Monday, April 29, 2013

Busy Sunday

After a mostly dreary weekend, this this past Sunday became the kind of beautiful spring afternoon that we have all been yearning for. The result was a very busy River Trail, particularly around the BDB.

Sunday evening crowds are often pretty sparce, but sunshine and mild temperatures brought out the crowds.
Ongoing work at River Mountain Park has limited access to Two Rivers Bridge, so parking was at a premium at the Big Dam Bridge. Even at 6:30PM, cars were parked along Rebsamen Park Road past Overlook Dr.
Credit where credit is due! I've been pretty hard on efforts to get this repair done, but contractors at the River Mountain Road culvert replacement project were still hard at work at 7:00PM on Sunday.
Ok, all boys like to watch big machines at work so I shot a little video with that in mind! Our younger nephews are no exception and I'll bet that Diane gets a link to Alex, Nicco, and Sam.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Along The Trail: Some Projects Are Going Better Than Others

River Mountain Road Access: Closed For Another Month

It has been over three months since a culvert collapsed under the road into the Two Rivers Bridge parking area from River Mountain Road. After an initial statement that it would take 6-8 months to fix, city officials gave a more realistic (we thought!) estimate of 6-8 weeks. Given that it was a culvert under a dead end road on city property, even that seemed like an extraordinarily long time, but it was explained that the line had to go under the adjacent rail line, so it was more extensive than just laying a pipe and patching the road. Then the RR decided that they did not need to take action. Weeks went by with no activity and then it was explained that a fiber optic line needed to be moved and that after that action, the contractor would have the work done in 7-10 days. The fiber optic line was moved a couple of weeks ago and the contractor finally went to work. In the meantime, trail users have been incensed by the delays and the lack of any accommodation to provide passage through the area as the site sat largely untouched.
Now comes the news that the railroad has decided that they, indeed, do have a problem and they will need to replace a culvert under the tracks. The result is that trail access will be compromised for another month, and that the user-blazed trail along the tracks will be blocked completely.

Cyclists and walker have regularly detoured around the construction zone, which has been newly-expanded this week as actual work began. My understanding is that this stretch of RR track will have to be removed as a new culvert is extended under it.
From my perspective, this project has been  poorly planned at best, but at least some work is now taking place, though the scale of the project has been expanded.

In The Meantime, Buddy Has Built A Mountain
Well, a hill, anyway. Work has progressed at a rapid pace on a plaza area being built by Pulaski County in Two Rivers Park.
I haven't seen the plans lately, but my understanding is that the plaza on this site will include benches, a sundial, and other decorative and practical amenities to provide an attractive gathering place for park visitors.  
A concrete finisher is skylighted on a recent afternoon.
North Little Rock Fishing Pier Looks Ready!
North Little Rock Parks and Rec continues to serve a wide range of trail users, as a fishing pier near the Burns Park Soccer Fields nears completion.
This kind of makes me want to wet a line or just sit in the sun and let the river flow by.
Hopefully, the River Mountain Road access problem can now be completed according to the revised schedule, but past performance does not give me much confidence. This is a key access point for cyclist coming from the neighborhoods of west Little Rock. The alternatives for riders are to ride several miles out to Pinnacle Valley Road and come in through Two Rivers Park or to risk a trip down Cantrell Road to get to Rebsamen Park Road, a route that even the most confident commuters would not dare to attempt.
 Of the three primary governmental entities involved in the River Trail in Central Arkansas, North Little Rock and Pulaski County simply seem to be able to get things done. Little Rock, in spite of having some really good people in key positions, just has a hell of a time getting a handle on the tasks at hand and, perhaps more vexing, they can't seem to provide realistic information. Granted, the River Mountain work is an unforeseen repair, but, unless I'm missing some key point, it is just not that big of a deal. When the I-40 bridge collapsed into the Arkansas River in 2002, traffic resumed in 2 months. I would have thought that we could get a culvert replaced in a similar timeframe.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Angry Dave's Bicycles:Open In Historic Park Hill

Central Arkansas has gained another bike shop as Dave Larson, a long-time presence on the Little-Rock area bike shop scene, has opened Angry Dave's Bicycles at 3515 JFK on Park Hill in North Little Rock.

