Friday, October 16, 2015

St. Francis Levee Gravel Grinder, West Memphis 2015

Kyle met us over there....BBC Represent!

This part of the ride was bumpy...on the levee

Under the three bridges, we could actually see the work being done on the Harahan walk way

I got a group shot of all the Gravel Grinder riders.  In the middle is Greg Maxted, executive director of the Harahan
Project...he is super nice and fired up, of course, about this bridge that will connect cyclists and pedestrians from
downtown Memphis to West Memphis

In the distance there you can see the new bridge

After the ride, the Bouffants played and they were GREAT! The start and finish part of the Delta Flatlander and
the Gravel Grinder Saturday was at the Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015

Jackie and I went over for the 1st St. Francis Levee Gravel Grinder event of the Delta Flatlander on Saturday.  It was a fun but bumpy 22 mile ride (on the levee part) from West Memphis over to both bridges and back.  The Delta Flatlander is an event started last year promoting the Harahan Bridge Project.  The flatlander took a 20, 40 and 62 mile road bike route at 8 am and at 1:30, the St. Frances Levee Gravel Grinder took place.  We had a great bbq dinner and loved hearing the Bouffants after the 22 mile ride.  Glad that Kyle met us over there this year.

Greg Maxted, executive director of the Harahan Bridge Project said that there will be an ECO park on the West Memphis side of the bridge connecting the bridge to the levee route.  I believe it's all apart of Arkansas' Mississippi River Trail route.  It's all pretty exciting stuff over there!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tanglefoot Trail

Friday, July 24, 2015

This article should be in today's Wynne Progress.  Great job Lisa!  (she had some great photos but I couldn't get them to attach here....   -Keeli

Biking the Tanglefoot Trail 
By Lisa Blanton
A few miles down the road from Wynne, the Tanglefoot Trail meanders through 43.6 miles of an abandoned Mississippi railroad corridor. This new rails to trails pathway opened in 2013 and stretches from New Albany to Houston.
We had wanted to bike this trail for a while, and decided this 4th of July to give it a go. On day one, we planned to ride from Algoma to Houston and back to Algoma where we parked the car. This trail uses the old train depots as rest stops and parking areas. These are also called whistle stops. You can find these whistle stops about every 10 miles of trail. They have clean restrooms, water fountains, and tables.
The light rain we encountered kept the temperature in the seventies. Since it was the 4th of July there weren’t many, if any, businesses open in the small towns we passed through, but had it been any other weekend, the restaurants and shops would have been open. The trail is paved and about as wide as a one lane road. There’s plenty of room to pass walkers, joggers and other bikers with ease. The path is clearly marked with stop signs when it crosses a road or the entrance to a home. The path to Houston passed through farm lands, wooded areas, swampy areas and pastures filled with sheep. We were nearly taken out by a couple of armadillos, who apparently have the right away on bike paths. There were squirrels, cranes and one rattlesnake. I do hesitate to mention the snake, but it is the Mississippi countryside and it is a great motivator to ride faster.
After spending the night in New Albany, we began our second day of our journey. You can access the trail from the library in downtown New Albany. There will eventually be a trail head in New Albany and in Houston. In Houston, the trail ends abruptly at the future site of a trailhead. In New Albany, the trail ends just beyond Main Street. We began biking Sunday morning, and rode for a couple of hours. We wanted to make it back before the hotel check out time to take a shower. Once again the trail took us over wooden bridges and through small towns. It passed through kudzu patches filled with rabbits. There were more dogs and cats and less of natures wild critters on this stretch of trail
The trail also has small rest stops between the whistle stops. These rest stops have bike racks, a place to sit for a while and a trash can. There is one man who patrols the path on a golf cart, but this is the only motorized vehicle allowed.
The history of the Tanglefoot Trail begins even before the railroads. Located in the Mississippi National Heritage Area, the Native Americans were the original users of the trail. They were followed by Hernando De Soto, Meriwether Lewis and the Union troops during the Civil War. Finally the railroads utilized this same trail to connect communities to one another. The name Tanglefoot comes from one of the earliest steam engines to travel the trail.
Grab your bike, sunscreen, a snack or two, and some bug spray and prepare to be amazed. Maps and trail information are readily available online at Do a little research before you leave home.
It’s not hard to get lost in the past as you ride by small towns long past their glory years. The railroads were a lifeline between communities in the past. Maybe restoring yesterday will bring new hope for our future. 

