When most people think of bike friendliness in Central Arkansas they think of the Arkansas River Trail or the bike/pedestrian bridges across the Arkansas and Little Maumelle Rivers. They think of the mountain bike trails in Little Rock and North Little Rock, the bike racks on our buses or all the wonderful bike shops we have in the area. Maybe they think of the cool organized rides we have like Alley Cat races, Tweed rides, the Big Dam Bridge 100 among many others. Some even think of the organizations like Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas or the Arkansas Bicycle Club; but we have other heroes of bicycle friendliness in the area.
Micheal Chaffin of the Capital Hotel knows hospitality. It’s his business and he is successful because he lives and breathes it.
I first met Micheal last fall. We were both playing around with Google+ and he reached out to me with an idea combining his love of cycling and his knowledge of the hospitality industry. Micheal is a road cyclist, multi-sport athlete and I swear one day I will get him on a mountain bike. He also splits his time between Arkansas and Colorado thus he has seen what a vibrant bicycle community can do for a town. Micheal found a movie that he wanted to share with local cyclists, a movie about a fixie bike society in Bristol, England. He wanted to share it with our bicycle community. So back in December we showed Boikzmoind at the Capital Hotel to 50 or more local cyclists. It was a wonderful night showing off the beauty of the Capital Hotel to a segment of the community that hadn’t been taking advantage of all that business had to offer. Of course a lot of planning went in beforehand. Micheal had to plan for bicycles visiting the hotel. And thus the first hotel in Little Rock with valet bike parking was born.
Since then the Capital Hotel has been the finishing spot for rides like the Tweed Ride and last weeks Seersucker Ride. They’ve hosted a Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas meeting and just this weekend Lisa and I stopped by for lunch at the Capital Bar and Grill, appreciating the valet bike parking and the fabulous lunch and cold ice tea in the middle of a long hot ride. I look forward to more local businesses embracing cycling and the cycling culture the way Micheal and the Capital Hotel have. You can help by encouraging and supporting businesses that are willing to welcome the two wheeled costumers.
Tour of Duty Ride
Micheal’s hospitality does not stop with local cyclists. Recently the Tour of Duty Ride came through Little Rock. Micheal met up with the ride while running in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and found out they would be passing through and offered up accommodations at the hotel. They took him up on it and soon they were enjoying a visit to Central Arkansas during their ride across the country.
This event aims to demonstrate the respect and admiration we hold for the military, police, fire- fighters and emergency service workers who serve our countries with diligence, care and selflessness. It will mark the respect for all those who responded to the unimaginable and devastating attacks on September 11 and who continue to serve in the fight against terrorism, for freedom and peace. – TourofDutyRide.com
Micheal has some excellent information about the ride on his blog. He will be riding with them next week to finish the ride in New York on September 11th. Please take a look at the Tour of Duty website and give if you can or at least share it with your friends. The money raised benefits the Wounded Warrior Project and the New York Police and Fire Widows Fund.
Thanks again to Micheal for honoring these heroes and showing them some great Little Rock hospitality.