Angry Dave's resides behind this attractive storefront on Park Hill 

 After a long stint at J&P Bikes in Sherwood and time with both Competitive Cyclist and Spokes, Dave is pursuing his dream to have a shop of his own. Many folks who don't know Dave by name have simply referred to him as "that tall guy" who worked on their bike. Some folks feel that bike shops can be a little snooty to the uninitiated shopper, but they shouldn't be put off by the "angry" part. I'm not sure how Dave picked up the nickname, but I've always found him to be a pretty mellow kind of guy in that bike wrench sort of way.
 "Angry Dave" Larson. Maybe it's like calling a fat guy "Slim".
Bike brands at Dave's will include top names like  Ridley, Intense, Marin, and Electra.
Electras should be popular in Park Hill.
Diane loses all sense of practicality every time she lays eyes on a pink Electra. So far, I've managed to convince her that her existing quiver of road bike, mountain bike, and commuter are enough, but I think it's only a matter of time before she goes for the cruiser.
When Diane and I dropped by last Saturday, Dave and his dad, Bruce, were still putting things in their place and cleaning up as they answered questions from customers.
In addition to the lines of quality road, mountain and cruiser bikes, Dave's seemed to have a good range of product for the BMX crowd. I don't know anything about that cycling discipline, but BMX has produced some of the better riders I know, especially mountain bikers. As for accessories, Dave has Giro helmets, Park tools, and Giordana looks to be the featured clothing line. I love high quality bibs and have had success with several brands, but, for me, Giordana seems to consistently fit and wear better than most other premium lines.
Dave tried to wave me off as I took a photo of his "messy" shop, but it looked pretty organized to me, in spite of a few empty boxes.
I grew up in Park Hill and we live there now, and both of my parents grew up within a couple of blocks of Angry' Dave's location, so I'm delighted to see a bike shop in what is very much my neighborhood. Though there are many very good bike shops in town, the Park Hill area was in a bit of a void that has now been filled. I hope that our growing cycling community will support its newest shop.
Here are details of this Saturday's grand opening from Dave's Facebook page:
Three BMX stunt shows, burgers and dogs, cold beverages, and LOTS of really cool bikes!!! Come see the newest shop in Central Arkansas!! 10-5 and shows at 12, 2, and 4 pm!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Along The Trail: Dry Holes and Unfinished Business

Once again, the weather has tossed Central Arkansas riders a curve in the form of a day in the high 80's, followed by severe storms, followed by temperatures in the 30's on this Saturday morning. It's late April and we should be well past mornings in the 30's, but the day warmed quickly and riding conditions were perfect by midday!
On the sprinkling of nice days that we have had to date, the trail system has been busy with the usual uptick of occasional users mixing with the regular trail crowd. There is seldom any conflict among the folks who are frequently on the trail; however, when the weather gets good, it is accompanied by larger crowds, many of whom have no idea of the notion of trail etiquette. The result is a marked increase in the volume of dog feces littering the BDB, many unattended children allowed to run unfettered, and oblivious meandering walkers. There are many sub-categories within these groups but one of my favorites is " the backing photographer". You'll see them as they pose their subjects against the BDB or Two Rivers Bridge rail, with a sunset and Pinnacle Mountain serving as a fine backdrop for a photo. Then, they plug the viewfinder to their eye and start backing across the width of the bridge as they frame that perfect shot. Their concentration is often such that their hearing seems to be turned off, as they become deaf to warnings from approaching riders and runners. They then seem baffled when they return to reality and see that they have stopped traffic.
Comments of this nature are often followed by complaints about rude riders, etc, etc.
There are a'holes in every crowd, of course, but I'm speaking in general terms here, and there seem to be fewer rider-caused issues these days. It is likely a function of enhanced riding opportunities out west and peer pressure from within the riding community, but I just have not seen much in the way of bad behavior from the road rider crowd.

