The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will serve as one of five convoy points in the city on Friday, May 18, when cyclists will bike through the city to the Old State House Museum to celebrate the City of Little Rock’s Ditch the Keys initiative and National Bike-to-Work Day.
Ditch the Keys is an awareness building campaign that encourages central Arkansas residents to protect air quality by using alternative modes of transportation from May to September, including walking, biking, taking a bus, and carpooling as well as telecommuting from home.
Katie Helms, assistant professor in the School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation, will lead local bike riders from the circle drive in front of UA Little Rock’s Donaghey Student Center starting at 6:30 a.m.
All UA Little Rock faculty, staff, students, alumni, and local residents are invited to join the ride. The group will ride through campus and head east on 12th Street toward the Old State House. Helmets are required.
A rally and press conference will begin at 7:30 a.m. Following the rally, those who register online at ditchthekeys.com can pedal to Cathead’s Diner, 515 Shall Ave., for a free breakfast. The group will then ride back to campus to begin the workday.
Helms, who is a member of the Bicycle Friendly Community Committee and Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas, said the event is about encouraging people to use alternate methods of transportation.
“This isn’t just about riding your bike for recreation; this is about using your bike and other active methods for transportation,” Helms said. “Using alternate forms of transportation can reduce car emissions, reduce traffic jams, increase exercise, and strengthening your community by interacting with your neighbors instead of being in your car all day. There are economic benefits when we spend less money on gas and car maintenance. It’s about encouraging and enabling all the benefits that we can see from using your bicycle or your feet for transportation as much as possible.”