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  1. #1
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    Moving to Little Rock!

    My girlfriend got a job starting the end of January in Little Rock. I'm excited to be moving to a new part of the country and making new friends.

    From what I've read it sounds like there's a lot of good riding in the area.
    I scuba dive and have read some of the local lakes can be really good. Rock climbing is excellent as well. I'm looking forward to learning all about these once we've settled in.

    Would you guys mind recommending some places to live? We'd like to be in a populated area that has shops, restaurants, grocery stores with in walking distance and is easy to escape when we want to head to the country. She's going to be working at St Vincent on north University and I680. I gotta start looking for a job. I've been a corporate dining chef for the last 6 years and a fine dining chef before that. I assume I'll be able to get some kinda job in or around Little Rock.
    I like to ride bikes.

  2. #2
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    Your best bet is probably the Hillcrest area of Little Rock. It's located around Kavanaugh between Markham and Cantrell. That pretty much satisfies all your criteria and will be close to St. Vincent's. There are probably other areas too but that's a nice area, although not cheap. There's also one of the best bike shops in the city there (Spokes Little Rock) on the corner of Markham & Kavanaugh. Midtowne would be a close 2nd as far as living/shopping (that's basically the N University area).

    There's definitely a huge variety of mtb trails in the city and many within an hour's drive. Within the LR metro area you have the River Trail, Burns Park, Allsopp Park, Pinnacle Mtn & Camp Robinson for mountain biking. Within an hour you have Iron Mountain (Arkadelphia), Lake Ouachita Vista (Hot Springs), Cedar Glades (Hot Springs). IMBA Epic Womble & Syllamo are little further than that. And NW Arkansas has plenty more for a weekend trip. Plenty of places to dive & rock climb as well. Getting out of the city isn't too bad from that part of the city as long as you avoid rush hour.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Little Rock is sounding better and better every day. Currently I have to drive about 45 minutes each way to get to good trails. They're amazing trails and totally worth the drive, but there's not much else. I've ridden the same trails over and over again.
    I like to ride bikes.

  4. #4
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    Re: Moving to Little Rock!

    2 hours from downtown LR is Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro. Easily the best maintained trails in the region. Only about 15 miles worth but well worth the drive. I've driven farther many times only to be disappointed.

  5. #5
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    Moving to Little Rock!

    I bought a house last year in pleasant forest and like it so far. It's close to the I430 and Cantrell exit. I also frequent burns park and ride a black hardrock sport so you might run into me out there. Welcome to little rock.

  6. #6
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    Welcome!

    Great advice given here so far, but for sure if you ride, you'll do well to be within riding distance of the River Trail and associated trails. Burns Park is the closest best Mt trails IMO. One of our XC series races is hosted at Burns every year.

    New local trails in the works too!!
    At what point did you decide you needed more than 1 gear?

  7. #7
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    What is important to you and your girl in a community?

    I moved here from SoCal in May of 2012.

  8. #8
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    Moving to Little Rock!

    We just found a place in the Near the river market that sounds good. Near the top of our list is the ability to walk to as much stuff as we can. This seems to satisfy this need.


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    I like to ride bikes.

  9. #9
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    Above the copper cafe or the loft 5?

  10. #10
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    little rock is a GREAT mountain biking town. if you live in the central or downtown parts of town you can ride to several great trails: Alsopp (intermediate to advanced), Boyle Park (beginner, intermediate), Burns Park (intermediate) and Camp Robinson... farther west is the Jackfork. then of course are two IMBA recognized trails about 2h from here.

    if you move downtown (loft you mentioned) you can ride your bike to burns park in about 10min and be on some great trail. might take you 20-25min to ride to Camp Robinson.

    personally, i'd recommend Hillcrest over downtown but they are both good. i'll second the rec of Spokes, my fav shop in town.

  11. #11
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    Moving to Little Rock!

    It's in the block 2 lofts on markham between Main Street and Scott street. We'll be arriving around the 13th but our stuff won't get there for another week including my mountain bike and scuba gear. We'll have climbing gear with us so we'll probably try to do some climbing at least.