I developed this little mantra as an easily remembered catch-all for trail behavior. It pretty much covers every situation and is something that kids can teach their parents.

River Mountain Road Drain Repairs

The equipment is in place, but the operators were AWOL when I stopped by on Wednesday. Reports indicate that they were at work on Saturday.
I contacted city officials a couple of weeks ago about the schedule for completion of repairs to the blown out drainage culvert that cuts off easy access to two Rivers park from River Mountain Road. I was informed that a fiber optic lines was to be moved and then repairs would take a week to 10-days. The fiber optic line was moved right on time and heavy equipment appeared on the site. I checked the area on Wednesday, but the machines sat unmoved. It's kind of amazing that within a matter of days  Exxon can get a high volume (high profit!) pipeline repaired in the midst of an environmental and human disaster in Mayflower while the City of LR still cannot seem to get a culvert repaired after 3 full months. The collapse of the culvert was reported here on January 15 and, at the time, it was predicted that repairs would take 6-8 weeks. That was deemed a ridiculously long time for a fairly simple project that has now dragged on for over 12 weeks, but it appears that the end is in sight.
Dry Holes: Water, water....I need...water
The water fountain near the BDB on the Little Rock side has been turned off for the last couple of weeks, as has a fountain on the trail near the Burns Park dog park. I contacted Jeff Caplinger in NLR and bike-ped coordinator Jeremy Lewno in Little Rock. Both promised to look into the problem. As of Saturday, the fountain at the BDB was on, but the NLR fixture remains dry.  Riders, runners, and walkers count on these places to refresh and resupply, increasingly so as the weather warms up.
You will occasionally see slack-line walkers around parks and campsites. My understanding is that the activity grew out of the climbing community as a means of enhancing balance, showing off, and killing down time around base camps. Most of the lines I've seen are maybe 10 yards long. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that some guys had strung up the longest slack line that I have ever seen---100 yards long!! They were enthusiastic, but limited by their hardware; they just didn't have enough mechanical advantage to pull the line tight enough to mount and to keep it off the ground.
I encountered the guys on their second attempt at the 100-yard slack line. Additional blocks and pulleys allowed them to get the line taut enough, though the wind kept the webbing vibrating and bucking.
Success! I didn't stick around after the initial walk, nor did I accept the offer of giving it a try!
One of the many things that I enjoy about the trail system is that you never know what or who you will encounter, though it is almost always someone enjoying something that they love and are willing to explain or share.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Burns Park is Poppin' !! Well, Could be...

From Jeff Caplinger, NLR Parks:

I am inviting you (and you are welcome to invite others that may be interested) to a public meeting this Thursday, April 18 at 6:00 pm at the Laman Library to learn about the Remedial Investigation the US Army Corps of Engineers will be performing in Burns Park beginning this May.


As some of you may be aware (based on our signs at some of the trail heads), Burns Park was formerly part of Camp Robinson and Camp Pike.  The area was used as training grounds during World War I and World War II.  Some ordnance clearing was performed before the property became what is now Burns Park.  In recent years, several ordnance remnants have been found in the park prompting the Corps to perform this Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study of Burns Park and two other areas in central Arkansas.


Posted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on April 14, 2013 ---

      The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) will host an open house on Thursday, April 18, 2013, to discuss the planned activities to be conducted during the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study fieldwork scheduled for May of 2013 at the former Camp Robinson in Faulkner, and Pulaski Counties, Arkansas.


      The meeting will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Laman Public Library Lecture Hall, 2801 Orange Street, North Little Rock, Arkansas. The meeting will allow for the exchange of information between the Corps and the community regarding site activities. In addition, the Corps will continue to work with the landowners to obtain rights-of-entry for its upcoming investigation.


