By Joel Phelps
Some 300 people involved in the Motorcycle Cannonball that made a recent stop in the heart of Clark County told fellow rider Scott Byrd that Arkadelphia was “by far the best stop” on their tour across America.
“I think just about every one of them came up to me at some point, and even multiple times, expressing how impressed they were with our city,” Byrd, Arkadelphia’s mayor, said Tuesday as he addressed the Board of Directors.
The Cannonball’s Arkadelphia stop was one of more than 20 in the trek from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.
With scores of people from Arkadelphia and across the state packing into downtown to admire the pre-1930s motorcycles, the turnout and atmosphere “made a huge impression for people all over the country,” Byrd said. “So much so that one of my Cannonball friends asked for a relocation guide to our city. He was that impressed with it.”
He said all 88 if the riders that day, as well as the support crews that comprised the remainder of the 300 Cannonballers, said it was “like coming home to [their own] hometown. [They said Arkadelphia] had a great feel” and doted on the “hospitality of everybody. … It was by far the best stop.” Byrd said a fellow rider, a Texan, promised the stop after Arkadelphia to be even bigger. “It didn’t come close,” Byrd said.
Byrd thanked the numerous entities involved in making the Cannonball stop a successful one: Southwest Auto, the Arkadelphia Alliance and Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Arkadelphia and Caddo Valley, the fire and police departments, Arkadelphia Public Schools for providing bus transportation between Arkadelphia and the Caddo Valley hotels, and all the citizens who showed up in support of the riders.
Byrd hinted that the Motorcycle Cannonball will likely make Arkadelphia a destination on its next tour.