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ISSUE NO. 5 | 2017 ARKANSASWILD.COM #BIKEARMAG

BASE CAMP:

MEET TIM SCOTT (PAGE 36)

IMBA WORLD SUMMIT WRAP-UP


A F i r s t -C l A s s t i m e ... e v e ry t i m e . America’s #1 Trout Fishing Resort is Gaston’s. Our White River float trips for lunker trout are legendary from coast to coast. We do the work. All you do is fish – in style and comfort. Then there are the extras that make “resort” our last name. First-class lodging. One of the South’s finest restaurants featuring a spectacular view. A private club. Tennis and a pool. Nature trails for mountain biking and hiking. A conference lodge for your group meetings or parties. Even a private landing strip for fly-in guests.

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There were all sorts of highflying hijinks and tricks during the 2016 IMBA World Summit at The Railyard Bike Park in Rogers.

8

FEATURES

EVERY ISSUE

14

36

MY RIDE, MY TRAIL

62

Tim Scott, assistant superintendent of Devil’s Den State Park rides the park’s Fossil Flats Trail.

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From the Guest Editors

Braking News: • The World is Ours • Meteoric Rise of a Cycling Cafe • Cyclists Bridge the Mighty Mississippi

24

Gear & Safety • Testing Grounds • Dig In • Kids Ride Safe

32

My Kit: Josh Milton

34

My Kit: Grady Spann

4 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

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CYCLING AS ART Internationally acclaimed artist George Dombek finds beauty in the form of a bicycle.

48

Local Bike Shops

Local Ride Groups ArkWildlifeAD_8.25x11.125_OL.pdf

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PHOTO COURTESY OF IMBA

IN THIS ISSUE

5/2/12

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Ride & Race Events

ArkWildlifeAD_8.25x11.125_OL.pdf

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Happy Trails Give Bikes, Get Love

BASECAMP: DEVIL’S DEN

ON THE COVER

Devil’s Den is the perfect headquarters for your next bike day trip and overnight stay.

Tim Scott, assistant superintendent of Devil’s Den State Park, makes a water crossing on the trail— Fossil Flats—that gives Devil’s Den the distinction of being the “birthplace of Arkansas mountain biking.” Photo by Novo Studio.


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A special publication of Arkansas Wild arkansaswild.com REBEKAH LAWRENCE Publisher rebekah@arktimes.com ELIZABETH HAMAN Associate Publisher elizabeth@arktimes.com MANDY KEENER Creative Director mandy@arktimes.com

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At RYDE, we ride when it’s wet. We make time when there’s none. We use software to make us better. We watch videos to make it fun. We pick brains of experienced cyclists. And best of all, we do it together. Join us.

MICHAEL ROBERTS Editor michael@arktimes.com ADVERTISING LESA THOMAS Senior Account Executive lesa@arktimes.com RHONDA CRONE Account Executive rhonda@arktimes.com KIMBERLY BENNETT Account Executive kimberly@arktimes.com PRODUCTION WELDON WILSON Production Manager/Controller ROLAND R. GLADDEN Advertising Traffic Manager

Group RYDE ¬ Performance RYDE ¬ Rhythm RYDE

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Start your free trial today. 4610 SAM PECK ROAD | LITTLE ROCK, AR 72223 | 501.225.3600 | WWW.LRAC.COM

6 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

KELLY JONES Office Manager/Accounts Receivable ANITRA HICKMAN Circulation Director Arkansas Times Publishing 201 E. MARKHAM ST., SUITE 200 LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201 501-375-2985 All Contents © 2017 Arkansas Wild


Tim Scott, assistant superintendant of Devil’s Den State Park near the Ozark community of West Fork takes a ride on the Fossil Flats Trail, the first state park biking trail and the reason Devil’s Den is known as the “birthplace of mountain biking in Arkansas.”

2017 NORTHWEST ARKANSAS MOUNTAIN BIKING CHAMPIONSHIPS SEPTEMBER 16 DEVIL’S DEN STATE PARK 8 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

If you live in Arkansas and like to ride bicycles, you are in luck: every corner of the state offers the opportunity to pedal a scenic byway or mountain bike trail. You can ride the Razorback Greenway in northwest Arkansas, the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock or ride through the rich Delta land at Scott or Tyronza. The possibilities are limitless, and the miles of mountain bike trail keep growing every day. We are in what I would consider the second explosion of mountain biking in the state. The first explosion began about 1986, when mountain bikes were just arriving on the scene. The sport had its beginning on Mount Tam in Marion County, California around 1975 when a group of cyclists would ride old “klunkers” down the mountain. The trend slowly spread east. When mountain biking hit Arkansas, the availability of trails was limited, to say the least. Arkansas State Parks was one of the first organizations to embrace this new form of trail use with one of the first mountain bike events in the state, held at Devil’s Den State Park in 1989. We like to consider Devil’s Den the “birthplace of Arkansas mountain biking.” We may be a little biased. Which brings me to the point of Bike Arkansas magazine, the first state publication dedicated to cycling in Arkansas. Whether you are a novice or pro, there are plenty of stories in each issue designed to pique your interest and keep you informed of the latest Natural State cycling news. You will meet advocates and pioneers of the sport; you will discover places to ride and upcoming events to plan your vacation around. When I was asked to be the guest editor, I thought the next best thing to riding bikes would be writing about cycling. Thanks, and enjoy Bike Arkansas!

Tim Scott Assistant Superintendent Devil’s Den State Park arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden

PHOTO BY NOVO STUDIO

FROM THE GUEST EDITOR


Glory Hole Falls

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ocated in the Ozark Mountains, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a true encounter with the beauty of the outdoors. Covering 10,000 acres of pristine landscape, the park has miles of crystal clear trout streams, dozens of cascading waterfalls, ancient burial caves and bottomless, blue-green pools. Countless outdoor activities are available, ranging from a 6.5 mile bike or hike along paved trails to horseback riding through the rugged hillside. After your excursion, enjoy lunch at the Dogwood Canyon Grill and take in stunning views while you dine. Call or visit the website to start planning your adventure in the Ozarks!

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Horseback Riding BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 9


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I was lying in a hospital in Moab, Utah last weekend getting my leg sewn up after an accident on the infamous “Portal Trail,” and when the nurse asked me where I was from. I responded “northwest Arkansas,” and her reply was, “Oh sweet! I heard you guys have some killer trails down there.” She was just one of many locals I talked to asking the same question. Here I was in the mecca of mountain biking and the locals were stoked about trails that we’ve built in Arkansas. Am I dreaming? It’s hard to believe that only a decade ago, mountain biking in Arkansas was primarily a small group who rode old dirt roads and trails originally built for hiking. The only trails we had that resembled any kind Nathan “Woody” Woodruff of of flow were trails built by the Ozark Progressive Trail Design (PTD) rides Off Road Cyclists (OORC) at places like “The Ledges” section of the Bella Vista Devil’s Den and Kessler Mountain. In Back 40. Woody’s company was a key 2006, that all changed with a phone call designer for this acclaimed new trail. from the Walton Family Foundation— and what followed was the first bike-optimized trail built in the state, Slaughter Pen in Bentonville. Shortly after, I came up with this idea I called Progressive Trail Design (PTD). Fast forward 10 years, we have built over 100 miles of trail in the state, and Arkansas has hosted an IMBA World Summit and countless pro riders have visited. We are fast becoming a nationwide destination. The social, economic, and health benefits of our growing trail infrastructure cannot be underestimated. Many businesses have flourished due to the trails, and the quality of life is bringing people here from all over the country. We are all so lucky to live in such a great place with such great riding—and there is much more to come. We at PTD are currently building one of the crowning jewels of Bentonville— Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. The state of cycling in Arkansas is vibrant and booming. If you didn’t grow up riding old dirt roads like myself and many of the early pioneers on our team, (like Dave Renko, Jon Bryan and Chris Crone), it is hard to appreciate how lucky we are. That’s where Bike Arkansas magazine comes into play. I’m proud to have worked with this publication to further its mission to support and promote cycling in Arkansas. We at PTD will never rest and will continue to push the envelope to create new and unique experiences for riders—and Bike Arkansas will be there to let you all know about it.

Nathan “Woody” Woodruff Founder, Progressive Trail Design

PHOTO BY NOVO STUDIO

FROM THE GUEST EDITOR


SHARE MY RIDE: SLAUGHTER PEN

ting a r b e l Ce in years 25 business! 92 Since 19

Riding means a lot of things for me, which is why it has developed from a childhood past time into my lifestyle. Life is crazy, and we don’t always know what might be around the next corner. My bike is not only my release, it lets me think clearly, it’s my passion. But, most of all I’m always searching for the next thrill. This picture makes me laugh because every time the camera flashed, I was blinded and sliding through the corner toward the man with the expensive camera. It made me feel like a kid again. That’s the thrill of mountain biking, the stoke I seek out every time I hop on the saddle: to keep pushing the limits, just like kids venturing farther from home to seek out a new zone; not judged by where we got, but what we did in order to get there. —Dustin Slaughter

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BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 11


Contributors

PHILIP THOMAS

is the owner and operator of Novo Studio in Rogers, and is pumped about having the great trails at Lake Atalanta right in his back yard.

DWAIN HEBDA

is more of a writer than a rider, but has developed a taste for mountain biking he hopes to explore further.

ADDIE TEO works as an occupational

therapist. She loves riding the Iron Mountain Bike Trail on Lake DeGray for the mental boost cycling gives her.

HEATHER LEE LEAP is a freelance writer and mother of three girls. She needs to buy a new bicycle; hers has been appropriated by her middle daughter who refuses to stop growing.

RICHARD LEDBETTER is a southeast Arkansas writer who rode his first bike at age eleven and has never looked back. He loves the hundreds of rugged trails near his country home.

Member FDIC

12 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


All things Arkansas,

all in one place. We’re committed to Arkansas and to the people who live here. That’s why we created an entire site dedicated to our home state. Visit OnlyInArk.com for everything from great road trips and fun festivals to local culture and more. When your bank is only in Arkansas, you know it’s all about you.

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PHOTO BY NOVO STUDIO

Braking News

THE WORLD IS OURS A LOOK BACK AT THE 2016 IMBA WORLD SUMMIT BY MICHAEL ROBERTS Trick riders were on display at The Railyard Bike Park in Rogers during day three of the IMBA World Summit.

