Little Rock pro-cycling power couple Ernie and Scotti Lechuga never met a challenge they didn’t find a way to overcome. Known in Arkansas for the Leborne Coaching service they launched in 2010, which now includes the Kickr Studio training facility in Little Rock’s Stifft Station neighborhood, they credit cycling for carrying them through some of the greatest physical and mental challenges in life.
IN 2008, the year he was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, Nat Ross retired. He was 36 and had been racing for more than two decades, since he was a teenager. He’d been dominant as a member of the Subaru-Gary Fisher Mountain Bike Team, racking up 40 solo 24-hour races, including nine victories. He’d competed in the first X Games in 1997 (as both a pro skier and mountain biker).
Bike Bentonville’s director sees new home as model for small towns across America.
Like most kids in the 1980s, Aimee Ross started with a big wheeler before switching to a bike with training wheels. When the time came to ditch those, there was a hitch: “I was super short; my parents couldn’t ever find a bike that fit me.” She took things into her own hands. Her brother had this black BMX bike. “I’d pull the bike next to the porch and then get on from the porch. Whenever I wanted to stop, I would have to ride back to the porch and slowly crash into it.”
Traci Berry, trail coordinator for Hot Springs’ Northwoods Trails System, the most exciting mountain biking development in Central Arkansas in years. The multiuse trails designed especially for mountain bikes are the centerpiece of the newly opened Northwoods, 2,000 acres of pristine woodlands a short distance north and west of downtown’s Park Avenue. The park includes three lakes that were built as drinking-water reservoirs: 13-acre Lake Bethel, 24-acre Lake Dillon and 28-acre Lake Sanderson.
Erin Rushing, executive director of NWA Trailblazers, perhaps the state’s leading trail developers, estimates that his group is building 1.5 miles of soft-surface trails on average per week. His nonprofit, which focuses exclusively on Northwest Arkansas, has greatly benefited from the Walton Family Foundation’s dedication to cycling, which is propelling many of the efforts detailed here.
Peggy and Lee Muncy first met in the early 1990s when attending a master’s swim class at the Little Rock Racquet Club. Lee was in training for a Canadian Ironman triathlon, and Peggy simply liked to swim and wanted to get in shape. Romance bloomed, and they wed in October 1992. Of the twelve swimmers in the group, four paired off and got married.
When I was race training [for cross-country racing from 2013 to 2017], I was usually getting 100-plus miles a week. But now it ranges: during the winter, as few as 20 and as much as 100 in a week. Once the warmer weather starts to hit, I can get in 60 to 100.
Thanks to a schoolteacher from Russellville, bike-packers and other cyclists can follow a 1,200-mile trail that will take them from the Ozarks to the Ouachitas.
Arkansas is now the second state in the country that allows people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights like stop signs.
The Walton Family Foundation has granted Cedar Glades Park in Garland County $450,000 to improve its trail system.
Arkansas State Parks has initiated a new directive that allows Class 1 electric mountain bikes on park trails where mountain bikes are allowed.
Adventure is the word you’ll hear in the latest forays into trail building in Arkansas. It’s the word Suzanne Grobmyer, director of the new Arkansas Parks and Recreation Foundation, says describes the foundation’s goal in its work with funders to build biking and hiking routes in state parks.