Location: Arkansas

Big Dam Bridge 100 Post-Mortem

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has a long article looking back at this year’s Big Dam Bridge 100, an annual event that celebrates the “Big Dam Bridge” over the Arkansas River in Little Rock. The 4226-foot bridge is the longest bridge built for pedestrian and bicycle traffic in North America.

This year’s ride hosted over 1,700 cyclists of all ages, abilities, and experience levels. No ride of that size goes off without its share of challenges, and this year’s Big Dam Bridge 100 was no exception. The article details some of the problems encountered during the event:

The vast majority of happy people who enjoyed a pleasant outing under a crisp blue sky would be surprised to learn that other riders crashed and hurt themselves, at least two seriously enough to require medical attention in emergency rooms. Scraped knees and elbows were not common but also not unseen; at least three people got up from the pavement and rode on with bumpy foreheads. But the most common mishap was a classic: flat tires.

The central Arkansas century ride specialized in teaching things that should have been known and yet were not. For instance, everybody knows you can’t pull a rusty bicycle out of your storage shed and pedal it 50 or 32 or maybe even 14 miles without something going wrong. Everybody except the people who clearly didn’t know that.

But despite the problems, most participants enjoyed the experience:

Donna Sanders, who lives in Kansas, was visiting North Little Rock on business and happened to have her mountain bike with her. She often pedals 22 miles, so she decided she’d try out the 32-mile course. “It was wonderful. I mean I had a ball,” she said. “I’m going to go bigger distances next year. I’m going to get another bike so I can go longer distances.”

Read more from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

See also: Lessons of the road: Sunglasses, shorts, signs, shifting and stamina, also from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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