Super Foods

Friday, July 24, 2015

This article ran in the July 4 Wynne Progress.  Great job Cecelia!  -Keeli

Superfoods, Super You.

By:  Cecelia Killough
You see it everywhere; Eat this, drink that, take this supplement and you will lose weight, run faster, live longer or your arthritis will be cured.  Some of the foods or supplements you are supposed to eat you can’t even pronounce.   Superfoods are a marketing term used to describe food with supposed health benefits.  They are said to be rich in nutrients and beneficial for well-being.  Some Superfoods are “new” while some have been commonly used for a long time.  There is controversy on what the most beneficial Superfoods are.  This article isn’t promoting one over the other but a gathering of information on what Superfoods might be of interest to you and to what claims they make on enhancing your well being.
1. Near and dear to my heart are BLUEBERRIES.  I eat them just because I like them!!  Much of the power of blueberries lies in their deep blue color.  This color is a by- product of flavonoids which is a natural compound that protects the brain’s memory carrying cells from the damaging effect of oxidation and inflammation.  Flavonoids are said to preserve memory function.  Blueberries, as are other berries, are high in water content which makes them hydrating for both your skin and other cells in your body.

2. SPINACH is filled with antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene as well as lutein and zeaxanthin which together acts like a sunscreen for your eyes and guards against macular degeneration.  Just 1 cup of fresh spinach provides almost double the daily requirement for vitamin K, which is important in cardiovascular and bone health.  It is also a good source of iron which keeps hair and nails strong and healthy.

3. DARK CHOCOLATE is a healthy treat rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that are supposed to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and boost overall heart health.  Choose chocolate that is at least 70% cacao or cocoa to optimize health benefits.  Dark chocolate may also help boost your mood.  There is no scientific explanation so maybe it’s the rich taste and sensuous mouth feel of a decadent piece of chocolate that may be the reason.  Just keep your portions in check because 1 ounce of dark chocolate has about 150 calories.

4. RED BELL PEPPERS have twice as much vitamin C as an orange.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps clear your body of free radicals and keeps your skin and blood vessels healthy and strong.  Vitamin C may also help prevent arthritis or slow the progression of the disease.  Red bell peppers deliver beta-carotene and lycopene that are associated with decreased risk of eye diseases like cataracts.   Because of their high water content bell peppers are a high-volume, low-cal food that’s very figure-friendly.

5. AVACODOS aren’t just used for guacamole but are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can buy.  They are packed with fiber and top the charts among fruit for folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium.  They are high in monounsaturated fat, which may also help prevent wrinkles. They are believed to facilitate weight loss, lower your chances of prostrate cancer, have high fiber and may help lower cholesterol.

6. CINNAMON not only taste good it is one of the most powerful spices and contains calcium, fiber and manganese.  The health benefits attributed to Cinnamon are that it is anti-inflammatory, helps Diabetes II patients, improves cognition, lowers cholesterol, may cut your risk of heart disease and can regulate glucose level.

7. BEANS have long been considered the “poor man’s meal” but in reality they fuel your body with all sorts of vitamins and minerals.  The combination of protein and fiber help you stay full and satisfied.  The protein and fiber helps regulate the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal, which can help stabilize your mood.  Fiber in beans keep you regular, they are low in fat and a good source of magnesium and potassium, nutrients that together lower blood pressure and keep heart and blood vessels healthy.  As an added bonus they are inexpensive and easy to cook.  Just make sure you aren’t getting a lot of salt in your canned beans.

8.  OATS are a no brainer for food and nutrition.  Whole grains are one of the best sources of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, and keep blood sugar level under control.  Get out the oatmeal and top it with berries and chopped nuts for extra nutrition.

