Cycle for Sight May 15 to Benefit UAMS Jones Eye Institute

By Nate Hinkel

The route for the recreational ride includes the paved 14.4-mile River Trail loop, starting and finishing on the North Little Rock riverfront.

Pre-registration is $35 for adult riders and $15 for those 18 and under. Cyclists can register the day of the ride for $40 from 7 to 8:30 a.m., while those 18 and under will still pay $15. To pre-register, or for more information, contact Shannon Hughen-Giger at 501-686-8638 or by e-mail at Proceeds from the event will go toward eye research and outreach at the Jones Eye Institute.

“We are especially pleased that the Cycle for Sight ride route this year will include the, Big Dam Bridge and the Main Street Bridge,” said Emil Mackey, a Jones Eye Institute patient and supporter who is chairman of this year’s event. “The fun thing is that this can be a family event that’s for all levels of cyclists, including those just starting out, and there are three different rides designed to fit everyone’s level of cycling.”

Mackey, an avid runner and cyclist, is grateful to the doctors at the Jones Eye Institute for restoring the quality of his vision after an eye exam revealed he had cataracts. Michael Wiggins, M.D., performed surgery so Mackey could see whites clearly and colors more sharply. A few years later, he had surgery at the Jones Eye Institute to repair a detached retina, and now has 20/20 vision in that eye.

The ride gets under way at 8 a.m., and cyclists can make as many loops as they’d like until the event ends at 3 p.m. A ride for kids will begin at 10:30 a.m. following an educational session. All rides will begin on the River Trail near the Burns Park Soccer Complex. Police will be available to help riders through high-traffic areas, and several breaks and aid stations will be scattered along the trail.

Lunch, which is included in the registration fee, live entertainment and a raffle for prizes will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m. Riders and supporters are encouraged to bring old pairs of eye glasses to be recycled for future outreach efforts.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or