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fter months of anticipation and build-up, the 2016 International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) World Summit has come and gone from the city of Bentonville—and according to the advocacy organization, the event garnered the highest attendance of any World Summit in history. Over 500 attendees filled the seminars and exhibitions, bringing together a worldwide community to the hills of northwest Arkansas. In addition, the 2016 World Summit featured a first-ever “VIP Experience” fundraising event which brought in more than $200,000 for the bicycling nonprofit’s yearly efforts. For Aimee Ross, IMBA’s Director of Business Development, the event was a real coming-out party for a region of the country that has long been one of mountain biking’s unsung treasures. “I’d visited the area several times in the course of helping organize the event,” says Aimee. “But it was my husband’s first time [in Bentonville], and he came back calling it one of the best places he’s been in the world. That sentiment was the same for nearly everyone I spoke with.” DAY 1: THE PREVIEW The Summit’s first event was a pre-opening of the vendor expo at Compton Gardens in Bentonville, featuring some of the top names in bike gear and equipment—including 14 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

bicycle brands like Trek, Giant, Orbea, Yeti, Salsa and more. “Our partners just loved the enthusiasm from the crowd,” says Aimee. The expo ran throughout the entire Summit, expanding into The Railyard Bike Park in Rogers and the Blowing Springs Trail in Bella Vista. DAY 2: THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH The official launch of the World Summit came with a keynote address by Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member Hans Rey, who discussed the rise of mountain biking from a niche sport into a juggernaut that is reshaping communities across the globe. After the address, attendees broke off into groups to discuss subjects like public-private land partnerships, building local chapters into strong brands and environmental research. From this advocacy standpoint, Aimee Ross says the 2016 World Summit was a success. “Places like Bentonville show what communities can be. Like Moab, Utah, cycling has really changed the face of the city, and we hope that other places see that change and come away wanting to emulate it. We’ve had people specifically ask about best practices for their own areas based on Bentonville’s example.” Such practices include bikeoriented city planning, an emphasis on bike education for both cyclists and drivers and well-designed and maintained bike paths both on and off city streets.


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The Railyard Bike Park, where famed riders Hans Rey and Danny MacAskill put on an exhibition during the World Summit, is one of the largest of its kind in the country (top). Day four of the World Summit featured a VIP ride with Hans Rey, Danny MacAskill and IMBA executive director Dave Wiens (bottom).

>>THE RAILYARD BIKE PARK CONNECTS TO ONE OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS’ FAVORITE RIDING TRAIL SYSTEMS AROUND LAKE ATALANTA. 16 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

DAY 3: RIDING THE RAILYARD The breakout sessions continued on day 3 of the summit, covering topics like the emergence of “bikepacking,” the navigation of social media and strategies for funding local trail projects—something Bentonville area advocates have excelled at through partnerships with organizations like the Walton Family Foundation. The highlight of the day, however, was the afternoon trip to The Railyard Bike Park in Rogers, where famed riders Danny MacAskill, Hans Rey and Ryan Leech gave a riding demonstration that simply wowed attendees. Another aspect of the showcase that impressed visitors? The Railyard Bike Park itself. This Progressive Trail Design-built Rogers park is one of the largest parks of its kind in the nation, proving once again that Arkansas is bike country. Riders of all ages have come to test their skills against the various curved wall rides, dirt rollers and berms, elevated bridges and jumps—and many attendees lamented they didn’t have time to make better use of the facility. “I heard so many people express disappointment that they couldn’t fit in everything there was to do in the time we had,” Aimee says. DAY 4: BLOWING SPRINGS & BARBECUE The final day of the summit saw a VIP ride of Bella Vista’s Blowing Springs Trail led by experts from northwest Arkansas’ Oz Trails and featuring riders like Danny MacAskill, Hans Rey and IMBA’s new executive director Dave Wiens. And afterward? Another Arkansas tradition: a post-ride grill-out and barbecue, sponsored by local favorites Pedelar’s Pub and Core Beer. This post-ride party was a preview of a larger reception and party held that night at the Meteor Theater in Bentonville which celebrated a fun and successful World Summit. “[Bentonville] is home to incredible restaurants, modern coffee bars and some of the world’s best museums,” says Aimee Ross of the World Summit’s 2016 host city. “It also has some of the best singletrack in the country. People know about Bentonville now.” We couldn’t be more proud.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND TOURISM/SCOTT SCHROEN/PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

“Creating great cycling communities starts with a vision,” says Aimee. “Then it takes a lot of hard work. Cyclists travel now for more than just the trails, and we want towns and cities to recognize that. We’re always looking for opportunities to help. And we love northwest Arkansas.”


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BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 17


Braking News

METEORIC RISE OF A CYCLING CAFE

PHOTO BY @THEMETEORCAFE

BY DWAIN HEBDA

Riders in Little Rock’s Riverdale and Stifft Station neighborhoods will soon be able to enjoy a cup of premium coffee at two locations of The Meteor, a cycling-themed cafe partnered with Spokes Bike Shop.

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ycling enthusiasts turned entrepreneurs are bringing a new concept to Little Rock, combining a high-end bike shop with an upscale coffee house and cafe. Dubbed The Meteor, the business is planned to open in two Little Rock locations with more on the horizon. “Bicycles and coffee have always had a thing for each other,” said Doug Zell, one of the partners behind the venture. “It’s like a match made in heaven.” In addition to Doug, the partnership responsible for The Meteor’s locations includes Chris St. Peter and Tony Karklins of bike manufacturer HIA Velo. The trio are launching the concept from the Marshall Clements building in Little Rock’s Riverdale neighborhood. The 11,000-square-foot space will feature a cafe, upscale coffee bar and bicycle store. The Riverdale location is due to open by mid-summer, while a scaled-down version of The Meteor is expected to open in late spring in the Spokes Bike Shop in Little Rock’s Stifft Station neighborhood.The partners said their ambition for the flagship Riverdale location is to provide a laid-back, casually elegant experience for the rider and non-rider alike, in the shadow of the River Trail bike route. “We’re going to be doing our own baking,” Doug says. “We’ll also have an interesting selection of wines as we’re working with producers in California to bring us some of our very own wines that will be unavailable anywhere else. The ingredient-driven menu is unfussy and there’s a great beer selection as well. It’s more 18 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

cafe than coffee bar, with a bicycle shop component. Because it butts up against the River Trail, it’s a great place to start and finish your ride.” The partners chose Little Rock to launch the concept after being impressed by the active lifestyle in the community, typified by the extensive trail and road biking amenities in and around town. “When I visited, I was struck by how this is a great city with beautiful scenery, great riding, really nice folks,” Doug says. “We see the city through an interesting lens in that within a seven-hour drive, you’ve got Austin, you’ve got Nashville and it really feels like Little Rock could be in that triangle of happening places. It’s an opportunity to bring that kind of vibe to a place that is just ready for it.” The initial locations will ultimately employ between 30 and 50 people, but the partners have much bigger plans for the concept long-term. “I think Little Rock is a perfect place for us to test this idea. We’ve got particular consumers that are well-traveled and appreciate bicycles as well as good restaurants. We think we can prove the concept out first in Little Rock and then there may be other opportunities,” Doug says. “I can see us in places like northwest Arkansas or Athens, Georgia, or other regional cities in Florida or Arizona where there is a good culture for riding and outdoor life, places like North or South Carolina or parts of California.” “Bicycles, coffee and all this stuff really do go together and we’re hopeful that we can do among the best versions of this.”


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ALICIA SEARVOGEL is cycling to break the previous women’s highest annual mileage record (HAMR) and set a new record for her age group. Originally from Northern California, Alicia moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2015. By trade, Alicia is a professional mural, portrait and airbrush artist. After crewing and supporting her husband Kurt on his HAMR year, Alicia knew she could attempt the women’s record as well. For Alicia, the greatest challenge to ride at least a century a day is the mental challenge as well as the daily plan of the ride location, proper nutrition intake, good music or audio books. Alicia keeps a positive frame of mind, stays comfortable on her bike and does not let external challenges deter her daily goal. One of the most memorable events in Alicia’s life is the day she rode past 24,901 miles, the distance around the earth. After she completes the HAMR challenge in June, the first thing Alicia plans to do is to visit her sons in California! —Addie Teo

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Braking News

CYCLISTS BRIDGE THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI

Now known as the Big River Crossing, the newly reopened Harahan Bridge serves as a nearly mile-long connection between West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee.

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n 1913, on the tenth day of April, far thinking individuals first proposed the construction of the Harahan railroad bridge to readily connect traffic between eastern Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. By special permission of the War Department and an Act of Congress, the project began to take shape. Despite delays caused by both the Great Flood of 1915 and the entry of the United States into World War I, the massive undertaking moved forward at a remarkable pace; opening at last on July 14, 1916. The historic structure served both trains and cars until 1949 when the I-55 Bridge opened just downstream. For the rest of its first life, the Harahan was utilized for trains only, still serving to this day as a thoroughfare for the Union Pacific Railroad. Now, as part of a growing system of trails that are uniting the Delta Region in ways never before seen, the Harahan has a new name: The Big River Crossing. And while the trains and vehicle traffic are part of a long-gone past, the bridge has a new lease on life as the longest Mississippi River crossing designated for cyclists and pedestrians. The cities of West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee have always been connected, but never quite like this. The newest attraction for bike enthusiasts opened on October 22, 2016, a century after the bridge was first built. This new chapter in the bridge’s life is to be written by the pedal-pushing masses who are destined to turn The Big River Crossing into a must-ride for cyclists all across the country.The ceremony on the West Memphis side prior to the ribbon cutting included several prominent speakers sharing their perspectives of the admirable endeavor and what it is expected to mean for the future of surrounding communities. For the residents of this eastern Arkansas community, the Big 20 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

River Crossing means a new draw for tourists. The scale and scope of the project led to the West Memphis Convention and Visitor’s Bureau being named the 2017 Natural State Award Winner at the annual Henry Awards, presented at this year’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Dignitaries on-hand included Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, who began his brief comments by saying, “First of all: I love how we are finding new life for this historic bridge.” He further stated how the Big River Crossing not only connects our two states but also ties together the historic past to a brighter future through promoting geo-tourism with bicycle paths projected to reach across eastern Arkansas from Memphis all the way to Lake Village via the Delta Heritage Trail. He concluded, “It has all been accomplished by commitment, leadership and sticking with it.” Other speakers pointed out that when it is entirely complete, the Arkansas side of the Big River Crossing will host the Delta Regional River Park and the Big River Trail. Running atop the Mississippi River levee from West Memphis to near Marianna, the Big River Trail will open for the first time this portion of the levee to public bike and pedestrian traffic, providing spectacular viewpoints from an elevated perspective. The Big River Crossing is built on the upriver side of Harahan, utilizing the formerly abandoned westbound automobile roadway. The lighted and covered decking is 4973 feet in length by twelve foot wide, providing spectacular views of the river and urban cityscape, as well as the rural Arkansas farmlands bordering either bank of the mighty Mississippi. Governor Hutchinson, accompanied by a host of guests and reporters, led the first walk across the span. The large group was met at mid-stream by a sizable contingent of Memphians

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BIGRIVERCROSSING.COM/ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND TOURISM

BY RICHARD LEDBETTER


Walk, bike, or run across

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FREE & Open to the public | Sunrise to Sunset | Parallel to I-55 | Entry points in West Memphis, AR & Memphis, TN

Check out this and other exciting attractions at VISITWESTMEMPHIS.COM BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 21


The Harahan Bridge is lit by colorful LED lights to showcase its new purpose as a bike and pedestrian thoroughfare (above). The hard-surface Big River Crossing connects the cities of Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas (right).