9.  You’ve heard for years how NUTS can help lower cholesterol.  They are a nutritious package of protein, fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fat.  Pistachios are especially rich in phytosterols and soluble fiber that have been shown to lower total LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.  Almonds and walnuts have been touted in the media as the nuts to buy but I’m a pistachio fan.  Thirty pistachios cost you about 100 calories, which per nut, is the least caloric of all and if you buy them in the shell eating them will slow you down.

10.  TOMATOES are almost ripe and there is nothing tastier than a vine ripened tomato.  Tomatoes are probably the only fruit/veggie that the Supreme Court ever ruled on to say they were actually a vegetable.  Tomatoes are packed with Lycopene, Lutein/Zeaxanthin, fiber and Alpha and Beta Carotene.  They are believed to help prevent cancer, support healthy skin and heart health, lower blood pressure and glucose levels.
Whatever help you are looking for there is some SUPERFOOD than can aid you in your search for a more healthy you.  The WEB is full of information to help you find all the information you need.  You don’t need SUPERFOODS to eat well.  Eat as fresh and as unprocessed as you can while eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and meats.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bike and parts sale in Memphis

Beth Huff found this on the internet...looks like a great sale in Memphis this weekend!!

The first phase of the liquidation of the historic Memphis Bicycle Company will be held this Saturday and Sunday May 16 & 17 from 8 am to 5 pm at the old store at 2575 Summer Ave. There are many old Schwinn and other brand bicycles, parts, signs, etc., going back over 50+ years. Many bicycles still in original boxes that were never sold. Cruiser bikes from the 1950s - 60s, 10-speeds from the 1970s, tons of parts, seats, bike racks, frame and hand pumps, tires, tubes... Too much to list. The pictures do not do it justice. The new owners of the building are selling the contents to the public for very reasonable prices. Bikes range from $25-55 on average, with a few more expensive models. Saddles and seats, tires, tubes, derailleurs, tubes, etc., all ranging around $5 each. Bundling items for better prices is encouraged, as they need to clear everything out. this is a GREAT opportunity to see some Memphis bicycle history and get some really cool vintage gear for a fraction of its price.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Running Gadgets

This ran in last Friday's Wynne Progress.  Kyle's got a wonderful touring article March 27, keep your eyes peeled for it!  -Keeli

The Active Life
Keeli Smith

Running Gadgets

Running is one of the most cost-effective sports there is.  You only need running shoes and apparel and you can get in a workout.  There are a number of accessories that can enhance your running making it more enjoyable, comfortable and even faster.

Running socks are an important part of your apparel and one of my first running mistakes.  In 2004, my first half marathon, I had only run 6 miles in a row and thought if I can do that, I could run/walk every other mile to finish which I did with bloody feet.  I wore plain cotton socks.  I hadn’t had any problems in the short 6 mile distance and didn’t realize the moisture wicking that I needed.  After a few weeks of healing, I got some running socks.  There are so many out there, make sure they are the right size and fit for your foot and arch.

Carrying cases are important for taking your phone for music or emergencies on a run.  I use an armband so I can be hands free running the headphones through my shirt.  Some use Ipods that clip on to your shorts.  I like the hands free accessories so I don’t feel like I’m carrying weight along with me.

Sunglasses are important that offer polarized lenses to reduce glare.  I have some from Tifosi that have multiple interchange lenses that help with sun and conditions.

GPS watches from Garmin, Nike and Soleus offer runners the ability to see their pace, distance, pace per mile and can set intervals and see cadence and other options.  I use the Map My Ride App on my Android phone (which is free) with the voice activated so it will come in over my music and tell me my pace and total distance. 

Headphones for runners who like to safely run with music can be hard to find.  I’ve used several different brands, but the one I have to have are fitted with ear clips over the ears.  Several more expensive brands have three different size buds that fit inside the ear to deliver better sound and comfort.  I use a pair from Athlete I found at a bargain store.  They stay in place which is key.

