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WATCH | Tikes, Trikes and Trails returns with spring ride

by James Leigh | March 24, 2023 at 4:04 a.m.
Jerry, right, and Theresa Herrington take a walk through Hollywood Park Thursday. The Tikes, Trikes and Trails event has been rescheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m., and participants will start at the Hot Springs Transportation Depot and ride to Hollywood Park before returning around noon. - Photo by James Leigh of The Sentinel-Record

Organizers are hoping for better luck Saturday for the first spring edition of the Tikes, Trikes and Trails event after it was pushed back a day due to the threat of inclement weather.

Originally set for today, Hot Springs Trails Coordinator Hannah Rice said the event was rescheduled to Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Hot Springs Transportation Depot. The event is a partnership between the Hot Springs Parks and Trails Department, Hot Springs Bicycle Touring Company and Northwoods Trails.

"It's probably still gonna be kind of muddy Saturday," she said. "I'm sure if you've been out there, you've seen underneath the train trestle, that it gets really muddy, so we're still probably going to be rolling through some mud. ... It's a little bit safer, I'd say, to do it not in the rain, so we're not crossing Grand (Avenue) in the rain."

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While this is the first time Tikes, Trikes and Trails is being held in the spring, the event was usually held each fall by Ken Freeman, Rice's predecessor, at Entergy Park.

"It kind of gave kids a chance to get out on the natural surface trails and learn how to ride a bike -- just go for a group ride," she said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has not been held in three years, and a conversation with Parks and Trails office manager Kathleen Fason led Rice to suggest a spring event.

"I said, 'It'd be really cool if we could do one in the springtime when the weather gets nice and really make use of the Greenway,'" Rice said.

"So what we're doing this year is we're giving everyone a chance to come out -- parents, kids -- grab a bike ... and you can make use of our Greenway," she said.

"So really just kind of trying to encourage kids to gear up for the summer and be able to ride their bikes and feel safe about it," she said, noting another reason for the spring edition of the event is to teach children road safety.

"It'd be nice if kids were able to learn how to cross roads safely, how to utilize our flashing pedestrian lights, and for parents to feel better about it when summer comes up," she said.

"We still want to do a fall Tikes and Trikes. We'd still love to do that, maybe the traditional one out at Entergy Park, but I think the Greenway is a really good entryway into the summer."

The plan is for participants to ride down to Hollywood Park, Rice said.

"We're not really sure how long it's gonna take to get down there, just depending on the crowd we have," she said. "We're kind of estimating it at like a 40-minute ride one direction, maybe 40 minutes back because then you're going uphill."

There are no sign-ups for the event, but Rice said there have been approximately 60 people who have said they were interested on Facebook.

"We don't want people to feel obligated to come if they sign up, or we don't want them to decide last minute they want to come, but 'We didn't sign up for it,'" she said. "So we're just leaving it very open for if you want to show up, show up, and hopefully we'll have bikes for you."

Rice estimates there will be approximately 15 bikes available for those without them, but children and adults wanting to ride their own bikes are encouraged to bring their own. The bikes available for loan are being provided by Hot Springs Bicycle Touring Company.

"I've even got stickers, so if they want to put stickers on the bikes that they own, that'd be awesome. ... We'll have about 15 bikes for people to use for free for the event," Rice said, noting bikes will be available to rent from the company after the event.

Participants will also get some free items to take home, Rice said.

"Mostly T-shirts, coloring books, we have little band bracelets, Hot Springs Parks and Trails hacky sacks," she said.

"So we've got a couple of just little knickknacks. I wish we had more to give away. Maybe in the future, we're kind of looking forward to possibly some bike donations, and if we get enough bike donations -- helmets, knee pads, bikes, anything -- then we'd like to be able to give that stuff away in the future. So we're kind of trying to get back into the swing."

Print Headline: WATCH | Tikes, Trikes and Trails returns with spring ride


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