Well I’m back on the bike. Due to several “ailments” I have not been on my bike for a couple of months. Last week I ventured back out. Some road rides a few climbs a little bit of dirt all around Little Rock. It was nice to be back on but horrible to realize just how out of shape I got in that short time. Not that I was in great shape when this all started but this is getting bad.
This weekend (Sunday) I decided it was time for a true test. the 20 mile loop at Lake Sylvia. This ride should really have a name. It’s the shorter (and easier) of two loops in the area. The other is a 40 miler with a killer hill that goes on for almost 5 miles. Lisa joined me for this ride. It’s all dirt roads with no singletrack. Nothing technical but it has a lot of climbing and has always been a good workout. An excellent training ground for adventure races.
Lake Sylvia is a small lake west of Little Rock off highway 9 just south of Perryville. It was constructed by the CCC I believe although a lot of the structures look more like WPA styles. They have a nice swimming area, campground and trails, plus the Ouachita Trail goes right through the area. This area is often referred to as the Flatside Wilderness. On the bike ride you pass Flatside Pinnacle Mountain, North Fork Pinnacle Mountain and from Flatside you can see Forked Pinnacle Mountain. It is a beautiful area.
There is not a lot of traffic but enough that you’d be hard pressed to be stranded more than a few hours without someone coming by. I always start at the Ouachita Trailhead parking lot near Lake Sylvia campground and ride in a counter-clockwise direction. heading north out of the parking lot you get a couple of miles of asphalt as a warm up before the dirt roads start. You’ll see a dirt road on your left that says hwy 88. Take this road and follow it for about 9 miles. When you come to a T intersection turn left again straight up the hill. At the top is the Flatside Pinnacle Overlook. To the west you can see Forked Pinnacle. You then continue following this road for about 8 miles and then turn left (It’s a four way intersection, you can’t miss it). Enjoy the downhill ride back into Lake Sylvia. Have fun on this one.