      Camp Robinson was established in 1942 to train infantry, artillery, and engineering combat troops for deployment and redeployment overseas during World War II. Following World War II, parts of the Camp were closed, limited ordnance clearances were performed, and the property was conveyed to the Army National Guard, the State of Arkansas, local municipalities, and private owners.


      Project-related documents are available for review at the Mayflower Public Library, 6 Ashmore Drive, Mayflower, AR 72106.



If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact me.


Jeff Caplinger, CPRP

Project Coordinator

North Little Rock Parks and Recreation

phone: 501-791-8540

fax: 501-791-8528

Saturday, April 13, 2013

BACA Meeting, News,and Announcements

I'm gladly serving as a mouthpiece for BACA here.
 From Judy Lansky:

BACA General Meeting April 18, 6:30 P.M. US Pizza in Hillcrest, 2710 Kavanaugh. 
Want to promote bicycling in Central Arkansas? Support BACA and come to our meeting on April 18. We’ve been busy; come hear what is happening regarding bicycling. Our guest speaker, Jim McKenzie, Executive Director of Metroplan, will talk about the Broadway Bridge, the Imagine Central Arkansas survey and the proposed River Trail extension behind Dillard's among other issues. We will also have board elections for officers and two at-large board member positions. As always, there will be good food and good company. 
For more information on BACA, and how to join/donate, see, and like us on Facebook
Want to increase the opportunity for bicycling and pedestrian travel through better integration of land use and transportation? Urge the City of Little Rock to implement a complete streets policy, which recognizes the need for streets to be accessible to all potential users. At the City Board meeting on Tuesday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m., the City Board of Directors will consider a resolution of intent that the City adopt a complete streets policy. Please attend to show your desire to make the City of Little Rock a more livable community. For more information about complete streets, see


Bicyclists regularly use Highway 10 as a commuter route. We have the opportunity to make the route safe for bicyclists by requesting bike lanes as the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) considers improvements to Highway 10 from Pleasant Valley Road to Ferndale Cutoff Road at a public meeting on April 18 at Roberts Elementary School, 16601 La Marche Drive, Little Rock. The hearing begins at 4:00 p.m. Please take advantage of this opportunity to advocate for bike lanes on Highway 10. Stop by before the BACA meeting and fill out a comment card requesting bike lanes on Highway 10. If you are unable to attend the AHTD meeting, you will still have the opportunity to obtain a comment card from AHTD. We will have some cards at the BACA meeting on April 18 and they will be available on line after the meeting. More information on the public meeting can be found at:


BACA, and the Bicycle Friendly Community Committees of Little Rock and North Little Rock have joined forces to request the Mayors of the cities and the AHTD to put bike lanes on the new Broadway Bridge. Find more information and sign the petition here.

The City of Little Rock is holding public hearings in the various wards regarding expenditure of tax and bond moneys for street improvements. Some of the money will be spent on resurfacing streets in the different wards. Little Rock has already agreed to wide Pinnacle Valley Road from Cantrell to the railroad tracks as part of the resurfacing projects in Wards 4 and 5. For more information on the ward meetings and what you can do to promote the striping of bike lanes as the City moves forward with resurfacing, see
BACA sent a letter to Mayor Stodola requesting that the City put up warning signs on the hazardous portion of the River Trail from the Cantrell Viaduct to North Street alerting bicyclists to the dangers of the section (see The City has agreed to place yellow signs stating: “Arkansas River Trail /Temporary Bike Route Ahead/Proceed with Caution.” Thank you Little Rock.

The update will be considered at the next City Council meeting, April 22, 6:30 p.m.–please attend the meeting to show your support for all North Little Rock has done for bicyclists.
View the proposed bicycle plan at:  

For additional news about the development of bike lanes in SOMA, see
Cyclofemme Ride - May 12, 2:00 p.m. Two Rivers Park:
Ride of Silence - May 15 (more details later)
Bike to Work Day - May 17 (more details later)



In addition to the BACA website, stay informed about bicycling in Central Arkansas at and

We need volunteers for a number of projects including people who want to help (1) lead a Bike to Work Convoy, (2) design informational materials and brochures, (3) help recruit bicycle friendly businesses; (4) help organize community bicycle rides; (5) volunteer at events, (6) fundraising, and (7) any other way in which you would like to help promote and improve bicycling in Central Arkansas.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT. Hope to see you at the meeting on April 18. Please bring friends! Let’s work to make Central Arkansas bicycle friendly.

