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Bicyclists to show state what kinship looks like

by Celia Storey | May 7, 2012 at 2:11 a.m.

— May’s usual little parades for bicycle advocacy won’t be so little or usual this year.

Beginning this week, cyclists around the state will hold events meant to entice more Arkansans to begin riding, or to begin riding to work, or to drive their cars so that riding becomes safer for everyone.

Next week I’ll try to mention everything I know that’s planned in central Arkansas; in the meantime, you can get a heads up about multifarious commuter routes and shopping discounts on the Facebook page “Ditch the Keys.”

But the fun starts this week, with Walk or Bike to School Day in a few school districts around the state Wednesday. A national website,, listed two participating schools in Arkansas last week, but from word on the street, I know others are in the works. Interested parents can check with their children’s schools.

Also this week, in the Northwest, Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks plans: Its annual Bicycle Commuter Challenge.

A Carrot Mob Ride in Fayetteville from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday.

Mayor’s Bike to Work Week proclamation and an Urban Ride at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Fayetteville.

The group rides are a little different: they are about shopping.

To understand that, you must know that a customer incentive program, Bicycle Benefits Fayetteville, allows retailers to offer discounts to customers who wear a $5 sticker on their helmets (details are at

The Carrot Mob Ride is tied to these discounts. Cyclists can thank some of the retailers by joining a group ride with stops at several stores.

The route will begin at Terra Tots, 557 S. School Ave., where refreshments will be served. Anyone who arrives early and hungry can dine next door for 10 percent off food and (nonalcoholic) beverages at Greenhouse Grille.

The group ride will take the Frisco Trail to Fiddlehead Fern Therapeutics, 546 W. Center St., where therapists will offer chair massages. Meanwhile cyclists can try their hand at changing a flat tire quickly.

About 6 p.m. the group will travel north along the bike trail to Phat Tire Bike Shop, 3761 N. Mall Ave. Next they’ll swing by Arsaga’s on their way back to the Mill District, organizer Laura Kelly says.

On Friday, Mayor Lioneld Jordan is to read a proclamation at Town Center Plaza expressing the city’s approval of cycling. After that, cyclists can join the Urban Ride, which will take city trails to Mellow Mushroom, which will offer Bike Benefits discounts on food and beverages.

What’s the annual Commuter Challenge?

This is a contest in which employers can win glory for themselves and gifts for their workers by encouraging them to bike to work Sunday through May 19.

There are three categories based on a business’s total number of employees: four to 20, 21 to 100 and 101 plus. The workplace team in each category with the greatest percentage of bicycle commuters on any given day of Bike to Work Week will win.

Divisions or departments with a separate physical address may enter as a separate business, so one company could field more than one team.

There will also be prizes for the top two bicycle commuters with the longest commute on any given day during the challenge.

Registration is online at; each member of a team should register and log his daily miles.

Conway Advocates for Bicycling also has a Commuter Cup Challenge, May 14 through 18. Sponsored by The Ride bike shop, this is a chance for businesses to compete based on cumulative miles biked by at least five employees.

Business and individual winners will be announced during a “Bike From Work” social from 5 to 7 p.m. May 18 at ZaZa’s Pizza in Hendrix Village. More information is at (501) 764-4500.


In Little Rock, some women will celebrate Global Women’s Cycling Day with a ride at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on the Arkansas River Trail.

In Fayetteville, other women will mark the same occasion with CycloFemme Ride at 2 p.m. Sunday beginning at the University of Arkansas.

An international observance, the day was begun by Sarai Snyder, who in the mid-1990s managed a bike shop in Kentucky (these days she lives in Boulder, Colo.). She was dismayed to see few women patronizing the shop, given the cultural role cycling played in women’s emancipation from the corset and other encumberances.

The Fayettevillians will gather on the front lawn of Old Main, where Ginger McKinney will lead them south and around town, winding up at Walker Park. More information is at

In central Arkansas, Lisa Mullis of will meet any women who’d like to ride with her at 11:30 a.m. on the Little Rock side of the Big Dam Bridge.

They’ll cross the river to Cook’s Landing, where anyone who prefers to start in North Little Rock is welcome to jump in.

They’ll pedal the River Trail to a picnic (served by men) in Clinton Presidential Park before returning to the Big Dam Bridge via the Little Rock city bike route.

Mullis says this will be a leisurely outing with women of all paces welcome.

More information is at

All Rise

White River Medical Center Cycling will present the annual All Rise Century Bike Ride at 8 a.m. Saturday. That’s a little later than in the past, to allow out-of-towners more time to reach Batesville.

The self-paced, all-skills tour will begin in the parking lot of the Independence County office of the Department of Human Services, 100 Weaver Ave. (two miles east of Wal-Mart on Arkansas 69).

Riders will use a 50-mile out and-back course, which allows them to choose their own distance up to 100 miles. Much of the way has rolling hills but nothing so huge as to inspire dread.

There will be (at least) four aid stops with drinks and snacks.

Helmets are required. Registration costs $20 and is available on site or in advance from Lee Huff at (870) 793-8897.

The event intends to raise money for the Independence County DWI Court, so riders are welcome to collect donations. Each rider who raises $250 or more above the entry fee gets a prize.

ActiveStyle, Pages 24 on 05/07/2012

Print Headline: Bicyclists to show state what kinship looks like


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