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    I like to ride bikes.

  12. #12
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    Things to do and see. NOTE: Sort of in order. Also, you have gotten some good advice so far. I am repeating some recommendations and filling in gaps that I see.

    Ride:
    1. Camp Robinson
    2012 CARP Trails Map | OldeRascal.com
    Camp Robinson Trails, Step-by-Step ? Arkansas Outside
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/CARP-...60138057361343

    2. Iron Mountain (only an hour from LR and easily one of the best trails around)
    3. Hobbs
    4. Womble
    5. Syllamo
    6. Burns Park
    7. Jackfork (at Pinnacle Mountain)
    For more: Arkansas State Parks Mountain Biking Trails Easy, Moderate, Strenuous
    Fit 2 Bike | NLR Fit 2 Live

    Climb:
    1. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
    horseshoecanyonduderanch.com
    2. Little Rock Climbing Center

    Eat:
    1. Capital Hotel (Ashleys [more formal], Capital Bar and Grill [not so formal])
    1. The Pantry
    2. Za Za's
    3. Big Orange
    4. Local Lime
    5. The Root Cafe
    6. Ristorante Capeo
    7. Argenta Market
    8. Vinos
    9. Sushi Cafe
    10. Boscos
    11. Hanaroo
    12. South on Main
    13. Lily's DimSum ThenSome
    14. Zaffino's
    15. Gadwall's


    Shop:
    1. Spokes
    2. Ozark Outdoors

    Blogs:
    1. Arkansas Outside Arkansas Outside ? Everything you need to know about playing outside in The Natural State.
    2. JBar Cycling

    Scuba:
    1. Dive Shop II
    2. Lake Ouachita
    3. Greers Ferry
    Vis is so so, but blowing bubbles is fun, the community is pretty fun, and there is a memorial to Adam Brown in Lake Ouachita. https://www.facebook.com/FearlessRockMemorial

    Other activities - there are tons of other things (hike, boat, waterski) to do in Arkansas. The scale may not be what it is other parts of the country (vistas may not equal Moab or Yellowstone) but the accessibility, lack of crowds, and price are hard to beat.

  13. #13
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    My how things have changed since I lived in Arkansas 18 years ago. There was nothing to do Mountain bike wise and I grew up in Gravel Ridge and my grandparents were in Levy. I was in Camp Robinson all the time on a dirt bike. And Burns Park, I can't imagine where the bike track would be in Burns Park unless it is above the old Motocross track where they would sometimes have outdoor concerts close to the river.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Cool... That is where I thought it would be. I was born in Baptist Memorial right next to that area.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all the information everyone. We arrived on Monday and have been busy unpacking. So far everyone we've met has been super friendly and helpful.

    What are the trail conditions like now? Do you guys ride them year round? Do they get muddy and everyone stays off them till they dry out?

    Either way I'll wait till Monday when my girlfriend starts her new job to go for a ride.

    I should probably look for a job for myself at some point as well.

    For scuba diving how is Rick's Dive and Travel? I only ask because I just got my PADI Divemaster Cert before I moved and would like to pick up some DM work from time to time. It's more for fun than money for me so it's not super vital.
    I like to ride bikes.

  17. #17
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    Ricks was great in the early to mid 90s before I left. I did all my dive training there through instructor. He offered me a job managing his LR store which he had just opened at the time. He started in NLR only. I was a dive instructor for Royal Caribbean at the time and didn't receive the offer.

  18. #18
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    Welcome to LR, otis!

    In response to your question about whether to ride the trails after rains, it really depends on the trail. Some drain better than others. Pfieffer Loop and the green/red trails at Burns are generally okay. I don't think the trails at Camp are too bad either but it's been a while since I've been out there after a rain. The only ones to REALLY avoid when it's wet/muddy are the yellow trails at Burns. Allsopp isn't too bad either. Obviously, use your best judgement. If you find that you're leaving ruts while riding, you could always bail.

    Iron Mountain drains really really well and Cedar Glades is okay, but there are some areas that will be muddy.

