Biking's big, beautiful bounce in the Natural State
Cycling may soon be declared Arkansas' official sport if a group of third-graders in Bentonville have their way.
What's happening: Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a resolution this week proclaiming May as Bike Month in Arkansas.
- Context: A class at Evening Star Elementary in Bentonville has “worked to get legislation drafted making cycling the state sport and this is the first step in their endeavor," the resolution reads.
Why it matters: Cycling is a top sport, leisure pastime and networking activity in Arkansas, adding an estimated $21 million in value to the state's GDP in 2021.
Details: The document notes that:
- Bentonville declares itself the Mountain Biking Capital of the World.
- There are 2,700 miles of cycling trails and routes in the state.
- The U.S. National Mountain Bike Team will be headquartered in Bentonville leading up to the 2028 Summer Olympics.
- Fayetteville is a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community, and seven other towns are rated silver or bronze.
- The Adventure Cycling Association designated a 177-mile route from Memphis to Little Rock an official United States Bicycle Route, taking riders from the Mississippi River to the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock through rural areas and historic downtowns.
What's next: The resolution declares that third-grade teacher Carter Coriell is to be granted a copy of the final resolution.
Worth's thought bubble: I can't think of a better state sport, but I do wonder if the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will have other thoughts if this comes up in a future legislative session.
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