BIG RIVER CROSSING AT A GLANCE

• The Big River Crossing is part of a collection of efforts to celebrate the Mississippi River, known as the Big River Strategic Initiative.

• At almost a mile in length, the Big River Crossing is the longest public pedestrian and cyclist bridge across the Mississippi River. • The bridge crossing connects the Main Streets of both Memphis and West Memphis.

• The Crossing is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and is free to the public. • From West Memphis, the bridge can be accessed from I-55, Exit 1. Parking is available on Dacus Lake Road.

Source: bigrivercrossing.com

headed by Tennessee U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen. Cohen greeted Hutchinson on the Arkansas/Tennessee line while enthusiastic Arkansans called the Hogs high above tugs and barges churning the waves below. Memphian Charlie McVean of McVean Trading and Investments has been the driving force behind construction of the twenty million dollar Big River Crossing. Former Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey said of McVean, “Charlie came to look at our Big Dam Bridge project. After seeing what we’d accomplished in Little Rock, he told me, ‘we’ll show you what a really big damn bridge looks like.’” According to fellow trail pioneer Terry Eastin, “Charlie’s unwavering commitment and work with the U.P. Railroad and persistent private fund raising made this project a reality.” A resident of Fayetteville, Terry is Executive Director of Big River Strategic Initiative LLC and a member of the Corporate Advisory Board for Mississippi River Cities and Towns. He said of her role in bringing the bike bridge to fruition,

“Altogether, I have thirty years’ experience in trail grant funding, lobbying and development of construction projects and trail planning. Charlie hired me two years ago to work with all officials on the Arkansas side to acquire use of the levees and spearhead the National Geographic Mississippi River project. A large part of the trail system is already in place, including existing bike paths from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. It just remains to connect all the pieces.” Terry continued, “My heart belongs foremost to Arkansas and I’ll do anything I can to promote trails and tourism development for the eastern side of our state. There is unlimited potential for trail based economic development here.” Soon after the official opening, eager cyclists and hikers filled the entire length of the Big River Crossing, traversing back and forth above the mighty Mississippi, immediately proving the popularity and potential of this unique new recreation resource crowning to the riverscape. For more information, visit bigrivercrossing.com.

22 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


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Hot Days are Cool at Rogers Parks and Recreation! TERRY CODDINGTON ’s father took him to a BMX track in 1988 and he was hooked. Terry began competing all around the country, eventually winning the 1989 ABA Grand Nationals. After a career in the military where he served a tour with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, a co-worker introduced Terry to the sport of mountain biking.  “I remember the first ride, wearing flat pedals, a cotton t- shirt and riding a Specialized Hard Rock. I suffered a lot that ride, but I have been cycling ever since.”   After winning several championships in Florida, Terry moved to Arkansas where he has been a fixture in the cycling scene, winning multiple championships on the mountain bike, as well as road racing wins including some notable races like the Joe Martin Stage Race Criterium and the Oklahoma State Championship.  —Addie Teo

Splash Passes on Sale May 15-26. Reg Price Rogers resident 48” and over $85.00 Rogers resident Under 48” $65.00 Non-resident 48” and over $99.00 Non-resident Under 48” $75.00

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BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 23


Bike Gear

TESTING GROUNDS BY MICHAEL ROBERTS

Testers for Bike Magazine’s 2017 Bike Bible put three dozen bikes through their paces on northwest Arkansas’ best Ozark trails. 24 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


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or almost a decade, Bike Magazine has been publishing an annual review called “The Bike Bible.” Sharp-eyed Arkansans who read the comprehensive mountain bike gear guide might have noticed some familiar sights along with the reviews: northwest Arkansas singletrack, including sections of the Bella Vista Back 40 and Mt. Kessler. “The Bike folks wanted about 35 bikes built,” says Scott Schroen of Phat Tire Bike Shop in Bentonville. “They contacted me to see if I would assemble them—from the box, straight from the manufacturer. I told my wife ‘If I take this on, it’s no joke. I’m going to be in the garage building bikes for two weeks straight.’ But it was such a worthwhile experience.” Ten reviewers from Bike sat out to put each of the bikes Scott built across styles, including bikes for long travel, midtravel, short travel and women’s. “I was really curious to see how they would be riding the bikes,” says Scott, who also

maintained and repaired test bikes after each ride. “You can tell when a bike comes back the experience of the rider. It was obvious they knew what they were doing and they put those bikes through it.” “The neatest thing was going behind the scenes to see how [the testers] worked. I think some people wonder if the bikes really get reviewed as thoroughly as is claimed, and the answer is ‘yes,’” says Scott. “They were honest and sometimes brutal—and always very professional. In some cases, they put six months of use onto a bike in just a few rides.” So after weeks of hard work, would he do it all again? Scott is quick with his answer: “I have a real hard time turning down opportunities. I would do it all again. The people were great. I love new experiences, so hell yeah, I would do it again.” Continued on next page.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BIKE MAGAZINE, BRUNO LONG AND SCOTT SCHROEN BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 25


When Bike Magazine needed bikes built for the 2017 Bike Bible, they contacted Scott Schroen of Phat Tire Bike Shop in Bentonville (top). Northwest Arkansas’ booming mountain bike scene was the featured testing ground for this year’s Bike Bible and was featured on the cover.

It isn’t every day that a national publication like Bike Magazine brings a crew of battle-hardened bike testers to the hills of northwest Arkansas, but when it came time to develop the much-anticipated 2017 Bike Bible, that’s exactly what happened. Here are four of Bike’s top picks from the three dozen bicycles reviewed, available at your local bike shop. 26 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

TREK FUEL EX 29 Redesigned for 2017, this bike from Trek was rated “surefooted and aggressive” by the Bike Magazine testers, who also declared that it would be “tough to find a better all-around bike at a better price” than this mid travel bike. $4,000 | trekbikes.com

SPECIALIZED WOMEN’S CAMBER Described as a “a fun and lively ride,” Bike’s testers declared themselves “impressed with its climbing ability on challenging and steep sections of trail.” $3,800 | specialized.com


Clockwise from top: Bike Magazine’s testers rode trails at northwest Arkansas locations like Coler Bike Park and Mt. Kessler in Fayetteville. Each bike was thoroughly tested and scored based on a detailed criteria. In addition to building the test bikes, Scott Schroen also repaired all damages accrued on the trails. Strict attention to detail and measurements have resulted in the stellar reputation held by the Bike Bible. Thoughtful testers filled out multiple questionnaires about the bikes they tested. Some of the bikes tested were so popular they had even seasoned testers wanting to keep them.

SALSA REDPOINT A bike on which the 2017 Bike Bible testers “felt comfortable charging through the chunder,” the Redpoint was rated “one of the best values in the [long travel] category.” $4,600 | salsacycles.com

GIANT ANTHEM ADVANCED Noting its BMX feel, Bike Bible testers called this model from Giant “a surprisingly plush and agile race bike,” perfect for “light, technical riding.” $4,950 | giant-bicycles.com

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 27


DIG IN

Bike Street Gear

BY MICHAEL ROBERTS

DIG Clothing Company’s Nathan “Woody” Woodruff tackles the Cease and Desist trail with friend Josh Hardy at Coler Park in Bentonville.

PUT A LID ON IT Go for a flat-brimmed modern look or take it all the way back to a classic trucker-hat feel with DIG’s caps. Perfect for riding a trail—or building one. $35

TEE OFF Dive in to the DIG experience with one of the company’s graphic tees. These cotton-blend shirts are perfect for people who “aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty,” says Nathan. With styles that feature both the DIG logo and the sort of tools used in building trails, these shirts make a statement. $30

BEANIE BABY Never get left out in the cold with DIG’s signature cyclist beanies. Featuring heavy-duty knit fabric that won’t lose its shape, these are excellent for crisp mornings on the road. $30

For more information, visit digclothingco.com. Sign up for the company’s email newsletter for all the latest info on the product line launch. 28 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIG CLOTHING COMPANY

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or Nathan “Woody” Woodruff, a simple love of mountain biking wasn’t enough—he had to start building trails. “We started off as a group of renegade trail builders back in 2007,” he says, and ten years on, his company, Progressive Trail Design (PTD), boasts a portfolio of world-class trails like the Slaughter Pen Flow Trail in Bentonville, as well as trails in Aspen, Colorado. But it’s not just about building great cycling trails for Woody and his team: 2017 marks the launch of DIG Clothing Company, a project that Woody says represents “the next generation of lifestyle and activewear.” Inspired by the downand-dirty elements of both the natural landscape and the trails PTD builds, the phrase “dress like a trail builder” may very well be the hottest trend this year.


Trailblazers

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BOB ROBINSON has been actively involved with bicycling his entire adult life. When his hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas formed the city’s first bicycle club in the 80s, Fort City Cyclists, he directed (as the club’s president) the area’s first bicycle road race and also a mountain bike race at Mount Magazine State Park. He then went on to write three bicycle touring guidebooks (Bicycling Guide to the Mississippi River Trail, Bicycling Guide to the Lake Michigan Trail, Bicycling Guide to Route 66). After adding a mountain bike to his stable of bikes he helped grow the single track at Ben Geren Park from five miles to its current 18 miles, which contributed to the trail being a finalist in the city’s 2017 Giving Recognition in Tourism (GRIT) Awards. When Ozark Off-Road Cyclists (OORC) added a chapter in his area, Frontier OORC, he accepted the time and labor intensive role of Trail Maintenance Coordinator. Bob believes strongly that if you use the trails you should be willing to help build and maintain them. —Addie Teo

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www.ouachitakayaktours.com BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 29


Bike Saftey

KIDS RIDE SAFE

PHOTO BY NOVO STUDIO

BY HEATHER LEE LEAP

Ensuring children have a properly fitted helmet is one of the foundations of bike safety.

