Conway Advocates for Bicycling sponsored a community ride around Conway on Thursday. UCA students and faculty were invited to attend, as well as members of the Conway community. This was the first CAB ride that included UCA.
Peter Mehl, associate dean of liberal arts and philosophy and religion professor, is a member of CAB and planned the route for Thursday’s ride.
Mehl said “the route was designed for students to get familiar with riding in Conway.” The cyclists left from Old Main and rode downtown, taking a less conventional path through Conway.
The route included passing Hendrix College, traveling through a tunnel underpass featuring LED lights, and riding past the Village at Hendrix.
Mehl said he designed this route to create a sense of comfort in bicyclists when riding around the city. The cyclists rode past Tucker Creek Trail in both directions to show that the trail connects on both sides of Conway.
The group stopped at Tropical Smoothie for a refreshment break and continued the route back to campus. Mehl said the rout was about eight miles long.
All groups invited had a representative show up to the ride. Several faculty members, familiar community faces, and students were in attendance.
Junior Nathan Jones said he heard about the event from a Student Services email.
“I have gotten into cycling recently, toward the end of last year,” Jones said. “I was interested in meeting other people in the community who are into cycling. It’s definitely more fun with more people.”
CAB is a nonprofit organization that started in the last four years as a result of the desire for the city to become more bike-friendly.
Mehl and another CAB member Jim Bruce are the only certified instructors in Conway for the bicycling classes CAB offers.
Mehl said the goal is about educating and encouraging riders and to get more people riding bikes in Conway confidently and safely.
“A common misconception riders have is that one is supposed to ride into traffic,” he said.
“Bicycles are like small vehicles, and they should be treated as such. Stopping, signaling – all of these are important factors in safely riding a bike around the community.”
Mehl and Bruce instruct several classes in Conway. Most classes teach basic bicycle maintenance, including educating the community on how to fix a flat tire.
For more information about CAB, visit cycleconway.com.