Every year, the Arkansas Bicycle Club hosts a 100-mile ride (with options for shorter routes, of course) called the Arky. We’d thought about riding in it this year, but way back months and months ago, Tom Ezell asked us to help out with the rest stops. We like to feel useful, so we agreed.
Sheridan, Arkansas lets the group use a picnic shelter (photo by Charles) near their community center for the beginning and end of the ride. Riders can use the restrooms and showers in the center. And they allow camping for whoever needs to spend the night before, so we drove down on Saturday night and set up tents and spent the night. The next morning we were up bright and early to help out with registration, and after the riders left, Bryan hopped in what would be the ‘sag wagon’ to shuttle supplies and hurt or tired riders back and forth across the routes.
Mandy and I helped Tom and Susan at rest stop 5. It’s a busy stop, since all the routes (from the 25-mile through the 100-mile) pass through the intersection nearby. The day went very smoothly, and most people were glad to see that we offered more than the standard gatorade and bananas. We even had boiled potatoes, which went over really well for those on the longer routes: after 75 miles or so, they were ready for something solid, not sugary. We had no mishaps or illness apart from a handful of people who reached us too tired to go on. A couple of riders felt bad enough to ask for a ride to the end, but for the most part, a rest in the shade and a snack was all they needed to feel a lot better and get back on the road.