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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