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. Whether you’re looking for fresh air or exercise, we have tips and advice to minimize the risks and get children rolling safely down the road: ADULT SUPERVISION: Child development research by child safety nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide indicates that children under the age of ten have difficulty judging the speed and distance of traffic. Before allowing children to ride alone, assess their skills and judgment.

PROPER HELMET USE: Require children to wear a properly fitting bike helmet every time they ride. Adults should do the same for safety and to serve as a role model. When in doubt, visit your local bicycle shop for a fitting. Helmet use is the single most effective way to reduce bicycle-related fatalities.

TERRAIN AND TRAFFIC: Discuss the sorts of things children might encounter. Take a ride together to point out details and identify any potential hazards. A child who has always followed an adult has not had to rely on his or her own judgment and may not be confident of the route.

BIKES THAT FIT: Provide your child with a bicycle that fits. When standing over a bike with both feet flat on the ground there should be two or more inches of clearance above the top tube. When seated, the rider should not have to stretch or lean forward dramatically to reach the handlebars

CYCLISTS ON THE ROADWAY, INCLUDING CHILDREN, SHOULD ALWAYS RIDE WITH TRAFFIC.

PROPER MAINTENANCE: If you are not sure how to do this, enroll in a bike maintenance class. Regularly check reflectors, brakes, chains and tires to assure that they are in good working order. Check the fit of your child’s helmet periodically as well.

OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicycles on the roadway are, by law, vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities of motorized vehicles. Cyclists on the roadway, including children, should always ride with traffic, use signals and obey all traffic signs and rules.

Whether your child is begging for the responsibility of riding alone, or your whole family is ready for a two-wheeled commute, take advantage of the lengthening spring days by getting out on your bike this season. Get fit, have fun and stay safe. What better way to ride into spring than pedal-power? For more information, visit bikeleague.org.

30 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


ACTION Naturally Made

For those who want to get out and get going, The Natural State is a natural destination. Whether you crave world-class mountain biking, scenic hikes or the solitude of our pristine lakes and rivers, Arkansas is the place to come out and play. Get outdoor vacation ideas at arkansas.com. What will you make in Arkansas?

Arkansas.com

THEM

architecture | engineering | surveying

for more information visit craftontull.com BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 31


MY KIT

PHOTO BY NOVO STUDIO

NAME: Josh Milton, Bella Vista OCCUPATION: General Manager for all GPP Cycling shops in northwest Arkansas

WHERE I RIDE: “I live in Bella Vista, so the Back 40 [Loop] and Blowing Springs [Park and Trails] are my go-to. You can also spot me on the Lake Atalanta trails in downtown Rogers lately.”

RIDE PLAYLIST: “If I do listen to music, and depending on the mood, I go with Genghis Tron or Crystal Castles for the more high energy/high power output rides, and something like James Blake or The National on the calmer rides.”

THE BIKE: “My favorite is the Lynskey Titanium single speed mountain bike, all custom from frame up. It’s simple and clean. I also ride a BMC ALR01 road bike.”

WHY I RIDE: “Cycling has evolved in my life, although some things have stayed the same—like the freedom it provides. When I was a kid, the whole world revolved around bikes. We didn’t realize we were establishing a lifelong habit that I have now passed down to my children. Now it provides a mental sanctuary from adulting. You can ride as lightheartedly or intensely as you want—depending on your mindset at the time. I started more serious riding as an adult on a mountain bike, my first love. Mountain biking demands full situational awareness to minimize injury, it’s technical and intense, so it allows you to forget the rest of the world and focus on the moment. Later in life I found that most of the people winning mountain bike races spent half of their time on road bikes. So I reluctantly tried it out. I now love and appreciate road cycling too. The road ride is quiet and non-technical. Open road allows you to process things in life and focus on where you are physically.” Josh Milton takes to the trails around Lake Atalanta in Rogers. 32 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


THE KIT: JOSH MILTON FLASHY FOOTWEAR: For durability and style that can stand up to any terrain, “I’m not without my Sidi Dragons.” $400 | sidi.com

GREAT GLOVES: “I prefer fullfinger leather gloves.”—like these Giro LX’s, made to match the size and shape of a rider’s hand. $50-80 | giro.com

HOT HELMET: “I use the Giro Atmos,” a helmet designed for both ventilation and reliable protection. $140 | giro.com

TOTAL TUBES: “Never knowing when a flat might strike, ‘a 29’ tube and 2 16gram CO2 chargers are a vital part of the kit, along with one Blackburn air chuck and a Stans valve core tool.” Various Prices | gppcycling.com

PROPER TOOL: For quick fixes on the road, “I’ve got my Ascent Bare Bones Multi-tool.” $10 | gppcycling.com

THE JERSEY: “I’ve got on a Giro Roust mountain-biking jersey. I also always carry some cash, my license, my insurance card and a pocket knife, too.” $60 | giro.com

“WHEN I WAS A KID, THE WHOLE WORLD REVOLVED AROUND BIKES.” —JOSH MILTON

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 33


MY KIT

PHOTO BY NOVO STUDIO

NAME: Grady Spann, Mountain View OCCUPATION: Director, Arkansas State Parks

WHERE I RIDE: “I like to ride Enders Fault at Woolly Hollow State Park [near Greenbrier] and Iron Mountain [near Arkadelphia.]”

THE PLAYLIST: “I have a very eclectic playlist from Brazilian to blues to rock and roll.”

THE BIKE: “I prefer GT and Orbea, although Santa Cruz and a Yeti are fine too.”

WHY I RIDE: “I’m a long time surfer who has discovered the joy of surfing land based waves (mountains bike trails). The feeling of pedaling uphill, then dropping a gravity cavity and flow trails with berms is a lot like surfing. Mountain biking is related to life in general— solid foundation, flexible, balanced, good decisions, ready for any situation, stability, ever changing and always looking to the future. In the end, it is just fun, you’re in the moment, you have to focus, it is relaxing—and dropping a major downhill is always worth the pain of the climb. You get what you pay for.”

Grady Spann, director of the Arkansas State Parks, stops on one of his favorite trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. 34 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


THE KIT: GRADY SPANN

THE HELMET: “I wear a Bell Helmet

THE GLOVES: “These Hand Up gloves

when I ride,” says Grady, preferring the superior design on Arkansas’ rugged trails. $70| bellhelmets.com

are best for grabbin’ both bars and beers on and off the trail.” $28 | handupgloves.com

HYDRATION: “To keep cool out on the

THE JERSEY: “I’m wearing an official

trail, I swear by the toughness of an Osprey Hydration Pack.” $140 | ospreypacks.com

Arkansas State Parks jersey by Primal.” $100 | primalwear.com

“DROPPING A MAJOR DOWNHILL IS ALWAYS WORTH THE PAIN OF THE CLIMB.” —GRADY SPANN BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 35


FOSSIL FLATS TRAIL, DEVIL’S DEN STATE PARK By Tim Scott, Assistant Superintendent, Devil’s Den State Park

36 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


Devil’s Den Assistant Superintendent, Tim Scott was instrumental in bringing mountain biking into the Arkansas State Parks, and he still regularly rides that first trail, the Fossil Flats Trail at Devil’s Den State Park. The trail features water crossings (facing page) and some great rocky stretches through Ozark hardwood (below).

T

here are 52 Arkansas State Parks, and my home park, Devil’s Den, was one of the first five that began as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. As part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program, the CCC put young men between the ages of 18 to 25 to work during the Depression years. They were here not only to build the park but to help save the nation. All of us who work and maintain Devil’s Den are very proud of that CCC heritage. Not only did the CCC construct the park’s cabins and dam from 1933 to 1942, they also built trails that are still in use today. The Devil’s Den, Yellow Rock, and Lake trails were all built during that period, with two of those trails listed on the United States Department of Interior’s National Trail System. Recreation has always been a part of the park’s mission, so the development of mountain bike trails fit perfect with that objective. Which brings me to my trail: Fossil Flats.

The Fossil Flats Trail was built in 1990, making it one of the first mountain bike trails in the state—and the first in an Arkansas state park. The name for the trail comes from fossils found in the middle creek crossing’s limestone bedrock. Commonly referred to as a “stacked loop,” there are three trails that form this six-mile loop: The Outlaw loop (three miles) and The Sawmill and Racer’s Hill loops (one-and-a-half miles each). It’s a perfect trail for the intermediate cyclist. Through the years, the trail has morphed and evolved due to new trail building techniques and flooding. Originally, the three-mile path started with an old house site road on one side of Lee Creek, with the other side built by park staff. Later, Sweet Trails and Progressive Trail Design (PTD) constructed portions of the Outlaw loop, and local volunteer group Ozark Off Road Cyclists (OORC) built and re-routed Racer’s Hill. OORC has been instrumental in maintaining the trail.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 37


The upper creek crossing (top) is dry about half the time (as seen here) according to Tim Scott. Racer’s Hill (bottom) is a half-mile climb followed by a halfmile descent. Most cyclists ride the trail clockwise. Here are some of my favorite features on this landmark trail: • Right out of the gate you will find a “sweet” Progressive Trail Design pump track. Then the trail extends up the valley. • The trail briefly flows along Lee Creek before climbing up the side of the valley. • Eventually the trail connects with an old road and your next challenge is affectionately called “Heartbreak Hill.” No explanation necessary. • From there the trail becomes open and fast until the upper creek crossing. • The upper creek crossing is dry about half the time. • Time for Racer’s Hill, a half-mile climb with the reward of a half-mile descent. • From Racer’s Hill your next feature is “the ledge,” a narrow portion of the trail overlooking one of the best Lee Creek valley views. • The trail becomes fast again for the next mile until you reach the legendary “Gravity Cavity.” You pedal in one side, and it shoots you out the other. • One last creek crossing before returning to the starting point in Campground A. It is a great place to cool off as you finish your ride.

