Friday, May 24, 2013

May 23, 2013. North Little Rock, Arkansas. 46 miles.

Peggy came to our hotel and we followed her to a park to start our ride. Several of her friends were there for an organized ride, but only one, Judy, stayed to ride with us.

First we rode the Arkansas River Trail and crossed the Big Dam Bridge, the longest bridge built specifically for bike and pedestrian traffic, right over the top of the Murray lock and dam. North Little Rock is incredibly bike friendly, and Judy and Peggy told us all about its former mayor who is a cyclist and was instrumental in making it that way.

We finally got Bill out of the truck and on his bike today!

We rode an extensive network of trails, crossing back and forth across the river between Little Rock and North Little Rock. There are three bridges here just for cyclists and pedestrians.

There are also bike repair stations along the trails, and at one we found a man changing his tire.

He was having some trouble, and if there's one thing I can do it's change a bike tire! So I offered my help and soon Mike and Barbara were on their way.

Dianne wanted to go to the Clinton Presidential Library, so Bill, Dianne, and Judy headed there while Peggy, Ed and I kept on riding. We rode all through Burns Park, the second largest city park in the US, behind New York City's Central Park. We also did a long climb with a lot of switchbacks, ending up high on a ridge at Ft. Logan H. Roots, now a VA Hospital. The buildings there were all built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and are in beautiful condition.

There is a bike trail up there too--on a ridge high above the city.

The trip down from the ridge was at breakneck speed for Ed and Peggy, and I was not far behind. We cycled down to the area of the Clinton Library (below), found Bill, and went to the Heifer International site, where people can donate money to send animals, seeds, trees and education to people in 40 countries including the US.

Peggy left us at a market in Little Rock, but not before inviting us to have dinner at her home this evening! We had lunch and ice cream, returned to the hotel and boxed up our bikes to send on to the next adventure.

We drove out to Peggy and Lee's lovely home for dinner and spent the evening with them and Judy and her husband Ken. What a great time we all had, drinking wine and telling stories. I told the story of Lee giving me the wool socks off his feet on the cross country bike trip, and when I looked it up discovered that it was exactly 5 years ago today that he did that! Here we are Judy, Ken, Lee, Peggy, Dianne and Ed saying goodnight after a great evening!

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