Judy Lansky
President, BACA

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Last Ride of the Litespeed

It's a very sad time here at the JBar Bunker. I've been chasing a noise on my beloved Litespeed Ghisallo and last night I discovered the source---a cracked seat tube. I've had the bike since September 2005, and have never really lusted for anything else. It just met my needs with understated true elegance. I liked hearing the owners of new carbon bikes celebrate a sub-1000g frame, as this ti frame weighed in at 880g and was a pleasure to ride on the harshest of roads. I was approaching 50,000 miles on the frame and was ready to ride it 50,000 more.

The Ghisallo is a beauty!
 I guess that this crack had been creeping over the last couple of weeks
Now, my quandary.What do I do for a bike? The Litespeed has a lifetime warranty and I can't find my damn receipt. I have the original build order and the the folks at Competitive Cyclist know the bike well, but apparently no validation other than the original proof-of-purchase will suffice. I file everything, and have the original paperwork for my 1983 Trek 560, but I'm at a loss as to why this is not in my bike file! I recall running across it some time back in an odd place, but the I've explored every nook and cranny today with no success. Bummer!
I'm trying to get my old Cannondale fit to ride, but it won't do for the long haul, and I don't have a clue as to what my next bike will be if I can't make a deal with Litespeed.
I'm just sharing a little pain here, folks. The weather finally gets squared away and I'm stymied for the moment. I guess that I'd better get back to work on the Cannondale!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mo' stuff: Broadway Bridge, Big George, and Bike Check Time

Broadway Bridge: Sign The Petition, Comment to the AHTD

There is an open public comment period that ends on Monday, April 22, 2013. The local cycling community continues to lobby for pedestrian walk and separate 5' bike lanes in each direction on the proposed new bridge versus the current plan for a 16' multiuse lane. The concern is that the new bridge will never be considered a serious
alternative for cycling as transportation or that cyclists will simply take to the traffic lanes. Due to the ramp configuration, riding the traffic lanes, particularly from north to south, will be inherently dangerous. The bridge is being touted as a veterans memorial and as an regional attraction. If that concept is successful, then the bridge's pedestrian/bike feature will become a promenade on which bikes will mix with meandering visitors. Here's how you can learn more and voice your opinion: petition: click the link, express yourself, and electronically sign the petition. petitions are an easy and pretty effective way to support a cause.
 Highway Department Comment Form: follow this link and you can opine on the lanes as well as have input on paint colors.

Big George to Ride the BDB100
George Hincapie has signed up to ride this fall's BDB100. I started to post this a week or so ago, but the third person to tell me also informed me that it was still a secret. I'm not sure if he's promoting his line of clothing, just riding , or here for some other reason. Most cycling fans will recall George as Lance Armstrong's most reliable lieutenant, the finisher of 16 Tours de France (3 were later disallowed), and more recently as sprinter Mark Cavendish's shepherd and mentor at Team Columbia-Highroad.
Hincapie's image has been tarnished by confessions of doping while in the service of Lance Armstrong at US Postal, but most fans and riders still consider Big George to have been one of the nice guys of the peloton and a tireless competitor.

Bike Check: Tires, chain, and cables
It is easy to ignore bike maintenance over the course of the winter when, for many cyclists, rides are shorter, less frequent, or nonexistent. When spring comes around, we're more interested in saddle time than in shop time, and the miles can pile up on the equipment. I'm pretty conscientious about bike upkeep, but even then sometimes things get overlooked.