  19. #19
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    Thanks, that's about what I was thinking...depends on soil and drainage etc.

    Are there any local clubs or trail work days etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by adinar View Post
    Welcome to LR, otis!

    In response to your question about whether to ride the trails after rains, it really depends on the trail. Some drain better than others. Pfieffer Loop and the green/red trails at Burns are generally okay. I don't think the trails at Camp are too bad either but it's been a while since I've been out there after a rain. The only ones to REALLY avoid when it's wet/muddy are the yellow trails at Burns. Allsopp isn't too bad either. Obviously, use your best judgement. If you find that you're leaving ruts while riding, you could always bail.

    Iron Mountain drains really really well and Cedar Glades is okay, but there are some areas that will be muddy.
    I like to ride bikes.

  20. #20
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    Also for you guys who dive are there any dive clubs in the area?
    I like to ride bikes.

  21. #21
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    Yes, and yes.

    For mountain biking, there's a meetup.com group called the Burns Park Mountain Bike Group that schedules rides from time to time. They have members of all skill levels/interest/fitness. In addition to that, a group was just formed called the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance (CATA) that was organized to build & maintain trail in the Central Arkansas area. Their website is here: Central Arkansas Trail Alliance - Home They are starting to schedule workdays to do trail work. There's a Facebook group for C.A.R.P. (Central Arkansas Recreational Pedalers) who ride primarily at Camp Robinson. I'm personally the mountain bike team administrator for the Spokes mountain bike team (we race for the Spokes bike shop in Hillcrest) and we have a weekly Wed night ride. Attendance varies but for the winter, we ride at Burns. The rest of the year we ride at Allsopp Park. And I think ppl have been meeting to ride Sunday afternoons at Camp Robinson. Once you get to know people, it's easier to coordinate rides.

    With road biking, there's team CARVE (Central Arkansas Velo) - probably one of the largest clubs in the area. They have a strong road and mtb team and are very active in the area. Though they are a club, they are affliated with the Chainwheel bike shop. There's also the Arkansas Bicycle Club (ABC) who tend to focus on advocacy and is more of a social ride club. Some of my friends have started their own road team (SimplexQ) and seem to be organized. There are some smaller groups too and some specialized groups (triathlon, etc) - but you can gradually find those out as you get to know the area.

    Here are some good links:
    ArkansasOutside.com (I'm good friends with the couple that runs this site and they post race reports & have a good calendar of outdoor events in the state)
    Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas: Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas - Home
    Bike Friendly Community Committee: Bike Little Rock
    Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series: The Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series
    Arkansas mountain bike trails: Mountain Bike Arkansas

    That should be enough to get you started, but feel free to PM me if you want more info. I don't know if you use Facebook, but that's a great resource when it comes to coordinating rides. I have friends posting about riding all the time on there so you can pretty much find someone going out.

  22. #22
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    We ride year round. Some are more sensitive than others to trail conditions. Burns tends to get sloppy this time of year and will stay that way until summer because trail users do not give the trails a chance to dry out after a day or so of rain. There are a few trails at Camp like 10Bridges that can get a little muddy, but a lot of the trails drain well and are very ride-able soon after a rain. You have to have a pass from Camp Robinson to gain access to the trails. Iron Mountain will probably be very rideable on Monday.
    We completed our OWC at Rick’s. A lot of people get certified there. Go see Tom.

  23. #23

  24. #24
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    The Iron Mountain video is my two riding buddies who I ride with when I go down to Arkansas from Michigan. Lots of good riding in Arkansas.

    sent from my Galaxy Note 3

  25. #25
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    Moving to Little Rock!

    Looks like great riding. My health insurance doesn't kick in till March 1st so I'm going to stay off the trails till then. In 2012 I went over the bars and broke my left cheek bone, upper jaw and orbital bone for a total of 9 fractures that ended up needed 5 1/2 hours of surgery to place 5 plates and 15 screws. I also broke the 5th metacarpal in my left hand. The total bill would have been $110K if not for insurance. So no health insurance no riding for me!


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    I like to ride bikes.

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