Op­por­tu­ni­ties

The Wam­poo Roadeo rolls through back roads to pro­mote bet­ter bi­cy­cling.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - CONLEY BYRD III Please send tips for ac­tive recre­ation to cbyrd@arkansason­line.com

The ninth an­nual Wam­poo Roadeo Met­ric Cen­tury Bike Ride will be­gin at 7:01 a.m. Satur­day at All Souls Church, 4601 Walk­ers Cor­ner Road in Scott.

Cu­ri­ous about the name? Or­ga­niz­ers say, in its first year, the route in­cluded Wam­poo Lat­eral Road. The term “roadeo” was bor­rowed from the Arkansas State High­way and Trans­porta­tion De­part­ment, which holds a yearly com­pe­ti­tion dubbed a “roadeo” that in­volves dump truck driv­ers, road graders, back­hoe driv­ers and trac­tor driv­ers.

The Wam­poo Roadeo’s course now by­passes Wam­poo Lat­eral, but the name re­mains.

The Wam­poo has a few ameni­ties, but it’s not a “frilly” ride. There are no T-shirts to be bought and no medals to be won. But this year, rid­ers can regis­ter on­line, and there will be packet pickup.

Early reg­is­tra­tion and packet pickup will be at Core Public House, 411 Main St., North Lit­tle Rock, from 5 to 8 p.m. Fri­day for $15 per rider. Core Public House will have food and drink spe­cials for Wam­poo Roadeo-ers.

On­line reg­is­tra­tion is avail­able un­til 11:59 p.m. Fri­day for $15 (or wait un­til Satur­day and do­nate $20 in per­son). Rid­ers also can regis­ter or pick up their pack­ets from 6 to 7 a.m. Satur­day.

All par­tic­i­pants must sign a waiver and wear a hel­met. Then the rider chooses a dis­tance, and that’s it, reg­is­tra­tion com­plete. The dis­tance op­tions are the full 62-mile met­ric cen­tury (100K) or the 40-mile route (65K). New this year is a 28-mile op­tion (45K).

Cour­ses will be marked, but they are on open roads, and rid­ers are ex­pected to obey all traf­fic laws. All three cour­ses be­gin and end in Scott. Last year, for the rid­ers’ safety, U.S. 70 was re­moved from the course, and that change re­mains.

What it skips in sou­venirs, the Wam­poo makes up for with sup­port. Rest stops for both longer dis­tances will be avail­able at Eng­land (Mile 19), Keo (Mile 25) and Be­vis Cor­ner (Mile 34). Af­ter the 40-mile route splits off at Be­vis Cor­ner, the full ride will have a stop at Lonoke (Mile 46) and a sec­ond stop at Be­vis Cor­ner (Mile 55) be­fore re­turn­ing to Scott. The 28-mile route will have ac­cess to the Keo Rest Stop (Mile 13) and the Be­vis Cor­ner Rest Stop (Mile 21).

There will also be a sag (sup­port and gear) wagon and a sweep ve­hi­cle to aid stranded rid­ers.

Fin­ish­ers will find ice cream and choco­late milk from Loblolly Cream­ery wait­ing for them, as well as watermelon pro­vided by the JDRF bike club, and mu­sic by Billy Jeter. (JDRF is a foun­da­tion for­merly known as the Ju­ve­nile Di­a­betes Re­search Foun­da­tion.) There will also be a raf­fle, door prizes and a silent auc­tion.

All pro­ceeds go to the Mar­i­lyn Fulper Memo­rial Fund, which do­nates money and buys equip­ment to im­prove cy­cling along the Arkansas River Trail. Among other things, the Wam­poo Roadeo has funded four bi­cy­cle-repair sta­tions, do­nated money to­ward a trail sweeper for North Lit­tle Rock, and it an­nu­ally buys and do­nates 400 bi­cy­cle hel­mets to Re­cy­cle Bikes for Kids.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Char­lie Hart, (501) 590-9525, or search for Wam­poo Roadeo on Face­book. For pre-reg­is­tra­tion, visit bik­ereg.com and search for “Wam­poo Roadeo.”

Fat Tire Fes­ti­val

The an­nual three-day moun­tain bike fes­ti­val will take over Lake Leather­wood Park in Eureka Springs from Fri­day through Sun­day, but off-road cy­clists will be vis­i­ble around town, too. The park is at 1303 Car­roll County Road 204.

Reg­is­tra­tion for a va­ri­ety of races is open un­til 4 p.m. Fri­day with fees rang­ing from $25 to $95.

And it’s not just for rac­ers: There will be ac­tiv­i­ties for kids, and a silent auc­tion and en­ter­tain­ment Satur­day night. There are also op­por­tu­ni­ties to hike, fish or ca­noe.

For more in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing camp­ing fees, visit fat­tirefes­ti­val.com.

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