A damaged sidewall like this can precede a blowout and is better discovered on the work stand than on a high speed descent.
A clean, well lubricated bike is a happy bike, and cleaning your bike allows you a good opportunity to check things over. Last week, after having navigated the gravel along the tracks near road repairs at River Mountain Road, I noticed that I had damaged the sidewall of my rear tire. I could have booted it, but the Continental GP4000S had over 3000miles of rear tire duty, so it was replaced. The rear tire gets much more wear than the front, so my practice is to move the front tire to the rear and replace the front with new rubber. I regularly get 5000 miles out of a Conti this way unless it suffers damage beyond normal wear. Never rotate a rear tire to the front!!
Many riders never give their chain much attention beyond cleaning and lubrication (some don't do that, but that's another problem), but it's good policy to check your chain for wear. Most bike shops do it as a matter of course when a bike is brought in for service, but it's easy to check yourself with a chain check tool or with a simple 12" ruler.
Measure chain wear. Place a 12 inch ruler along the bottom chain run, align the 0 mark with the center of a chain rivet. Note where the 12 inch mark aligns on a rivet. If the center or the rivet is at 12 inches the chain is new or nearly new. Off by less than 1/16" and the chain is showing some wear but is still serviceable. If it misses the 12 inch mark by more than 1/16" the chain requires replacement and the rear cogs should be closely inspected. Worn cogs on a new chain will typically cause the chain to jump or skip in the worn out cogs.
Cogs wear along with the chain, so that a new chain will not perform with a worn out cog set. Ignoring a worn chain will result in the purchase of a new cassette when the chain is finally replaced. Eventually a worn chain will start skipping on some cogs, but will often cause sloppy shifting long before then as the chain loses lateral stiffness.
Shifter cables can fail one strand at a time, causing uninitiated shifts as the cable gives out before eventually failing out on the road. The most common symptom is phantom shifting to smaller cogs on the rear cassette, as the front shifter cable get the most wear.
Changing cables is not hard, but unless you have a cable cutter and are comfortable adjusting you derailleur, let the bike shop guys do it.
 Most of us have had enough flats to consider ourselves capable, but if you are not confident in your abilities, a busy roadside in the summer heat is not the place to figure it out. I noticed that  Chainwheel still offers free flat clinics on Saturdays. "Free" is a hard price to beat, so I'm sure they would allow you to buy something while you're there.
From Chainwheel:
Ride with more confidence knowing how to fix a flat tire. Chainwheel offers a free flat changing clinic for our customers every Saturday morning at 11:00am. Show up with your new bike and flat repair kit and get tips from our pro service technicians free of charge.


Sweeping Off The Desk: Road Work, Rides, Reptiles, etc.

River Mountain Repair Work

The collapsed culvert at the base of River Mountain Road has been a pain in the ass for cyclists, walkers, and baby carriage carriers alike, but work is finally underway to make repairs.

Muddy conditions have made bypassing the area of a collapsed culvert difficult. Users created a path from broken up asphalt, but it was not "wheel friendly".
I was preparing to call out the city on the lack of action last week, but a crew showed up on Saturday to start moving a fiber optic cable to allow for installation of the new culvert.
This project has seemed to be excruciatingly slow, but progress is finally being seen. The parking and access limitations, along with bad weather, have cut down on the use of Two Rivers Park, though traffic from the west end of the park seems to be up appreciably. Folks love the park and will not be denied!
Tuesday Night ACF Rides
I have been advised that Arkansas Cycling and Fitness will not be holding the popular Tuesday night group rides from the submarine parking lot this year. Thanks to Dan Lysk and Addie Teo for their support of this ride. I'm sure that riders will still show up as these things tend to take on a life of their own. Having been involved in the evolution of the Fast Girls Slow Guys rides a few years back, I would advise that participants in this ride be aware of the scrutiny that groups get on the River Trail and stick with the practice of taking it easy on the trail and saving the speed for the open road areas.
Motorized Vehicles On The Trail
On two of my last three rides, I've encountered motorized vehicles on the River Trail in North Little Rock. On Sunday, it was a car full of young men on the closed portion of River Road, and on Monday, I crossed paths with a couple on a scooter on the trail at Big Rock Quarry.
I'm not sure if sign reading is a lost art or if people just think that the signs prohibiting motorized vehicles apply only to others. This lovely couple was enjoying a spin on the River Trail.
Small Concession on Cantrell
The AHTD followed through with this modification of the sidewalk junction near the Collegiate School /North St. trail patch at Cantrell. Thanks to BACA for extracting this promised bit of action.
Snakes On The Trail
They're back! While shifting my attention to a scattering bunch of pedestrians in Two Rivers park last night, I ran right over the subject of their aversion---a good-sized and very angry cottonmouth, seeing him in time to look right down into his (or her?)  wide-open mouth, but not in time to avoid him. I hold no malice towards snakes, but this species is to be avoided. Cottonmouths are prevalent in Two Rivers, while drier wooded areas of Burns Park seem to have cottonmouths and copperheads in near-equal numbers. The copperheads are prettier and less aggressive but are still not to be trifled with! With warm days and cool evenings, snakes are attracted to the retained heat of the asphalt trails as the sun goes down. Be careful out there!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Along The Trail: A Slow Start

