You're invited to go the distance! http://www.thebigdambridge100.com/
This Saturday, the fifth BDB100 will roll from LaHarpe Boulevard in downtown Little Rock. The route has been fine tuned to avoid some of the choke points in earlier routes and I'm certain the the support will be very good, as always. We missed last year's event due to a little three week obligation that involved kayaking 225 miles down the Grand Canyon, but we are back in the mix for this year. The BDB100 held early promise to become a very large event somewhat like the Hotter'n Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, which boasts 12-15,000 riders, but the logistics for an event that size are daunting, particularly when the route begins in an urban area and involves multiple cities, towns and counties. Let's face it, Wichita Falls is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, which is a perfect place for a massive ride. That said, the BDB is evolving as the route has been refined and it looks like the post-ride party downtown will actually be a bit of a party, rather than a boom box and some more PowerAde and pickles. The ride has always been a good one and it appears that the quality of the events surrounding it are catching up. The addition of shower/hose off facilities is a real plus, as nobody who has experience with such matters really wants to stand around in their sweat-soaked kit for any longer than is absolutely necessary. My usual drill has been to leave a solar shower or a couple of water bottles and a beach towel in my vehicle at the finish to facilitate a warm water rinse before changing into street clothes. There will also be a bag check and bike service available. These services will make it much more likely that riders will stick around and fill the bars and restaurants in Argenta and the River Market. Folks who hang around will be calling the Hogs as #10 Arkansas takes on #1 Alabama at 2:30. I'm sure that every watering hole in town will have TV's tuned in to CBS.
All of us here in Central Arkansas are proud of our trail system and its centerpiece, the Big Dam Bridge, and I think that as time goes on the BDB100 will mature into a well-known regional event that will fill hotels and enhance our reputation as a cycling destination. In its inaugural year, registration was limited to 1000 riders. That number has grown to 2500 and I think that we can expect continued expansion.
See you on Saturday!