(Sorry...no wheelie advice!)

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What is Gravel Cycling?

Imagine riding a bicycle down country dirt roads with very little to no vehicle traffic, a tree-lined canopy, stopping to take in low water bridge crossings, animals grazing in fields, experiencing the best of what nature has to offer in the beauty of rural America. That is gravel cycling. 

What Equipment Do I Need to Bike on Gravel?
The most important item is a reliable bicycle in working condition, with higher-volume tires. A dedicated gravel bike is essentially a modified road bike that will be more comfortable and handle better on rougher terrain. This includes a longer wheelbase, lower bottom bracket, and other engineering changes to make it more accessible to riding rural dirt/gravel roads. But you don’t need to invest in a new bike, if your current bike can accept bigger tires.

You’ll need durable tires with some grip/tread. These are a must for riding gravel roads in Arkansas - choose "durability" over "speed." We recommend nothing smaller than a tire that measures 40mm (1.6 inches) in width. Anything wider than that will give you a good experience riding on a gravel road, up to and including mountain bike tires.

Finally, you'll want to be prepared with a helmet, fluids, food, and a basic toolkit for fixing minor mechanicals on your bike like a flat tire. Talk with your local bike shop about the condition of your bike and purchasing gear like bags, panniers and trailers to make sure you can carry all the essentials.

How Do I Ride on Gravel?

Arkansas gravel and dirt roads tend to be "chunkier" than gravel routes out West. This means you need to have the right tires running at the right pressure to ensure a smooth, safe ride. 

Gravel roads can be beautifully smooth or they can be filled with rocks, holes, and washboards. Rough terrain beats up your body and saps your energy. Loosen up to absorb bumps. Death-gripping the bars with tense arms is a recipe for exhaustion, blown corners, and even crashes. A firm grip combined with loose arms lets the bike do more work beneath you. The key to riding gravel well is to be smooth — pedal smooth, brake smooth, and turn smooth. Try to avoid aggressive body movement or large and sudden shifts in weight. Let your wheels’ momentum work its magic. – Source: The Pro’s Closet


Some of our most scenic routes are situated in the middle of thriving farm communities. This means they are often used by agricultural equipment (tractors, combines, etc.). Always be on the lookout for changing road conditions, potholes, washouts, and ruts. Be respectful of farm activities on the road, and never pass on the right when overtaking a tractor. You may find that local people have a lot of curiosity about gravel riding. Give a friendly wave when you pass a farm, and you’re likely to get a wave in return!

What is a "Route?"

A route is a pre-determined path to take to have an enjoyable experience on foot or bike or horseback. In the case of Rural Recreational Roads it's usually a loop, bringing the user back to the starting point of route. 

What is a "Hub?"

A hub is the place where you park to start your ride and finish your ride. It's generally located in a highly visible location in a town, close to network of gravel roads, with nearby places for pre/post ride food and drink. Some hubs will have additional amenities such as bike work stand with tools, bike wash stations, signage for choosing routes, bathrooms, etc.