The riding season is very slowly sputtering to a start here in Central Arkansas. Like most local cyclists, I've been doing more sputtering than riding, so there has been little in the way of inspired writing in this space. Sorry about that, folks, but I know that my tales of two consecutive Saturdays of garage organization would be of little interest but, hey, let me tell you about the great new shelf I put up over the kayak rack!! Admittedly, I did stir a little curiosity from the house when I fired up my chainsaw, a big ol' 20" bar Husqvarna, to cut some 2x4's to length. Not my finest work, but my two circular saws and chop saw are all currently residing at the river place and I was not to be constrained by the lack of proper tools.

 Last Sunday afternoon turned out to be fine after a rainy morning, and the pent up demand for fresh air and sunshine was apparent as the River Trail came to life with riders and walkers. Monday evening was predictably sunny with comfortable temperatures and trail traffic was heavy as many small ride groups gobbled up some miles ahead of a forecast for a few more days of rain and cold, with temperatures about 20 degrees below average. I've been trying to curb my whining, but it is becoming difficult.

The redbuds are leading a life parallel to the riding season. Just as they started to bloom, they were hammered by the cold rain.
Trail developments
As is usually the case, there are ongoing improvements along the trail. I'm all for smart development and here are a few things that take advantage of some available space without having to clear a forest.
Two Rivers Plaza
Work is underway on the Two Rivers Plaza II in Two Rivers Park.
 Judge Buddy Villines rolled out the plans for this area a couple of years ago. I hope that it turns out to be as appealing as the conceptual drawings, which depicted an attractive plaza with benches and shade that could serve as a centerpiece for this area of the park.
Burns Park Fishing Pier
The fishing pier near the soccer fields in North Little Rock Burns Park is shaping up.
I have a few concerns about cross-traffic and litter in the area, but I think that the pier will get a lot of use by fishermen and other folks who just want to enjoy a perch over the water.
Add A Fixit Station
This Fixit Station was purchased by the Marilyn Fulper Memorial Fund with proceeds from last year's Wampo Roadeo ride. It is located beneath the Main Street Bridge in NLR Riverfront Park.
Update On River Mountain Culvert Repair
Little Rock Assistant City Manager Bryan Day advises that a fiber-optic line has to be moved before construction can get underway.He was hopeful that the line could be moved this week. Repairs to the culvert and road should then take about 10 days after the line is moved. I don't want to paint Bryan into a corner, so keep in mind that dirt work is weather dependent and that the weather is going to suck for the next few days.
Park and trail users have been frustrated by the slow progress on this project, but it involves utilities and a railroad, neither of which shine when it comes to hurrying.
The first training ride for the Carti Tour de Rock is this Saturday and the group rides will be popping up like mushrooms as soon as the weather straightens out. Summer will come!
Folks, that's all I've got.