Devil’s Den is also your perfect mountain bike base camp. From your campsite, you are a half hour to an hour and a half from some of the best mountain biking in Northwest Arkansas which includes Lake Fort Smith State Park, Hobbs Conservation Area State Park, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Bentonville/Bella Vista. There are over 70 miles of exciting, hand-cut to machine groomed trails. After a day of riding, you arrive back at your Devil’s Den campsite or cabin and relax for the evening—our home is yours. For more information about Devil’s Den State Park, visit arkansasstateparks.com/devilsden. For information about mountain biking at Devil’s Den and other Arkansas state parks, visit arkansas.com/ bicycling/mountain-biking.

38 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


Goss

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Explore SPRINGDALE Looking for fun, scenic & exciting trails? Visit ExploreSpringdale.com

Springdale has something for everyone BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 39


INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED ARTIST GEORGE DOMBEK FINDS BEAUTY IN THE FORM OF A BICYCLE

BY MICHAEL ROBERTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEREDITH MASHBURN/COURTESY OF GEORGE DOMBEK 40 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


George Dombek’s first bike art came in the form of a series of paintings the artist developed in the early 90s while in Italy, including Streets of Florence, seen here.

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 41


“A “A

lot of people ask me how long it takes to finish a painting,” says George Dombek with a laugh. “I tell them I’ve been at it since 1960, so sometimes that means it takes 57 years.” We’re sitting in Dombek’s spacious, colorful gallery—a wonderland of lush landscaping, high ceilings and the paintings, sculptures and glasswork that showcase the talent and ability with which the Paris, Arkansas native has built his reputation as one of America’s finest artists. Not that George will actually admit to any of that. “I don’t like to tell the stories behind my work,” he says. “Like good music, people should be able to interpret it differently. If I tell what I was thinking, it will color it for them.” But while the painter and sculptor is reticent to reveal the mindset behind his masterful representations of barns, bikes and other Americana, he is more than willing to reflect on how he got into the bikeart business in the first place. “When I was growing up, I ran a paper route on a bicycle. And that was such a big deal to a child,” he says. “It represents the first taste of freedom—the first transition from being kept at home to being out in the world.” His cycling career hit a snag later in life, though: “In the 1970s, I had one of those 10-speed bikes. When I was about 24, I crashed it and that was it for my cycling career.” Nearly two decades would pass before bikes came back into his life. “I was in Italy in the early 90s when I first began painting bicycles,” George says. Drawn to the lines and geometry of the spokes and shape of the frames, the result was a series of paintings that manages to combine an extremely realistic aesthetic with a sense of romance that George ascribes to that feeling he had as a child.

42 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

Attention to detail in both form and shadow are the hallmarks of George Dombek’s paintings such as Italian Scooter (top). The artist maintains a gallery in Goshen where bike art like Tour de Tree Series: Red Swallowtails is displayed (above). The Tour de Tree Series also includes a bike-in-the-tree version called Red and Yellow Swallowtails (facing page).


BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 43


“Everything builds on what came before.”—GEORGE DOMBEK

Just off the main floor of George’s gallery near Fayetteville lies the workspace where the artist creates paintings and works of art such as the twig-sculpted bicycle sculpture Flying High, seen hanging here.

From painting bicycles, George next found himself drawn to building them from twigs. “There’s a theme throughout all of this,” he says. “Everything builds on what came before.” This development led to something whimsical and wonderful for the artist: placing a twig-bike sculpture into a bronze-cast tree—a work that can be seen at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. “It started with being asked to do a bronze casting of a bike by itself. That project fell through, but the ideas stayed with me.” George’s “bike in a tree” sculpture proved so popular that Crystal Bridges granted him permission to make five similar versions, four of which have been sold. The fifth stands in a quiet courtyard at his studio, a bronze-cast bike originally made from sycamore twigs hiding among the branches of a similarly cast apple tree. “We cut the trees up into smaller pieces and incase them in plaster,” he says of the process. “Then the wood is burned away, leaving a perfect mold.” The molds are used to make bronze versions of the twigs and branches, then welded together in such a way that even a close inspection can’t detect the seams. From a distance, the trees look real. From painting to sculpture, the bike motif has informed a large portion of George Dombek’s art since those first paintings in Italy. These days, he’s transferred the images into a series of colorful glass pieces, many of which can be seen at the newly opened Preacher’s Son Restaurant in Bentonville. The stained-glass feel of the glasswork works well in the renovated church, adding a flavor that combines Bentonville’s past with its future. As for George, he’s made a decision that perhaps cycling is something he should get back into physically as well as artistically. “My grandson is nine,” he says. “He’s just learning how to ride. I think it’s a great time to get back on a bike so I can ride with him.” We couldn’t agree more. For more information about the works of George Dombek, visit georgedombek.com. 44 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


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BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 45


Friends of Devil’s Den State Park, Inc. is an Arkansas Non-Profit Corporation which assists Devil’s Den State Park in the fulfillment of its mission to provide diverse recreational and educational opportunities for all visitors while protecting the natural and cultural resources of this unique Ozark valley.

CHECK IT OUT

Friends of Devil’s Den State Park, Inc. PO Box 623 , West Fork, AR 72774 • www.devilsden.org

For a look at George Dombek’s glasswork—including his bikemotif pieces—make plans to attend the artist’s 2017 Open Studio:

SPRING OPEN STUDIO May 20-21 and 27-28 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Dombek Studio & Gallery 844 Blue Springs Road, Fayetteville, AR 479-442-8976 The Studio is also open by appointment throughout the year. High ceilings and numerous windows make George’s gallery a wonderful place to experience the artist’s work (top). The gallery is also home to the tools of George’s trade (below).

46 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 47


BASE CAMP: DEVIL'S DEN Find a perfect headquarters for your next bike adventure

Campers settle in to their comfortable campsites for a relaxing Ozark night at Devil’s Den State Park.

S

o you’ve decided to take a trip to the Ozarks for some mountain biking—and given the region’s emerging status as one of the hottest spots for the sport in the country, who could blame you? Northwest Arkansas has an amazing combination of well-maintained legacy trails along with new trails and bike parks opening every year. If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat; if you haven’t been in a few years, you’ll find the area’s amenities are better than ever. Of course, you’re probably hauling a good bit of equipment and could use a great place to stay that will allow you to spread out—a place that knows all about the needs of mountain bikers and won’t break the bank. You need a base camp, and there’s simply no better option around than Devil’s Den State Park, commonly known as “the birthplace of Arkansas mountain biking.” At Devil’s Den, you’ll find campsites available to suit everyone: from the most primitive, roughing-it types all the way up to hookups for RVs. And if camping’s not your thing, there 48 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

PHOTOS COURTESY THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND TOURISM

BY TIM SCOTT AND MICHAEL ROBERTS

are a number of cabins available that will allow you to discover the joys of the park with all the comforts of home. Once you’ve settled in, you’ll want to check out the park’s Fossil Flats Trail—this is the trail where mountain biking first took root in the state in the late 80s and early 90s. Back then, the new sport was controversial, but then-park-superintendent Wally Scherrey and assistant superintendent Tim Scott decided to be proactive and embrace this new breed of trail user. In 1988, Wally and Tim attended the 13th Annual Fat Tire Festival in Crested Butte, Colorado, in order to bring back whatever ideas they could use for a mountain biking event at the park. “Away we went in the park housekeeper’s van,” says Tim. “It was an eye-opener. It was the first time I had seen a slow-race, log-pull, or observed trials. There were also guided rides for the participant. It all looked like a perfect fit for Devil’s Den.” The following April, the park hosted the first-ever Ozark Mountain Bike Festival.


The Fossil Flats Trail opened in 1990. It was the first State Park mountain bike trail. Today, Arkansas is home to trail-building and design companies, frame building companies and bicycle company headquarters. The state also boasts five mountain biking trails rated “Epic” by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). The sport has grown up all around Devil’s Den, but the park remains a center for mountain biking. Join the growing number of cyclists who use the park’s facilities as a base camp, then use our handy guide to plan a series of fun, exciting bikerelated day trips to take you out from camp and into the Ozark landscape. By the time you return to camp at night, you’ll be happy for the comfortable park surroundings and quiet mountain air.

DEVIL'S DEN

at a glance

Reservations: 877-879-2741 GPS: 35.779945, -94250033 Campsites: 143, including 42 sites with electric and water hookups Fully Equipped Cabins: 17, available year-round Riding at Devil’s Den means hitting the Fossil Flats Trail. The trail has fast downhill sections (top), water crossings (center) and ample rocks and obstacles to test your skills against (bottom).

Cycling Events: Spring Ozark Mountain Bike Festival; Fall Northwest Mountain Bike Championships

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 49


BASE CAMP: DEVIL'S DEN

The paved surface of the Razorback Regional Greenway is a boon to bikers looking to take a day trip to the best spots in northwest Arkansas.

Day 1 From Base Camp:

Now that you’ve experienced the joy and thrill of riding the trails and staying your first night at Devil’s Den, it’s time to branch out and experience some of the region’s other rides. Find your fun and then head back to the park for another relaxing night. Perhaps one of the best places to start is the Razorback Regional Greenway—a 36.7-mile length of trail that takes cyclists through a compelling tour of Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers and Bentonville. The paved trail provides a marvelous car-free way to see the sights—which include everything from lake recreation at Lake Fayetteville, Lake Springdale and Lake Bella Vista to stellar dining, shopping and museum opportunities. Of course, all that cycling amounts to a good bit of thirsty work—and you better believe the folks along the Razorback Regional Greenway know all about how to solve the problem. So next time you work up a powerful thirst out there on the trail, take a load off at one of these Greenway-adjacent stops where the beer is delicious— and always local:

BIKE RACK BREWERY Bentonville Being the very first brewery in Benton County gives Bike Rack some permanent bragging rights, but it’s the brewer’s imminent move to the up-and-coming 8th Street area that we find extra fresh.

APPLE BLOSSOM BREWING CO.

BLACK APPLE CROSSING

Fayetteville It’s hard to know where to start with Apple Blossom, a brewpub that boasts an eclectic menu of high-quality bar eats as well as one of the most creative and tasty beer menus around.

Springdale Searching for something different that still satisfies your tastebuds? Then perhaps a pint of Springdale’s homegrown Black Apple Crossing cider’s just the thing.

