Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Rock Bike Trails

(By Steve)   On our last full day here in Little Rock, I decided to get my bike in working order and check out the bike trails along the Arkansas River.   It was another picture perfect day!

I first drove to Two Rivers Park which was only two miles away from where we camped at Maumelle.  If I knew it was that close, I would have just ridden my bike.   For some reason I thought that I had to go out to a busy road first.   At Two Rivers Park, there were lots of people exercising and walking and enjoying the day.  It was more than I expected to see on a Monday.   Who says Americans always sit on their butt and watch TV all the time??? (Although too many do, for sure!)
Two Rivers Park

I drove from there across the new bike/pedestrian bridge to the south side of the river.   From there I rode to the "Big Dam Bridge" and crossed to the north side.   I noticed that the trail heading east was closed, so I asked a fellow cyclist, named Perry Scott, if you could get around the closure.  He showed me the way around the trail closures, and we rode together the next 8 miles or so all the way to downtown Little Rock.   I wouldn't have guessed it, but he was 83 years old!   He took up bike riding at 76 and has been hooked since then.   He told me how his wife wanted to buy him a bike for Father's day and he said he was too old for it, but then he thought about it and got himself a bike that same year and has been riding ever since.  He said he has even done rides over 80 miles!

My new friend and riding partner, Perry Scott
When Perry and I got to the downtown area, we crossed the new bike-only bridge and rode around the Clinton Library and other buildings in the area.   From there, we said goodbye, and I headed back on the Little Rock side of the river.   The trail here is not finished, so I had to wind my way along some city streets.   Along the way I rode over to the Arkansas state Capitol and circled it, but did not go inside.   It is quite a bit smaller than the ones in Oklahoma or Texas.   It was fun to ride again; I realized that I hadn't used my bike since December, when we were in Tucson.

It turns out that my riding partner for the day just happens to also be a semi-retired professional photographer! Since our ride, Perry used his specialized photo editing software and made us a 24 minutes slideshow using the photos on this blog!   He is hoping to post it on youtube in the near future; if so, I will post a link to it here.

A bridge that crosses the river built just for cyclists and walkers
You can see why it is called the Big Dam Bridge
This bridge just opened recently. It was a train bridge converted to a bike/pedestrian bridge.
The Clinton Library - We did not visit while here.  I admit, I was never a fan.  The building is quite impressive to see.
The trail passes through this arbor. I bet this is a popular spot in the heat of summer.
I circled the state capitol but did not go in

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