LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Nearly 3,000 cyclists will line the streets of downtown Little Rock for Saturday's Big Dam Bridge 100 tour.
For the seventh year in a row, cyclists from across the nation will participate in the Big Dam Bridge cycle race. Riders will take off in waves beginning Saturday morning on LaHarpe Boulevard in downtown Little Rock.
"Everything from casual recreation riders to serious recreation riders and we do have a few pros that are coming in just for the longer ride," says Big Dam Bridge tour director, Fred Phillips.
Cyclist Derrick Hendrix has participated in the tour several times, but now coming off of an injury, he'll be riding a special type of bike Saturday.
"It's called an ElliptiGO bike. It's an elliptical bicycle. It's like the elliptical motion on a bicycle frame and it's a little bit tougher than regular bicycling, so it will be a little bit harder on me, but I like the challenge."
The 100-mile-ride will take cyclists from Little Rock to Conway and back to the capital city, forcing several road closures.
Phillips says drivers and cyclists will have to share the road for several legs of the tour.
"I'd ask all the motorists that are in Maumelle, Mayflower, Conway, Toadsuck area, Perry County, Roland, Natural Steps, Two Rivers Park area, county farm all that area just to be cautious," he asks.
Hendrix says it's been amazing to watch this tour grow.
"Every time I go to the start I take a camera and take a picture. It's gotten from a small group of 100 to just thousands of people," Hendrix recalls. "It's gotten larger every year."
Several professionals will be riding in Saturday's tour; one of them has competed in the Tour de France 17 times and won three U.S. National Road Race championships.
To make for a smoother ride, Phillips says the trolley tracks will be covered as cyclists enter the final leg of the race in North Little Rock.
"Bicycle tires and tracks don't like each other, especially, when they're running in the same direction that the bikes are."
Phillips says most road closures should be over by 8:30 Saturday morning in downtown Little Rock, but expect North Little Rock's Main Street to be out of commission much of the afternoon.
To view the course map, click here: http://on.kthv.com/1awetHU