OT: Cycling

How many of you ride a bike regularly? Where do you like to ride?

I’ve been piling up the miles on my road bike since the covid outbreak, mostly on our trails around Northwest Arkansas. I’m wanting to branch out and ride some new areas. I went down to Fort Smith recently and rode near Fort Chaffee. What are some other areas I should look into?

Any recommendations would be appreciated. I’m willing to drive some to try something different.

I’ve been riding mostly road bikes for 40 years, putting in 100+ miles per week this year. I don’t live in Arkansas, but when I have ridden there, it is the mountains that call me. Petit Jean, Mt Nebo and Mt Magazine are climbs that I enjoyed. I like the opportunities for miles and lodging atop Petit Jean and Mt Magazine. If I did live in NW Arkansas, it would be the less traveled country roads that would be my choice, or mountain bike on dirt roads.

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Ever consider getting a gravel bike? There’s miles and miles of gravel that lead to some great views in NWA. I used to road bike mostly and eventually got tired of dealing with closed minded drivers in our state. I started gravel grinding and really enjoyed it. The occasional stray dog can be a pest but nothing some pepper spray can’t take care of.

As far as an epic road ride, you might consider what we call the JD, Jasper Disaster. You can start at the Youth Center in Harrison, ride to Jasper, take a right and head up Mt. Sherman to Ponca and then up Hwy 43 over Gaither back to Harrison. It’s right at 58 miles and about 6000 feet of climbing. Tour de Hills has been doing this ride in late April every year.

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Great views, great way to take it all in, assuming your legs and knees are up for it. So many incredible sites
in the beautiful state of Arkansas.

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Well I take about five spin classes a week :slightly_smiling_face: but that’s not the same obviously. I was amazed to find out that 1 hour spin class at a 100 RPMs which is not a full-fledged Sprint is equal to about 15-20 miles on the highway… I need to get me a bike because I do love to see nature and would be a good way to do it.

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There is a trail in the eastern part of the state — the Delta Heritage Trail — that has made me consider trying a gravel bike. I tend to stick to trails for the most part because it’s safe. I haven’t had any real close calls with drivers, but there have been a couple of times when someone went by a little too close for comfort. My wife and I have also known or known through acquaintances two people injured in cycling accidents on the highways. One died and the other was in a coma.

A third acquaintance was attacked by a pit bull on a state highway near Hogeye a few years ago. He posted pictures on his Facebook page and it was gruesome. Our newspaper had a report about it. Do you take pepper spray on all of your rides?

I resisted the temptation to buy a bike for a long time, then finally gave in about five years ago. It’s a great workout, but it’s oddly relaxing at the same time.

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Oh absolutely! You can go at your own pace when you’re on a bicycle!I live about a mile from USM Campus and there is a really long BikingTrail that people ride bikes on so I would have a good place to do it. I wouldn’t have a clue as to what kind of bike to get without spending a whole lot of money.

Some bike brands operate like car makers and have a yearly model. I bought my bike at a pretty good discount by buying the previous year model.

I got an email today about the 2021s for a particular brand, which means the 2020s should be marked down soon, assuming there are any left. When covid hit, a record number of people bought a bike this year.

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Yes, from a traffic perspective, gravel grinding is much safer. I really enjoy it. I’ve had a few close calls on my road bike and have friends that have been hit as well. There are many gravel rides in proximity to NWA that are cool and some in KS or OK too.

As far as pepper spray, yes on that too. I carry bear spray actually because it shoots a 25 foot stream. It looks like a small fire extinguisher. All you have to do is pull the pin and let ‘er rip. I’ve “educated” a few dogs who wanted to taste my calf. One time I had a dog owner confront me about it and I told him he was lucky I liked dogs because some other person might just shoot them. The dogs came running down the hill toward the road. I positioned my bike between me and them and right about the time they hit the road I let them have it right in the face. The next time I came by they stayed on the porch.

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