I first found out about the Tour de Lunch (J.B. Hunt) Ride years ago by seeing the rides pop up on my STRAVA feed. It is a group of J.B. Hunt employees who are passionate cyclists. The group meets most days of the week on their lunch break to enjoy a quick ride together. I just thought it was super cool to see how bike riding makes the workplace better. I checked in with Eric Ervin and crew to find out more about it.
How did this ride get started?
We have locker rooms here at work and a lot of people exercise over the lunch hour. I’ll credit Marc Alley and Nick Gowen for introducing the lunch ride. Nick and Marc’s first ride at lunch was on mountain bikes to and around “Lake Springdale” well before it was a paved trail. They got a lot of flak from colleagues for wearing spandex in the early days. Fortunately, spandex is more accepted now. I got into cycling after a knee surgery. I created the “Tour de Lunch” email code here at J.B. Hunt so we could organize our lunch rides. The name of that email group code stuck and it has been impressive by the number of people (30+) from work who have gotten into the sport. J.B. Hunt employees are on a number of Northwest Arkansas cycling clubs and racing teams. J.B. Hunt employees also purchase a lot of cycling gear from local Northwest Arkansas shops.
How long has the ride been going?
The “Tour de Lunch” was established in 2007. Nick and Marc started riding over lunch in 2004.
How many riders participate?
Weather permitting, there is a ride almost every day. The number of riders probably ranges from 5-15, but we’ve had 25+ show up for well-organized days. We must be doing something right, because there are a number of people who aren’t J.B. Hunt employees that have been asked to be put on email distributions regarding lunch ride details and ride regularly with us. Our rides typically consist of loops that are either west or east of our corporate office and will vary between 18-24 miles. The pace on these rides can vary between 17-22 mph depending on how aggressive people are feeling.
Do you think being able to ride/exercise at lunch helps you perform better at work?
Absolutely. This is probably the healthiest avenue a lot of us have to manage stress. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a rough morning and being able to take a break and blow off some steam allows me to come back refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day. The numbers of people that participate in fitness activities during lunch as increased exponentially at JB Hunt. Not just cycling, although our new building will be connected to the Razorback Greenway.
If someone wanted to join you how can they get connected?
Probably me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Michael Franz (email@example.com) can get you hooked up.
How can I get on your lunch ride?
Can you post on my AOL account
How can I get on your Lunch Ride?
Hi David, I’ll get you added to the email list!
Just over the mountain from me. I hope to see you out there. You all and the runners are N Springdale/Lowell fixtures!