ARSAGA'S Fayetteville Looking for a coffee or something stronger? Stop in to experience this long-time local favorite. 50 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

COLUMBUS HOUSE BREWERY Fayetteville The Columbus House Brewery taproom isn’t fancy, but this part college-town hangout, part working man’s pub gets the job done right.

PHOTOS COURTESY THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND TOURISM/NOVO STUIDO

DRINK IN THE RAZORBACK REGIONAL GREENWAY


CORE BREWING Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale Ever-expanding Core Brewing boasts multiple tap room locations along the Razorback Regional Greenway corridor.

JJ'S BREWERY Fayetteville It may still be the new kid on Dickson Street, but when it comes to brews and eats, JJ’s hits top marks like a seasoned pro.

Grab a passport for the Fayetteville Ale Trail and get stamped!

fayettevillealetrail.c om OZARK BEER CO. Rogers Talk to the locals and you’ll hear lots of love for OBC’s repertoire of quality brews—and a lot of respect for the love the brewery has for its home city.

STAY AT IRON MOUNTAIN and experience the Iron Mountain Bike Trail.

PURITAN BREWING CO. Fayetteville Combining the best of beer and coffee, Puritan Brew is another don’t-miss destination for topnotch drinks.

134 Iron Mountain Marina Dr., Arkadelphia, AR (870) 246-4310 • (800) 243-3396 www.iron-mountain.com info@iron-mountain.com BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 51


BASE CAMP: DEVIL'S DEN

Day 2 From Base Camp

CONQUERING COLER

Rock jumps and sharp turns make Coler Valley Mountain Bike Preserve a day-trip must.

52 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

PHOTOS COURTESY PROGRESSIVE TRAIL DESIGN

A

fter a day of soaking in the suds and sights along the Razorback Regional Greenway, you will be ready for something with a bit of daring and challenge to it. The destination you need is a brand new bike park designed by Bentonville’s Progressive Trail Design (PTD). If Devil’s Den serves as the birthplace of mountain biking in the state, companies like PTD have brought the sport into its prime, starting with the opening of PTD’s Slaughter Pen Flow Trail in Bentonville. In today’s “what have you done for me lately” world, resting on one’s laurels is out of the question, though, something PTD founder Nathan “Woody” Woodruff is well-aware of. That’s why he’s got just one word on his lips right now when it comes to future of northwest Arkansas’ mountain biking scene: Coler. Formally known as the Coler Valley Mountain Bike Preserve, the construction-still-in-progress project represents “something brand new” for Natural State cyclists. When completed, Coler will boast numerous trails designed to possess varying degrees of difficulty—something that makes this bike park a true one-stop shop for cyclists. “For this one, we looked at modeling the trail system on a ski resort model, something that trail designers first started doing in Whistler, [British Columbia],” says Woody, invoking the name of Canada’s world-renowned mountain biking paradise. “This is the first stab at something like that in northwest Arkansas. It’s just a very special piece of land—it’s really one of the last remaining green spaces in the area that hasn’t been developed.” Phase I of the project (representing approximately five miles of trail) opened just this year, with work currently underway on a Phase II plan that will more than double the amount of trail available. “We put a lot of time into the design of this one,” Woody says with a laugh. “We always start with thinking about what works best with the land, then we define exactly the sort of experience we want to give riders. For Coler, it was all about creating the most diverse, progressive trail system possible.” Something else PTD considers when designing trails? Filling underserved niches. “Gravity trails are something we don’t have enough of in northwest Arkansas,” Woody says. Coler will do a great deal to alleviate that problem with Fireline, an intermediatedifficulty trail, and the colorfully named Cease and Desist—which features sections rated at both black diamond and double black diamond levels. “We’ve got six-foot jumps and mandatory eightfoot drops out there.” With the eastern section of the park now open, Woody can’t resist leaving us with a cliffhanger about the western trails. “We’re shooting for [having it open] this fall,” he says. “If you want a variety of really incredible cycling experiences, I promise you: this is the place to go.”


at l ir

ension

ube

We offer complimentary tire inflation, cable adjustments & chain lubrication. Any bike, anytime. Bentonville · Springdale · Fayetteville · Fort Smith · Tulsa South · Tulsa Downtown

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 53


BASE CAMP: DEVIL'S DEN

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

Have another day or three of riding to fill? Pressed for time and simply want a few trail suggestions to get you going after setting up camp at Devil’s Den? Trying to pare down a list of excellent rides available in the Ozark region is a daunting task—there is an almostunfathomable (not to mention ever-expanding) number of high-octane miles available. Scratch the surface with these suggestions and we guarantee that by the time you’re done, you’ll have made friends for life—and gotten the Ozarks in your blood for keeps.

54 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

BELLA VISTA

BENTONVILLE

THE BACK 40 LOOP

CRYSTAL BRIDGES GREENWAY

(22.2 miles) GPS: 36.4676731,-94.2261681 A world-class ride? Northwest Arkansas cycling site Oz Trails doesn’t think that description goes nearly far enough, choosing instead to describe the Back 40 as “a testament to the craft and sport [of mountain biking].” The trail debuted at last fall’s 2016 IMBA World Summit in Bentonville, and according to event coordinator Aimee Ross, feedback from attendees tended to agree. Experienced riders who tackle this trail have a particularly well-designed (and difficult) section known as The Ledges to look forward to.

BLOWING SPRINGS

(3.4 miles) GPS: 36.4445899,-94.2255372 The glory of the Ozark Plateau is on display at Blowing Springs in the form of soaring bluff faces and a rugged terrain that courses with clear mountain streams. Riders of intermediate skill will fare well on this one, while riders seeking a more challenging ride will find themselves seeking out alternative paths that feature more technical elements.

(15 miles) GPS: 36.3826736,-94.2113075 Worth riding based on its own merit, the real appeal of the Crystal Bridges Greenway is that it connects to numerous other mountain biking trails in the Bentonville area. Of course, there’s also the matter of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art itself, which boasts one of the most extensive art collections in the country—along with bike-friendly access for artlovers on two wheels.

SLAUGHTER PEN

(18 miles) GPS: 36.4082617,-94.2148839 While Arkansas mountain biking’s first sparks were first struck at Devil’s Den, it was Bentonville’s Slaughter Pen that fanned the sport into the blazing inferno it is today. Designed to provide a variety of experiences for riders possessed of differing levels of skill, Slaughter Pen has become something of a gateway drug for future cycling addicts.

PHOTOS COURTESY THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND TOURISM

Day 3 (or more) From Base Camp


BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 55


THREE TIMES

BASE CAMP: DEVIL'S DEN

MORE EPIC 1 LAKE OUACHITA VISTA TRAIL (LOViT) Intermediate • 45 Miles Trail Heads: Shangri La • Blakely Dam Near: Mount Ida • Crystal Springs

2 WOMBLE TRAIL

Intermediate • 33 Miles Trail Head: Story Near: Mount Ida • Story

3 OUACHITA NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL Intermediate to Advanced Near: Hot Springs Village Added Bonus: Camping Shelters every 10 miles

All skill levels are welcome, but these are among the most extreme singletracks in the country. Other trails in the area like Iron Mountain, Cedar Glades and Charlton Recreation Trail are more moderate. Visit HotSprings.org to view the Bike Hot Springs brochure & request a free Hot Springs/Diamond Lakes Vacation Guide. Ad paid for with a combination of state and private regional association funds.

56 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

FAYETTEVILLE MOUNT KESSLER

(9.7 miles) GPS 36.019807,-94.2210113 Built on land purchased by the city of Fayetteville with money from the Walton Family Foundation, this ride offers all the pleasure of being out in the country—but right near the excitement of Fayetteville.

MOUNT SEQUOYAH WOODS

(10 miles) GPS 36.0667503,-94.148231 This volunteer-built loop ride is a delightful journey through some of northwest Arkansas’ signature hardwood forests. It’s a rocky trail that features several creek crossings for riders to test their skills against.

ROGERS HIDDEN DIVERSITY LOOP

(4.3 miles) GPS: 36.2859303,-93.941222 Why “hidden diversity?” Because according to the Arkansas State Parks, this trail in Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area, is the sum of “mountains, lakes, rivers, forests…[and] the myriad plants and animals above and below the ground.” The loop trail is open for multi-use and provides another state park biking experience in the area.

PHOTOS COURTESY PROGRESSIVE TRAIL DESIGN/NOVO STUIDO

The Diamond Lakes region is the only place in the state where you can conquer three of the state’s five IMBA Epic Rides in a day.


menu for lunch 16 beers on tap with a full beer garden and oom tapr our in er dinn and

LAKE ATALANTA

(10 miles) GPS: 36.3373102,-94.1027808 This multiple-loop system is a relative new-comer to the regional biking scene, but it’s proving to be a popular destination. Not only does this system provide some of the best singletrack around, it also features The Railyard Bike Park, a fantastic experience for cyclists of all ages.

BRUNCH ON SUNDAYS 822 E. 6th St., Little Rock • 501-374-2791 OPEN: Tues-Thu 11 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am-11 pm; Sun 10 am-9 pm REBELKETTLE.COM

SPRINGDALE LAKE SPRINGDALE

(0.79 miles) GPS:36.2128993,-94.1591445 Actually a collection of trails that encircle Lake Springdale, the area around Lake Springdale features well-maintained trails that connect to the Razorback Regional Greenway. Some of the trails around the lake are pedestrian only, so be sure to check before you ride.

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

I-430 @ RODNEY PARHAM 224-7651 / chainwheel.com

New Rentals Available :

ROAD • MOUNTAIN • HYBRID

THUNDER CHICKEN

(2 miles) GPS 36.214198,-94.1628035 This is one of the newest trails in the area and includes an advanced downhill flow section that is simply fun. Ride this one now, then come back again— additional mileage expected to be added, turning Thunder Chicken into 17 miles of multiuse trails. For more information about mountain bicycling trails to explore during your stay at Devil’s Den, visit oztrailsnwa.com. For information about the park itself, visit arkansasstateparks. com/devils-den.

Chainwheel Presents its Newest Shop:

Trek Bicycle Store Conway

Donaghey Hall - Bruce St. & Donaghey Ave. www.TrekStoreConway.com

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 57


Pedaling bikes since 1972

SHARE MY RIDE: UPPER BUFFALO

New bike sales and full service repair shops staffed by professional bicycle mechanics

FAYETTEVILLE 322 W. Spring Street | 479.442.9311 ROGERS 402 S Metro Parkway | 479.254.9800

Explore Miles of Epic Trails!

