Little Rock One of America

Kerry Kraus

 


Bicycling Magazine
has named Little Rock one of America’s top 50 bike-friendly cities in America. Unfortunately, in the description of the Capitol City, the facts leave a bit to be desired. It says “The city center needs work, but neighboring North Little Rock boasts the longest bicycle-pedestrian bridge in the world.” I guess they don’t realize that the Big Dam Bridge  (top photo) joins Little Rock and North Little Rock but the important thing is, we made the list, right?

In addition to having a not-very-clear description, the magazine left out a lot of improvements that Little Rock has done during the past several years to make the town more bicycle-friendly. Among these are the opening of the Junction Bridge  (middle photo) in downtown Little Rock, the Two Rivers Bridge in west Little Rock, the new mountain bike trails under construction at Pinnacle Mountain State Park
, and the ongoing conversion of the historic Rock Island Railroad Bridge next to the Clinton Presidential Library in downtown Little Rock. In fact, the U.S. Economic Development Administration just provided the last piece of funding needed for the project to begin.


A major cycling feather in Little Rock’s cap is the plan by Orbea, the elite Spanish bike manufacturer, to open a “unique laboratory

here. According to the managing director for Orbea USA, the project is a “retail shop to showcase Orbea’s coming products before any other store on the continent, both to test them in the Little Rock market and to display them for visiting American Orbea retailers.”
 
Another bicycle-friendly option for both Little Rock and North Little Rock (bottom photo) is the ability to rent bikes for cruising through the downtown districts. River Trail Rentals is located on the north side but services the south shore as well. Their rentals make bicycling an easy spur-of-the-moment pleasure.
 
Surely some of Central Arkansas’s dedicated cyclists will let Bicycling Magazine know about the few things they missed.  Perhaps it would have been more accurate to rate Little Rock AND North Little Rock as bicycling friendly.
 
Be sure and download a copy of our new on-and-off road bicycling brochure.
 
Happy Trails!
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3 comments on “Little Rock One of America
  1. Noel says:

    They do have a major point about the city center needing some work. We do have several areas great for biking, such as the River Trail, and the C.A.R.P. trails at Camp Robinson in NLR, and the new trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park will be great. The problem is, we are not bike friendly on our city streets. Anyone who has ridden a bike, any length of time, on the city streets also knows that our drivers could use to be more courteous to cyclists. That all being said, I am very happy we may the list. Perhaps this will open the door for more education about cycling and sharing the road for our wonderful residents.

  2. Kerry says:

    Thanks for your comments Noel. You’re right. There’s always room for improvement — especially for street riders. But compared to where we were several years ago, we have made great strides and hopefully, Little Rock will continue to be progressive.

  3. Joe says:

    Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas has a “Close the Loop” task force and is doing a lot of other things to improve the cycling experience in Arkansas. Check them out here: http://www.bacar.org/index.htm

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