Osmar Garcia is co-founder and CEO of Northwestern Mutual-Garcia Wealth Management in Conway. He started cycling in 2013 and quickly realized he’d found a new hobby, especially road riding, that gave him a good workout with a fun group and gave him a chance to enjoy a good stretch of scenery riding through Conway and central Arkansas.
“It’s nice going out for a ride with a group of people, enjoying the views and having great conversation while riding,” he said.
We asked him a few questions about the cycling scene in Conway for those interested in hitting the road.
What is something you get out of cycling that you didn't expect?
Meeting people of similar and diverse backgrounds who enjoy the sport. Cycling is a community of its own that I very much enjoy!
What are your favorite spots to hit around Conway and central Arkansas?
My favorite is the “Airport Loop” around here. It’s a nice route with a few challenging hills (at least for me), but great scenery. As for central Arkansas, I enjoy the Little Rock riverfront route – again, beautiful scenery.
Are there any misconceptions you hear about cycling that you've learned aren't true?
Some may think you have to be in marathon-ready condition, but that is not the case. They say 3 miles on a bike is equal to 1 mile of running, and I would say that’s mainly true — subject to the hills, of course. I’ve learned you simply have to get out there and ride at a pace and distance that is comfortable. Endurance will come.
If someone is interested in cycling, what would you suggest as a couple first steps to get started?
I would recommend borrowing a bike from a friend before making the purchase. After riding a few times, you have a better understanding of the type of bike you may need. Also, consult with a professional to get “fitted” once you decide to make a purchase. The Ride here in town is a great place.