The Arkansas Bicycle Club holds a self contained ride each spring around a selected area of the state. The only requirement of a rider is to join the club, which is $25.00 per year. Each rider is responsible for their own meals and camping fee or an occasional motel charge. For those not familiar with the term "self contained" it means a rider will carry their camping equipment and clothing on their bike ( I actually ride a trike), and there is no sag vehicle. We are on our own.
An exact route is not yet set, but we seldom stick with a set route anyway. This year we plan to tour East Central Arkansas. The start will be in Brinkley, which is a town on Interstate 40 about mid-way between Little Rock and Memphis, TN. Most days we will travel around 40 miles with one shorter day, but the shorter day will include a few miles of a dirt road. This is basically a flat tour, but it does take us over Crowley's Ridge a few times which does require some climbing.
The current working route will include Village Creek and Mississippi River State Park. One night will be in Helena-West Helena at a private campsite. Another night will be spent at the starting point for the Delta Heritage trail with the final night at a campsite in Clarendon. As stated previously, this is subject to change during the tour.
There is some suggested reading prior to the tour. This route will include areas rich in history. Natural events of interest would be the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 and the flood of 1927. Also there is the starting point for surveying the Louisiana Purchase. Surprisingly, this point in in a swamp, which we plan to visit. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a general in the Confederate army. After the war he was instrumental in building the railroad tracks from Memphis to Little Rock. Forrest City is named after him. And then there is the tragedy that occurred in Elaine, AR where we plan to have lunch on this tour. That tragedy was a race riot in 1919 that resulted in the death of an unknown number of people, possibly in the hundreds.
Originally we planned to visit Memphis on this tour, but the Mississippi River decided against that. The entry to the bridge is in a low lying area on the Arkansas side which is flooded now and the prediction is that it will be flooded at the time of this tour ride.
Some nights there will be a choice of preparing the evening meal at the campsite or riding to a nearby cafe. However, at least two of the nights this choice will not be available, so plan to prepare your meal in the campsite, especially the first two nights.
This is not a commercial tour. This is just a group of people that like to ride self contained for a week.
John Linck 501-231-9350 firstname.lastname@example.org