Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Big Rock and Week Old Event Reports: Joe Weber Arky100, Biketoberfest

Just before the storm.
 I was so taken by the light on a recent Saturday morning that I stopped to take this photo. Minutes later, a thunderstorm rolled through sending my ride partner and me, and likely these runners, scampering for cover.
Big Rock Quarry To Become Park Land In Swap
A view of the Big Rock Quarry from the BDB last Friday evening.
 It appears that the NLR City Council will move to bring Big Rock into the Burns Park system in exchange for park land to be used to develop a motel at the Burns Park I-40 exit. I'm less than excited about a motel in the park, but I encouraged the land swap over a year ago as plans to sell the quarry property were on the table.
The motel concept had already been approved at the time, and the city was looking for adjacent property to buy and add to Burns Park. That step was required due to the fact that the federal government had given the city land from Camp Pike for use as a park only. In order to use it for other purposes, the city had to obtain and add a like parcel.
Arkansas Bicycle Club Joe Weber Arky 100
I thought I was done with "event rides" for the season, but I was easily sucked in to ride the Arky when, A) Our weekend plans changed leaving me with an open day, and B) My weekend ride group declared they were riding the shorter 62 mile distance.
It was a good call, as the ride was a lot of fun and very well supported.
The ride begins and ends at the Sheridan Community Center. ABC provides some prime incentives other than just a quality ride, as instead of the usual cotton T-shirt, they provide a nice long-sleeve technical top, and after the ride, volunteers grill up cheeseburgers and hot dogs for participants.
The burgers proved to be very popular and the cooks struggled to keep up with the demand, but in the end everyone was satisfied.
Over 200 riders participated in the ride, as evidenced by sell-out and need to re-order shirts and by the intense pressure put on the burger cooks!
The Arkansas Bicycle Club remains a constant in our community, as demonstrated by the fact that this was the 42nd Arky100. Thanks, folks, good job!
Sponsored by Chainwheel and the Little Rock River Market, Biketoberfest appears to have been a huge success. I got home from riding the Arky at Sheridan, grabbed a shower, put on fresh kit, and rode on down to check out the scene. I expected to get there just in time to see everyone leave as I arrived at about 2:45, but I found things in full roar.
These bikes were judged to be the best "Rat Rides".
The crowd was still fully engaged when I arrived at Biketoberfest. It is sometimes difficult to keep out unsavory types in search of light beer.
Having two very successful events on the same day, the Arky and Biketoberfest, is indicative of the fact the Central Arkansas metro area is indeed becoming "Bike Town".
Cycling continues to gather momentum and become a part of the fabric of our community. As is true of many things, as more people ride, the more people choose to ride!
Ride leaders:
Pat Hays, former NLR mayor, current BACA board member, and champion of the River Trail, will announce his run for the 2nd Congressional district seat currently held by Tim Griffin.
Barry Hyde, a general contractor, former state representitive, and a cyclist, will be running for county judge as Buddy Villines retires.
Election day is a long way off and choose your candidates as you will, but keep in mind that are our cycling infrastructure is largely the result of politics. Don't wait until election day to learn where candidates stand on the issues that are important to you.

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