Monday, November 2, 2015

'DIA DE LOST MUERTOS' Ride And Festivities, Along With Great Prospects For The East Side

Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of The Dead, is a Mexican holiday which recognizes and remembers friends and family members who have died over the course of the year. The cycling community in Little Rock gathered at Lost Forty Brewery on Sunday for "Dia De Lost Muertos", a slightly more festive event than tradition might dictate, as I don't remember the deceased being remembered with a trike toss.
Here's a description of the event from its Facebook page:

Join us for the Lost Forty Brewing 'Dia de Lost Muertos' End of Season Procession & Pints Ride on Nov. 1st at 2pm.

We'll lay the cycling season to rest with a Dia de los Muertos inspired costume fun ride, a lowrider bike styling competition, tacos, Mexican brunch items, cash prizes for best dressed riders, lots of free swag, a Trike Toss to benefit Recycle Bikes for Kids of Arkan
sas and of course... beer.

Chainwheel Bikes, Arkansas Outside, BikeAR Magazine, Arkansas Times, and El Latino have teamed up with Lost Forty Brewing to bring you the best last ride of the season. Take advantage of the Halloween season, and get those sugar skull costumes ready! We'll see you Sunday Nov. 1st at 2pm - Cheers!

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of enthusiastic participants who went to great lengths to get into the spirit. Sunday was a suitably gray and dreary day, but temperatures were comfortably in the mid-sixties and spirits were bright.

Pictures tell this story far better than I can, so, here we go:

 Addie Teo trying not to crack a smile.
It is really hard to remain solemn when you're having so much fun.

I'm reasonably sure that Chainwheel's Pat Barron is somewhere in this photo.


Outstanding costumes and cool bikes were the order of the day
Dan Lysk and Addie Teo led the not-quite-solemn procession.
Of course, I always love seeing a woman ride in a skirt and heels. The handlebar mounted alter was a nice touch.
I'm not sure the second rider  on this tandem arrangement was much help. Too skinny.
This young rider was getting a lot of encouragement as she negotiated rail tracks, a little traffic, and a large group of costumed riders on the route to the Clinton Presidential Library.
I'm sure that the organizers were please with the large turnout and the enthusiasm for Dia De 'Lost' Muertos. From the response, I would guess that we will see it held again next year. The success of the event says much about Central Arkansas' embrace of cycling, good craft beer, and a vibrant downtown community.
 Only a few years ago, this area of east Little Rock could not have been imagined as a flourishing and rapidly growing entertainment and business scene. The Cromwell architectural firm recently announced that they would be renovating and moving into the Stebbins and Roberts properties at 6th and Shall, and new projects seem to be announced almost weekly that will bring more life to the neighborhood. The success of the River Market District and South Main have helped provide the impetus for more central city growth and, hopefully, the slowing of the urban sprawl that has helped to kill the heart of many cities, Little Rock included.
As discussion heats up on the widening of I-30, it is heartening to see some civic leaders question the wisdom of allowing the growth of the barriers that interstate highways represent to cities. The highway and transportation lobbies are powerful, but the recently raised voices give hope that we might begin to be more focused on infrastructure that supports living in our cities rather than simply speeding through them.

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