2018 June 19
Wesley Hammons says he knows exactly when his journey into cycling and running started.
“I weighed close to 280 pounds. I woke up on New Year’s Day and saw myself in the mirror and was like somethings got to give here.”
Inspired to share his love for cycling and running with the community, he started the journey of the South Arkansas Hustlers.
“We started a Facebook messenger group for people to post what times they were going to run and where they were going to run at not only for the companionship but for safety as well.”
It started with 15 to 20 members, and now they have over 400.
“I’ve got this family of folks that are just good friends,” said Jason Dendy, Member of South Arkansas Hustlers.
Member, Jason Dendy says after moving from San Antonio, he was two weeks away from selling his bike until he learned about the group.
Now, he’s built bonds for a lifetime.
“It’s kind of difficult but once you start getting those other people who understand how tough it is when you start running and how tough it is when you start cycling and putting all those miles behind you and having to fit it into your day every day and having the discipline to do it every day,” said Dendy.
The city of El Dorado is working in conjunction with the city of Ruston to possibly make the ride smoother for groups like the South Arkansas Hustlers.
They are soon to conduct a feasibility study for a bicycle and pedestrian network that will connect the two towns going along the former Rock Island Railroad.
“We think that anything that encourages outdoor activity and replaces thumb-driven, electronic activity is a good thing and that it would be a quality of life enhancement for El Dorado and much of the area,” said Robert Reynolds, El Dorado Works Board Member.
Until the study is completed, groups like the South Arkansas Hustlers can only hope that it becomes a reality to encourage others to be active.