When you’re done riding the trail . . . Our lodge, cottages, hot tubs and condos will provide you with a home base. Located just minutes from the LOViT - an IMBA EPIC Model Trail – one of only 40 in the world.

Check out our Trail Adventure Packages on our website! Spring & Fall trail packages start at $383.25 for a WEEK! 870-867-1200 • 800-832-2276 MountainHarborResort.com 58 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

During the Upper Buffalo Headwaters Challenge in 2016, I had this epiphany. My rides on mountain bike trails (especially ones I have never ridden before) are like a metaphor for life. You don’t always know what to expect on the trail. Some parts are exhilarating, some parts are a little scary—and some parts are really, really tough. The ride is full of ups and downs, and by weathering the tough parts, it makes you stronger. If you crash, you just have to get back up and keep moving forward. Along the way, there are some pretty spectacular moments and views if you stop and look around. And it’s best experienced with good friends and family who will support you, pick you up when you fall, and celebrate each other’s successes. — Cliff Li


9:10 a.m. Sunday, Entergy Park

GREAT FRIENDS. MILES OF TRAILS. NO SCHEDULE. f ind t his place.

HotSprings.org. 1-888-SPA-CITY. BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 59


AVID BIKER?

PULASKI COUNTY HAS YOU COVERED!

BIG DAM BRIDGE AT 4226 FEET THE BIG DAM BRIDGE IS THE LONGEST PEDESTRIAN/BICYCLE BRIDGE IN THE WORLD! TWO RIVERS PARK ALLOWS VISITORS TO EXPLORE AND RELAX WHILE ENJOYING NATURE'S BEAUTY. THE 1000-ACRE PARK, LOCATED JUST SIX MILES OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN LITTLE ROCK, HAS MANY AMENITIES TO INCLUDE BIKE TRAILS, WALKING TRAILS, GARDENS, AND ABUNDANCE OF WILDLIFE. JUNCTION BRIDGE PROJECT WILL ADAPT THE JUNCTION RAILROAD BRIDGE FOR PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE USE, LINKING BOTH SIDES OF THE ARKANSAS RIVER. IT WILL BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE SIX BRIDGES PLAN AND RIVERFRONT DEVELOPMENT IN BOTH CITIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.PULASKICOUNTY.NET

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES WITH A

SOUTHERN ACCENT.

SM

Like our ride along the Arkansas River Trail, our memories of Little Rock are filled with wonderful discoveries. The breathtaking views from the top of Pinnacle Mountain. Touring the city’s downtown by Segway, and its neighborhoods, barbecue joints and breweries by bike. Enjoying the charm and convenience of riding the trolley from our hotel to explore the great shops, restaurants and clubs in the River Market, and being mesmerized by the city’s beautiful illuminated bridges. These are the memories of a new Southern style. You can experience it all here. You can experience it all in Little Rock.

Big Dam Bridge > To see more visit LittleRock.com

60 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


Trailblazers

LOViT! BRENT WHITTINGTON started riding as a kid, growing up in a rural area of Benton, Arkansas, where riding bikes was what kids do. He has never grown out of those experiences. Nowadays, a perfect ride for Brent is to ride a backcountry trail that offers amazing scenery and challenging terrain. His favorite is the Womble Trail in the western part of Arkansas. After a successful career in the corporate world, Brent decided to dive into the bicycle industry as the owner of Moots Cycles, known for their beautiful welding craftsmanship and the ride quality. Brent’s proudest moment was the day he and his wife met their new Moots employees in Steamboat Springs, CO. The employees shared the reason they worked for Moots. It was all about passion, pride and ability to build beautiful bikes. It was a very emotional and proud day for Brent, and began a new and exciting chapter in Brent’s life from which he has not looked back. —Addie Teo

At Echo Canyon Resort and Marina, you’re that close to the LAKE OUACHITA VISTA TRAIL. You’re even closer to our full-service marina, restaurant and all-around family fun. And Hot Springs is just a 15-minute drive. Come discover the best-kept secret on Lake Ouachita. 2645 BLAKELY DAM ROAD | ROYAL, AR 71968 501-767-2997 ECHOCANYONAR.COM | INFO@ECHOCANYONAR.COM BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 61


PHOTO COURTESY PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

BIKE SHOPS

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP/BENTONVILLE Central Arkansas

CONWAY

LITTLE ROCK

THE RIDE

ARKANSAS CYCLING & FITNESS

2100 Meadowlake Rd., Ste. 2 501-764-4500 therideonline.net Bike Brands: Specialized, QR, Raleigh, Niner, Parlee, Lightspeed In-house Specialties: Repair.

CHAINWHEEL

250 Donaghey Ave. 501-499-6221 chainwheel.com Bike Brands: Trek, Catrike, Orbea, Moots In-House Secialties: Servicing all major bike brands with a goal of 48-hour turnaround; perform professional fit services; financing available.

MORE THAN A BIKE SHOP:

TOUR THE CITY OF LITTLE ROCK ON TWO WHEELS AT BOBBY’S BIKE HIKE. 62 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

315 N. Bowman, Stes. 6-9 501-221-BIKE (2453) arkansascycling.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Giant/ Liv, Haro In-House Specialties: Service/repair, demo bikes and wheel sets on select models, financing with the Specialized S-Card, Specialized Body Geometry bike fittings.

BOBBY’S BIKE HIKE TOURS & RENTALS Little Rock River Market 400 President Clinton Ave. 501-613-7001 bobbysbikehike.com/littlerock Bike Brands: Raleigh, KHS, Fuji, Schwinn In-House Specialties: Repairs, rentals, tours.

CHAINWHEEL

10300 Rodney Parham Rd. 501-224-7651 chainwheel.com Bike Brands: Trek, Catrike, Orbea, Moots In-House Specialties: Servicing all major bike brands with a goal of 48-hour turnaround; perform professional fit services; financing available.

GIANT BICYCLES

11525 Cantrell Rd., Ste. 607 501-508-5566 giantlittlerock.com Giant Bicycles Little Rock is a locally owned partner store with Spokes Little Rock. In-House Specialties: Repairs Bike Brands: Giant, Liv, Momentum

SPOKES

1001 Kavanaugh Blvd. (Hillcrest) 501-664-7765 spokeslittlerock.com Bike Brands: Cervelo, Cannondale, Orbea, Felt, Niner, Electra In-House Specialties: Repair, service, financing.


THE COMMUNITY BICYCLIST

7509 Cantrell Rd., Ste. 118 501-663-7300 thecommunitybicyclist.com/index.html Bike Brands: Fuji, Breezer, Jamis, All City In-House Specialties: Service for all bike shop brands.

From training wheels to big wheels, we have a ride for you! CANNONDALE | RALEIGH | GT | SCHWINN | REDLINE Tune Ups • Checkovers • Tire & Tube Replacement • Brake & Gear Work • Wheel Work • Lifetime adjustment policy on new bikes Financing Available! No down payment. No interest for 12 months W.A.C.

7910 John F. Kennedy Blvd. (Hwy 107), Sherwood (501) 835-4814

NORTH LITTLE ROCK

www.jandpbikeshop.com

ANGRY DAVE’S BICYCLES

3515 John F. Kennedy Blvd. 501-753-4990 angrydavesbicycles.com Bike Brands: Scott, Ridley, Santa Cruz, Marin, Juliana, Electra, Redline SE Racing, Wethepeople, FIT BMX, S&M Bikes, Subrosa, Kuwahara, Supercross In-House Specialties: Service and repair, custom wheel building, custom bike builds, professional fit service; financing through Synchrony Bank, layaway.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK BICYCLE

800 E. Washington Ave. 501-372-2727 nlr-bicycles.com Bike Brands: KHS, Sun, Summit, Manhattan, Reid, Strider In-House Specialties: Sales and service.

RUSSELLVILLE

START/ FINISH LINE

CARR’S CHAIN REACTION

506 N. Arkansas Ave. 479-890-4950 carrschainreaction.com Bike Brands: Trek, KHS, Cannondale, In-House Specialties: Full service repair shop; Trek financing .

SHERWOOD

ARKANSAS CYCLING & FITNESS

3010 E. Kiehl Ave. 501-834-5787 arkansascycling.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Giant/ Liv, Haro In-House Specialties: service/ repair, demo bikes and wheel sets on select models, financing with the Specialized S-Card, Specialized Body Geometry bike fittings.

• Riverfront Drive, North Little Rock

FINALE FEST • Riverfront Park, North Little Rock

12th year

BIG DAM BRIDGE 100 September 23, 2017

Rides from 10-100 miles in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Roland, Perry and Pulaski Counties

R e g i st e r at b i g da m b r i d g e 1 0 0 . co m BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 63


The Surly FlaT Bar CroSS CheCk. ready To CommuTe.

The Community Bicyclist.

Tanglewood Shopping Center • Little Rock 501.663.7300

J & P BIKE SHOP

7910 John F. Kennedy Blvd. (Hwy 107) 501-835-4814 jandpbikeshop.com Bike Brands: Cannondale, Raleigh, Schwinn In-House Specialties: Full service repair, tune-ups, check overs, tire and tube replacement, brake and gear work, wheels; financing with no down payment, no interest for 12 months W.A.C. Northeast Arkansas

JONESBORO

GEARHEAD CYCLE HOUSE

231 S. Main St. 870-910-5569 gearheadcyclehouse.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Trek In-House Specialties: Full-service bike shop, Shimano Certified Service Center

SEARCY

THE BIKE LANE premium mix use campground minutes from trail heads • 10 minutes to Buffalo river 1st rV park in upper buffalo river valley luxury platform tents and primitive campsites nicest bath house in the ozarks full service deli • diner • tshirts • premium gear |

870-420-3065 •| jbtradingco.com

reservations accepted • 12677 ar-43 Compton, ar 72624

2116 W. Beebe Capps Expressway 501-305-3915 thebikelane.cc Bike Brands: BH, Cannondale, Devinci, KHS, Pivot, Rocky Mountain, Wilier In-House Specialties: Repairs/service Northwest Arkansas

BELLA VISTA

GPP CYCLING

34 Sugar Creek Center 479-657-2078 gppcycling.com Bike Brands: Felt, Scott, Argon 18, Haro Bikes In-House Specialties: Coaching services, bike fitting, full-service repairs, fitness center.

(501) 614-6400

1400 S University Ave , Suite J Little Rock, AR 72204 www.facebook.com/abbyroadinc 64 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

And More!


