grant application would be made, but for a plan that is supposed to improve the way for walkers, runners, and cyclists without reduce the traffic lanes.
I don't really have a strong objection to such a plan, but it will be much more expensive, serve no additional valid purpose that the original plan did not, and do nothing to slow traffic. Little Rock has long been driven by the powerful few, and the word is that a few of those voices objected to slowing traffic in favor of pedestrian and cyclist safety.
It will be interesting to see the ultimate outcome.