This past weekend we put together a nice little ride for the mountain bikes. The Little Rock area has a wonderful array of cycling opportunities. Wow, that sounds a little like something from some marketing guy. Let me start over…..
What a freakin’ awesome weekend! Temperature in the 80’s, clear skies, the perfect breeze and the excellent trail systems of Little Rock and North Little Rock. To start the weekend, payin’ my dues, three hours of trail work at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Got a nice treat about halfway through, suddenly a wooshing sound from above. There it was, a hot air balloon came floating over the mountain. It was going to be a great weekend!
Sunday morning L and I headed out for a little ride. Starting at Murray Park we rode west on the river trail to the Big Dam Bridge. It was early and only a few had ventured out to the bridge. On the North Little Rock side we accidentally missed the turn for the Pfeiffer Loop Trail. It would have been an easy warm-up but that was okay, we stayed on the river trail headed for the trails at Burns Park. I had heard that a lot of trail work had been done recently and wanted to see the new stuff.
We first rode the easy flatlands of the western part of the park then made the climb past the horse area to the Boy Scout trails and up to the top of the ridge. Going north we dropped down to the abandoned road and then up the next ridge. I love this part of the park. We dropped down again and passed the pavilion area. I saw the turn off for some of the new trail a bit too late and instead took on another climb. We soon cleared the area and hit the road.
At this point we decided to go east on the river trail to climb the Fort Roots switchbacks. There are two ways to the top of Fort Roots, the mountain bike way and the road bike way. We opted for the previous. It’s a nice climb with some tight switchbacks, a little gravelly. At the top we took a few minutes to eat some jelly beans, almonds and raisins. Next we were down the relatively new trail down the east side of Fort Roots. Nice ride with beautiful views off the bluff line.
At the bottom we decided to keep going east and cross the river downtown instead of going back to the Big Dam Bridge. By now the churches would have let out and the bridge would be crowded. So off we went down the river trail to the Main Street bridge and over into downtown Little Rock. A couple more miles following the river trail through Little Rock brought us back to Murray Park for a 21 mile ride.