The Arkansas River Trail in Little Rock and North Little Rock is a transportation corridor. That’s right, it allows access by bike or foot to all kinds of great venues not just during the day but also at night. For instance, Saturday night, Dickey-Stephens Ballpark in North Little Rock played host to the 9th Annual Little RocktoberFest. This annual gathering of home brew aficionados, local brew pubs and a few national brand representatives is a wonderful event that celebrates all things beer. I figured it would be a perfect night to head over to taste their wares. I decided to also take in my first night ride over the Clinton Library Park Bridge. Since I didn’t think of this until the last minute I was unsuccessful in getting other cyclists to meet me for the short, 2 mile, ride from the parking lot of the Clinton Library to the ballpark. Of course since beer was involved (see Daddy, why do you run?) I decided to make the trip alone.
It was still light when I headed over and the sun was still too high to get any good sunset shots from the bridge. That will have to wait for another time. So I just enjoyed the short ride, over the bridge, through the RV park, past the submarine (yes, we have a submarine) and the river boat then zipped around a group of kids that looked like they were at the riverfront to get pre-homecoming dance pictures and then to the ballpark. I locked my bike to a bike rack, paid my $25 and headed in to enjoy the party.
I assumed that the Razorback football game may be keeping many local fans from venturing out to the ballpark on this perfect evening but those who gave up the television at home were treated to the game on the giant screen at the stadium along with smaller sets throughout the beer tasting area. Dinner for the show consisted of some wonderful brats with potato salad and plenty of suds to wash it down.
After a few hours I decided to call it a night and head back to the car. If you’ve never experienced the Arkansas River Trail at night you’re really missing something. I’ve spent midnight on New Years with a thermos of hot chocolate on the Big Dam Bridge, night rides with a group of mountain bikers in the dark and bitter cold of a winter night and adventure races riding along the river in the very early morning. It’s always a beautiful time to be out there. On the way back to the car I took this shot from the North Little Rock Riverfront of the Little Rock skyline. Nice way to cap off my evening.
So find an event to walk/cycle to along or near the Arkansas River Trail. Main Street restaurants and galleries in North Little Rock, Clinton Avenue and the Rivermarket district of Little Rock. Baseball games, museums and of course all the parks are within a short ride along the trail.
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You should have seen all the people downtown yesterday evening. I wondered if there was an event going on – but my friend said no. There were so many people at the new bridge, walking and riding. People were in the wetlands area too. An awesome evening to be out. I was happy to see people enjoying it with their families and friends.