Shoes are extremely important and I recommend going to a running store to get the right fit.  I’ve been fitted at Fleet Feet on Poplar Ave. in Memphis where they watched me run to decide which kind of support I need.   I always used to get my shoes just a half size bigger but Fleet Feet recommends a full size bigger.  The last pair of shoes haven’t bothered my arch or knees.

Belts are popular for longer runs and can hold water bottles, pepper spray, car keys, and phones.  You can store several items on them and you’ll be hands free. 

FitBit is a new technology that you wear on your wrist and it tracks distance, calories, steps, your sleep and allows you to set goals.  It also communicates with apps on the Iphone or Android phone.  There are several other watches from Nike and Garmin as well.

I like to take a bottle of Halt Spray with me whether I’m running or cycling.  We’ve all been chased by a dog on a bike or just recently, while running down Airpark, I was chased by 5 dogs from different residences.  I didn’t have to use the spray but I was glad I had it.  I’ve been bitten by a dog while clipped in on my road bike so I now have a respect for their speed and possible aggression.

Try new accessories to help you achieve your fitness goals this year.  Stay active in 2015, start with a walk or run!

Halt sprays a stream from far away to
keep dogs away

Tifosi glasses have changeable lenses to help with glare

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Kara's Sunday Night Pizza

Mel has 78 signed up for Wynne Women Run Arkansas, if you're still interested anyone can come Tues and Friday's at 6 pm at the Fitness Trail next to Wynne Intermediate.  Conway's 5K is May 9, 2015.

This ran in Friday's Wynne Progress:

The Active Life
Kara Smith
Feb. 20, 2015

            Martin and I have been making Sunday night pizza for almost 16 years.  We will have our 17th wedding anniversary this April.  As you can imagine, Sunday night pizza is very dear to my heart.  It is difficult to start the week off right without it.  We began this tradition when we lived in Austin, Texas.  This was before children, so we had a lot more time to watch television.  We would watch the “Sopranos” every Sunday night and in keeping with their Italian heritage, we made our very own homemade pizza.  The crust recipe came from Martin’s mom, Jeanie.  I still use the same recipe and it is not only super easy, but also true perfection.  Our lives have changed dramatically since Austin, with the addition of our three, sweet children.  But I am happy to say we still look forward to our Sunday night family pizza night.

            After I had our third baby, August, in 2010, I started having strange stomach pains.   They weren’t horrible, but I knew something wasn’t right. I will spare you the details, but after consulting my general practice doctor, a gastroenterologist, an ultrasound, CT scan and gallons of blood work, I still had no answers.   As a pharmacist, I reasoned that I could just take some medicine for it and fix it.  I tried Prevacid, Zantac and Tums.  None of which touched it.  I have always read about nutrition and living healthy, but with three kids, a husband and a full time job it was hard to always eat healthy.  When I got home from work, I was really tired and the last thing I wanted to do was to cook and clean up. 

            One day, I happened to read about Celiac Disease.  Mayo Clinic defines Celiac, as “Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine's lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption). One of the many manifestations was stomach pain, which was brought on by eating gluten.  I read more about it and thought it was worth trying to cut gluten out of my diet.  I had not been pain free in 3 years so had nothing to loose.  If you have ever tried to cut back on gluten, it is really hard.  Basically everything that we eat has a trace amount of gluten in it.  After diligently trying to eat gluten free, I immediately noticed my stomach quit hurting for the first time in years.  I also noticed that my joints no longer hurt.  I always just attributed the joint pain to working out.  But I felt like a new person.  It was amazing.  That is when it clicked for me that what I put in my body greatly affected my wellbeing.  And to feel my best, I had to make a much more informed and better effort to fuel my body (and my family’s) much more wisely.

            I have never been diagnosed as having Celiac, and don’t feel that I suffered as severely as someone that truly has full blown Celiac. I can truly tell a difference in how I feel.  The other day at work, I was starving and forgot my usual snack of peanuts.  I opted for a processed pack of cheese crackers.  Thirty minutes after eating them, my stomach cramped up and I remembered quickly why I normally avoid junk like that.

