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Getting started 

Mountain biking

Must have: Helmet ($45+), shoes ($85) and clipless pedals ($65), flat tire repair kit ($50). Dan Lysk says shoes and pedals (which lock together) are essential because they increase efficiency and help keep you on the bike. 

 

How much for a bike? Dave Schons says you get what you pay for. “The one thing about mountain bikes is that it's rough, and it's hard on the bike. If you go really cheap, say $500 or less, that thing is going to fall apart really fast. Yeah it's an okay bike, but a cheaper bike just doesn't have the components for riding really hard.” 

 

A good group to ride with? Fast Girls and Slow Guys to name one. “There's so many clubs you can join and group rides you can go on. Any bike shop you go to will be able to tell you places to ride. Just go and enjoy it. Even if you're in a group, don't worry about going fast, just have fun,” Schons says.

 

Best beginner's trail? Pfeifer Loop at the base of the Big Dam Bridge on the North Little Rock side of the river. It's a good one-mile loop and a great introduction into mountain biking.

 

Beginner's tips? Lysk says, “Ride with others, and remember, rubber side down!”

 

Road biking

 

Must have: Definitely a helmet. Road bikes can be pretty speedy. Protect your noggin. Of course, the best advice is to be careful and never have a wreck in the first place. Clipless pedals and shoes will also make things easier.

 

How much for a bike? A good entry-level road bike will cost you around $800. But it will probably last forever as long as you take care of it. There are, of course, much cheaper bikes.

 

A good group to ride with? Arkansas Bicycle Club. The Sunday ride starts at 1 p.m. at the end of River Mountain Road. It's a friendly ride and other riders will wait on you to catch up.

 

Best beginner's trail? Definitely the Arkansas River Trail, even though it breaks up once you get into downtown Little Rock. Go with someone who knows the way and you'll be fine.

 

Beginner's tips? Riding with others will make you a faster, stronger, better rider. It's also a great way to meet new people. One group or another will have an organized ride almost every day of the week.

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