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