            Now more than ever, I stay away from processed food such as store-bought bread, premade salad dressings, frozen dinners and anything else you just throw in the oven.  In this day and time, everything is premade for busy schedules.  With the premade comes lots of preservatives and junk that has no business being in our bodies.  And just think what years of feeding it to our kids will do.  Things have changed drastically since our grandparents’ time.  Some things for the better, but the more I read and learn, our choice of premade, preservative and sugar packed food is doing our bodies much more harm than good.  Just compare store bought salad dressing.  It is full of sugar, artificial flavors and numerous preservatives.  In my salad dressing, I often just toss balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

            As I said previously, I am a pharmacist.  I dispense prescriptions that doctors prescribe for their patients.  Every day, I see patients with the mindset that a pill will fix all of their problems.  Myself included, we need to do all that is within our reach to fix our problems and feel better including eating better and exercising.  We need to take ownership of our lives and realize sometimes to fix our health; we need to get off the couch and make eating better a top priority.  Mark my words, the food we are eating today – is negatively affecting our health. So take what you eat seriously and think before you grab that processed, premade dinner.

            We still have Sunday pizza night, but I have found a delicious, gluten free flour.  Martin and I agree, it makes an even better crust and I don’t have to suffer with the stomach pain the next day.  It is so tasty; I hope you will try this recipe.

1 Package Active Yeast
3 Tablespoons Warm Water
Sprinkle yeast over water and let sit for 5 minutes
1-Cup Warm Water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
Mix these together and pour over yeast mixture
Slowly add 3 cups flour (I use “Cup for Cup Gluten Free” but regular All Purpose Flour or another favorite, King Arthur Italian Flour is fabulous)
Knead until all flour mixed in.  Cover and set in a warm place to
Rise for 2 or more hours.

Martin takes it from here, but he sets the oven to 450 degrees and works the dough onto a pizza pan.  He adds plain tomato sauce and spices including basil, oregano, garlic powder, rosemary, and thyme.
He then grates fresh mozzarella (we can’t stand the pre-grated!!) and sprinkles on top.  Then he puts whatever else toppings such as pepperonis, mushrooms, onions, sausage, peppers, etc.  He cooks it for about 25 minutes.  Be creative with your toppings, it is so much fun to try different things.  And what comes out of that oven is so darn good; you won’t be able to not make it a tradition.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wynne Women Run Arkansas Clinic

This ran in the Wynne Progress last week:
Women Run Arkansas
Keeli Smith
Local runner and cyclist Mel Harvey will hold a free Women Run Arkansas Clinic in Wynne in March, April, and May.  Women Run Arkansas, an RRCA organization, was formed in 2000 in response to the need for a statewide women’s running and walking club.  The mission of WRA is to address the special needs of women’s fitness, while promoting health and fitness through running and walking.
The first clinic was held in Conway in 1997. Since the first clinic of 75 women in 1997, to over 40 Clinics State wide in 2012 and over 4000 ladies, the clinics have impacted women’s health.  The clinics are designed to meet the needs of all ability levels.  From beginner walkers and runners, to intermediate and advanced runners with specific training goals, no one is left out.
The clinics culminate with a women’s 5K run/walk in Conway, AR May 9. It is an inspiring race, with some runners and walkers completing their first competitive event, while participants from previous clinics and races return to compete and cheer on their sister athletes. 
WRA includes elite runners, teens, mothers, as well as more mature women.  WRA wants to help women make fitness a priority while maintaining a healthy balance in their lives. Having fun and forming lasting friendships is an important aspect of the group.
Wynne Women Run Arkansas Clinic run/walks will begin on Friday, March 6th at 6pm and the group will meet every Tuesday and Friday at 6pm until the 5k run/walk in Conway on May 9th. There will be groups of walkers, shufflers, joggers and runners.  Mel will continue to meet with any women who are interested in continuing to train through May for the Mucka Mania 5k/10k during Farmfest. For more information call Mel Harvey at 479-236-3938 or email her at You can sign up online at  An organizational/introductory meeting will be held at the Bill Thomas Tech Center lobby at 6pm on Tuesday, February 24th