NEABC News

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January Update

We had wonderful news from the Mayor of Trumann, AR.  The city has agreed to allow Share the Road Signs to be installed! The city has purchased the first two signs which will be installed near the elementary school in memory of Dee Shoemaker.  Dee was local runner who was struck by a car while running in October of 2008.  She was a much loved P.E. teacher at Cedar Park Elementary in Trumann. 
 
At the January meeting, it was decided that NEABC will submit  a proposal to Jonesboro Parks and Recreation for a bicycle pump track and mountain bike skills terrain park to be built at Craighead Forrest using funds from the recent New Belgium Brewers grant.  A pump track is a continuous loop of turns and bumps that is ridden without pedaling.  A skill building facility would include features that mimic obstacles that are often found on mountain biking trails.  The facility will provide a fun, safe environment for children and beginngers to learn and practice mountain biking skills before hitting the trail. Not only are pump tracks great for kids and begginers, they are a fun challenge for advanced riders. Check out this community's pump track project: http://chambersburgpumptrack.blogspot.com/
 
On January 14th, cyclists, city officials, and community members met with Dr. Ruth Hawkins of ASU and the Crowley's Ridge Scenic Byway and Terry Easton of the Mississippi River Trail about bringing the MRT through Eastern Arkansas.  This is an exciting opportunity to connect Arkansas to the 10 other states along the MRT and increase cycling infrastructure and tourism in our area. A multi-day ride is being planned for April 12th that will begin in Cape Girardeau, MO, follow the Crowley's Ridge Scenic Byway, and end in Helena, AR. This ride will be a "test drive" of the proposed route and will include stops along the way to visit with mayors and county judges.  The details are still being worked out, but it is sure to be a fantastic ride and I hope that all of you will put it on your calendars. I will keep you all posted as we know more.
 
Also coming up is Bike Month (May).  NEABC will be hosting our 2nd Annual Bike to Work Day on May 21st. We will also be hosting a great event that weekend (22nd and 23rd) that you won't want to miss. On Saturday, we will be have classes and clinics for all things cycling. Topics will include road skills, repair and maintanence, injury prevention/first aid, and mountain biking skills.  On Sunday, we are planning a casual "use your new skills" ride. The goal of the weekend is to get as many folks as we can to get their bikes out of the garage and onto the road or trail! We'll need plenty of volunteers and sponsors... if you or your business is interested please email Sally at sallybway@suddenlink.net.  More details will be coming soon!
 
 
 

NEABC Recieves $2500 Grant

The Northeast Arkansas Bicycle Coalition recently recieved a check for $2500 from the New Belgium Brewing to be used for the advancement of cycling in Northeast Arkansas. 

Greenway Receives $5k Grant From Bikes Belong

NEABC and Jonesboro Parks and Recreation partnered in a grant proposal that resulted in a $5000 grant from Bikes Belong.  Bikes Belong is a bike-industry sponsored organization whose goal is "to put more people on more bikes more often." 
The money will go toward the construction of Phase 1 of the Jonesboro Greenway. This includes the section of trail north of the Turtle Creek Mall going towards Nettleton Ave. 
 

Downtown Jonesboro Gets Bicycle Parking

Thanks to the hard work and skills of the students at the NEA Technical and Career Center, downtown Jonesboro now has ample bicycle parking. NEABC and Jonesboro Parks and Recreation approached instructor Mr. Michael Barrett during the summer about getting help from his class to produce some bike racks, and he was happy to answer the call. The class was given some specific needs as well as a few design ideas, and from there they came up with a design of their own, manufactured and painted the racks, and got them installed.
In early November, 20 two-bike racks were installed along the sidewalks of Main Street, and 2 mulit-bike racks were installed across from the Craighead County Courthouse.  These racks will make commuting to work downtown a more viable option for many who work in the downtown area of Jonesboro and will provide a great option for those who would like to venture downtown for the entertainment and dining.  
The students of the NEA Technical Center are high school students from around the region who are training to go directly into the workforce. The bicycle parking racks are a part of their annual community service project. In return for their work, NEABC will be helping to send these students to a statewide welding competition. 
Many, many thanks to Mr. Barrett and his class, Jonesboro Parks and Recreation, and the City of Jonesboro for making historic downtown Jonesboro more bicycle friendly!!

News for October 2009

Craighead County Bike Routes
On Monday, Oct. 26, the Craighead County Quorum Court approved the bike route map into the county's master street plan opening the door for more signage and bike-friendly improvements.  
 
Share the Road News
Many thanks go out to the Ridge Rider Athletic Club for donating $1000 to the Share the Road campaign! With their donation combined with those from other generous individuals, we will have 75 signs installed throughout Jonesboro and Craighead County. 
 
Downtown Bicycle Parking
The Northeast Arkansas Bicycle Coalition is partnering with high school students from the NEA Career and Technical Center to provide bicycle parking for historic, downtown Jonesboro.  Under the direction of Mr. Michael Barrett, the students are building 20 standing bike racks as part of their community service project and will be submitting their work as part of a state-wide welding/engineering competition.  The racks are to be installed in the coming weeks.