Riding in a circle.

Riding a Bike for the Fun of it

Ozark Outdoor Supply

“Biking is not just a sport, it’s a way of life.”– Anonymous

It’s easy to get carried away when riding a bike. The old adage, “If there is more than one cyclist, it’s a race.” can often be the case. Testosterone and the competitive spirit take over and soon, you find yourself down in the bars, butt in the air, and mashing those pedals. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

“I ride my bike to ride my bike.”– Zen proverb

In Little Rock, cyclists have started getting together to just enjoy a gentle cruise through downtown. Rides where the majority are not wearing kits or using clipless pedals. The bikes are anything from beach cruisers to track bikes, to BMX bikes, to gravel bikes. They are often decorated with colorful lights. The average speed of these short (3-6 mile) rides is 6 to 10 mph. An easy pace allows the group to wave back at locals city on their porches, in their cars, and walking on the sidewalks.

Getting psyched for the Pink's Adult Night Ride last month.
Getting psyched for the Pink’s Adult Night Ride last month.

“The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world.” — Susan B. Anthony

The diversity of the riders in these groups is amazing. People at every level of cyclists and every age. Some younger participants are riding with their parents on cargo bikes, tandems, or in trailers being pulled along through the streets. Older kids are riding their bikes, novice riders are riding beside road racers. It’s an inspiring mix that well represents the population of Central Arkansas.

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“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best…”― Ernest Hemingway

Another plus of these rides is how much you learn about the place you live. The slower pace, often following someone who is taking you on a ride that is more about the journey than the destination allows riders to experience the area. Riding through Argenta, Quapaw Quarter, Pettaway, Downtown, Hanger Hill, Hillcrest, Stiftt Station, East Village, and more opens your eyes to the beauty and diversity of our region.

Gathering on top of a parking deck.
Gathering on top of a parking deck.

“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”– H.G. Wells

Here are two regular rides and an upcoming event that will allow you to explore our city by bike with one of these groups:

Pedal Party Little Rock –

Grown out of Critical Mass Rides, this ride happens weekly from early Spring until Fall. Every Monday night the group meets up at various spots at 6:00 PM and leaves at 6:30 PM. The rides are all different with varying destinations and routes. The ride attracts 60-100 riders and usually stretches out for two or three blocks. Stops include local parks, breweries, bike shops, restaurants, etc. but are still more about the ride than the destination. A couple of weeks ago, the ride went to the top of a parking deck where the Downtown Little Rock Partnership had set up a projector, screen, and sound system to watch the movie E.T. There were also taps set up by Stone’s Throw Brewing. There is no charge for joining this ride, all are welcome. Organizers usually announce the next ride by Saturday of each week on their Instagram account. There are only a few rides left in the season so get out there this Monday.

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Watching E.T. on a late Summer evening.
Watching E.T. on a late Summer evening.

Pink’s Adult Night Ride –

This ride is certainly more adult-oriented and works as more of a pub ride. Grown out of the Pedal Party rides, this ride happens every month or two and sometimes has a theme. This is still a slow roll. On Friday night, October 27, this group will meet for a Halloween-themed ride. There will be a costume contest so get dressed up in something you can wear while riding a bike. This is another free ride. More information is available on our calendar of events.

Jackalope

Little Rock Micro Fondo –

This is the first year of this ride. The Micro Fondo will gracefully traverse through Little Rock’s historic landmarks, offering not only a picturesque journey but also a chance to savor exquisite, plant-based cuisine. Along the route, you’ll find four carefully curated food stops that promise to captivate your taste buds and awaken your culinary senses. More information is available on our calendar of events.

We hope you can join Arkansas Outside on one or all of these wonderful events. You can get more involved in making our streets safer for these events, commuters, and pedestrians by contacting Bicycle Advocacy in Central Arkansas.

 

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