BENTONVILLE

MOJO CYCLING

2104 S. Walton Blvd., Ste. 1 479-271-7201 mojocycling.com Bike Brands: Orbea, GT, KHS, Jamis, Transition, Canfield Brothers, Haro Bikes

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

125 W. Central Ave. 479-715-6170 phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days.

EUREKA SPRINGS

ADVENTURE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

151 Spring St. 479-253-0900Â adventuremountainoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Specialized In-House Specialties: Full-service bike shop, certified suspension technician, custom builds, professional fitments, rentals, guide and shuttle service to Eureka Springs and greater Ozark Mountain area trails.

FAYETTEVILLE

GPP CYCLING

115 N. Block Ave. 479-316-8030 gppcycling.com Bike Brands: Felt, Scott, Argon 18, Haro Bikes, BMC, Ellsworth, BMC, Del Sol In-House Specialties: Coaching services, bike fitting, full-service repairs, fitness center and rentals.

For first-class facilities, a convenient location on Interstate 40, and a clean and safe community to enjoy away from the trails, Conway, Arkansas is the perfect location for your next ride. With sharrows on major roadways throughout town, as well as numerous trails through the city and its surrounding areas, Conway is working to be one of the most bike friendly cities in the state. For more information about Conway bike trails, contact the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board at walkbikeconway.com .

CVB@ConwayArkansas.org ConwayArk.com 866.7CONWAY BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 65


PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

3775 N. Mall Ave. 479-966-4308 phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days.

THE BIKE ROUTE

3660 N. Front St., Suite 2 479-966-4050 facebook.com/thebikeroute Bike Brands: Cannondale, Cervelo, Pinarello, Moots, Niner, Electra In-House Specialties: Full service mechanics/repair, rental of bikes and race wheels

THE HIGHROLLER CYCLERY

322 W. Spring St. 479-442-9311 highrollercyclery.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Yeti, Pure Fix, Pure City Cycle, Reid Cycles In-House Specialties: Repairs all types, suspension overhaul services, bike fittings (using the Body Geometry fit system with motion capture software), bike path use rentals, bike financing available through Synchrony Bank. Group Rides: Yes. Road ride Thursday evenings leaving Baum Stadium at 6:15 p.m. late spring/summer; intermediate level ride average 16-18 mph, no drop.

FORT SMITH

CHAMPION CYCLING & FITNESS

8201 Rogers Ave. 479-484-7500 championcycling.com Bike Brands: Specialized In-House Specialties: Full service and repair to all brands, 0% financing for 24 months.

66 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

1700 Rogers Ave. 479-222-6796 phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days.

OZARK BIKE SHOP

Cash Village Shopping Center 400 S. 8th St., Ste. K 479-636-0394

THE HIGHROLLER CYCLERY

HEBER SPRINGS

402 S. Metro Parkway 479-254-9800 highrollercyclery.com Bike Brands: Specialized, Yeti, Pure Fix, Pure City Cycle, Reid Cycles In-House Bike Specialties: Repairs for all types, suspension overhaul services, bike fittings (using the Body Geometry fit system with motion capture software), bike path use rentals, bike financing available through Synchrony Bank.

SULPHUR CREEK OUTFITTERS

SILOAM SPRINGS

625 S. 7th St. 501-691-0138 screekoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Kona, Surley, All City In-House Specialties: Full service, sales and rentals.

MOUNTAIN HOME

MOUNTAIN HOME BICYCLE COMPANY

1310 E. Side Centre Ct. 870-425-2453 mountainhomebicyclecompany.com Bike Brands: Trek, Electra In-House Specialties: Full service repair, Shimano certified techs.

ROGERS

GPP CYCLING

318 S. 1st St. 479-372-4768 gppcycling.com Bike Brands: Felt, Scott, Argon 18, Haro Bikes, BMC, Ellsworth, BMC, Del Sol In-House Specialties: Coaching services, bike fitting, full-service repairs, fitness center and rentals.

LEWIS & CLARK OUTFITTERS

2530 Pinnacle Hills Parkway 479-845-1344 lewisandclarkoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Giant, Liv, Kona In-House Specialties: Full-service bicycle repair, rack install, 6- and 12-month financing.

DOGWOOD JUNCTION TRIKES & BIKES 200 Progress Ave., Ste. 5 (Signature Plaza) 479-524-6605 dogwoodjunction.biz Bike Brands: Terra Trike, Catrike, KHS, ICE Trikes, Bacchetta recumbent In-House Specialties: Repair, service, sales, limited rentals, financing, layaway, test rides, winter storage and recycled bikes.

SPRINGDALE

LEWIS & CLARK OUTFITTERS

4915 S. Thompson St. 479-756-1344 lewisandclarkoutfitters.com Bike Brands: Giant, Liv, Momentum, Kona In-House Specialties: Full-service bicycle repair, rack install, 6- and 12-month financing.

PHAT TIRE BIKE SHOP

101 W. Johnson Ave. phattirebikeshop.com Bike Brands: Trek, Santa Cruz, Electra, Foundry, Stromer, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service department with Shimano Certified techs. Works on all levels of bikes, specializing in tubeless tire setup, electronic shifting and professional bike fits. Offers a massive rental bike fleet ranging from high-end carbon to hybrid and kids’ trailers. Everything is backed with a 100-percent, no questions guarantee. Open seven days.


Southwest Arkansas

Presented By

HOT SPRINGS

PARKSIDE CYCLE 719 Whittington Ave. 501-623-6188 parksidecycle.com Bike Brands: Trek, Felt, Salsa In-House Specialties: Full service repair and fitting.

23

TEXARKANA (TX)

BERRIDGE BIKES 321 Texas Blvd. 903-794-2453 berridgebikes.com Bike Brands: Felt, Giant, Intense, Electra, Sun, Torker, Redline, Phat Cycles, Trek In-House Specialties: Service and repairs, custom builds.

BICYCLE REPAIR & SERVICE ONLY

BICYCLE OUTFITTER 110 N. Walnut St. Harrison 870-741-6833 Bike Brands: Trek, Diamondback In-House Specialties: Parts, accessories and service on all makes and models of bikes.

MOTIVE BIKE SERVICE Mobile repair service to the Little Rock Metro Area and beyond 479-366-7926 motivebikeservice.com

OZARK BICYCLE SERVICE W. New Hope Road Northwest Arkansas Area 479-715-1496 ozarkbicycleservice.com

Mulberry Mountain - Ozark, AR Sept. 8th - 10th 2017

Join Us for an exhilarating cycling festival in the Ozark National Forest!

Incredible Ozark Mountain Scenery! BIKING, CAMPING, VENDORS MUSIC, DISC GOLF, HIKING TRAILS, KIDS RIDE / ACTIVITIES, & MORE!

2 Nights of Live Music! Gourmet Food!

3 Challenging Rides! The Whole Hog: 74M The Cob Roller: 52M The Shoat Ride: 25M

FOr InfOrmation Visit: pigtrailgravelgrinder.com

Mulberry Mountain Lodge & Events (479) 667-1919 4117 Mulberry Mountain Loop, Ozark, AR, 72949

tell us your favorites in the field! biking, hunting, fishing, paddling & hiking/camping

vote online today! arkansaswild.com winners announced in the summer issue

BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 67


PHOTO BY ADDIE TEO

GROUP RIDES Heels on Wheels

BELLA VISTA

FRIDAY TOUR DE LUNCH ROAD RIDE

MONDAY/WEDNESDAY/FRIDAY BVBC ROAD RIDE

Bentonville Square, 11:15 a.m.

Various, 8 a.m.

SATURDAY GIRLS BIKE BENTONVILLE ALL GIRLS ROAD RIDE

BENTONVILLE

MONDAY TOUR DE LUNCH ROAD RIDE

Bentonville Square, 8 a.m.

OCA ROAD RIDE

Bentonville Square, 11:15 a.m.

Onyx Bentonville, 8:30 a.m.

TUESDAY GIRLS BIKE BENTONVILLE LUNCH ROAD/MTB RIDE

CONWAY

Bentonville Square, 11: 15 a.m.

MONDAY WOMEN BIKE ARKANSAS Various, 6 p.m.

WEDNESDAY TOUR DE LUNCH ROAD RIDE

WEDNESDAY NO DROP WEDNESDAYS

Bentonville Square, 11:15 a.m.

Rush-Hal Properties, 5:30 p.m.

THURSDAY F.A.S.T. KIDS’ MTB RIDE NE A Street & Cub Circle Parking Lot, 6 p.m.

THURSDAY THURSDAY SUPER FLY RIDE Rush-Hal Properties 5:30-6 p.m.

FRIDAY FRIDAY SUNRISE Various, 5 a.m.

SATURDAY STAR SATURDAY Rush-Hal Properties, Various times.

SUNDAY SUNDAY “STROLL” Rush-Hal Properties, 1:30 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE

MONDAY GIRLS BIKE FAYETTEVILLE ROAD RIDE Arsaga’s at the Depot, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY OZARK ROADIES/VELO RIDE Botanical Gardens, 6 p.m.

THURSDAY HIGHROLLER CYCLERY ROAD RIDE Baum Stadium, 6:15 p.m.

Red Mango proudly supports cycling in Arkansas.

5621 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock, AR 72207 | (501) 663-2500 68 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5


ROGERS

SATURDAY OZARK ROADIES/VELO RIDE

TUESDAY CARVE GUNSLINGERS

Various locations and start times.

Chenal Kroger, 6:10 p.m.

SUNDAY ONYX COFFEE LAB ROAD RIDE

WEDNESDAY CARVE LADIES ONLY WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIDE

Onyx Coffee Lab, 12:30 p.m.

Various; 5:45 p.m.

TUESDAY LEWIS & CLARK GREENWAY RIDE

FORT SMITH

THURSDAY BIG DAM BRIDGE RIDE

BELLVIEW ROAD RIDE

TUESDAY BEN GEREN MTB GROUP RIDE McClure Amphitheater, 6 p.m.

JONESBORO

WEDNESDAY WEDNESDAY MORNING RIDE St. Bernard’s Health & Wellness, 6 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK

MONDAY HEELS ON WHEELS BEGINNERS RIDE Clinton Library, 5:30 p.m.

MONDAY LEWIS & CLARK MTB RIDE Lake Atalanta South Pavilion, 6:30 p.m.

Lewis & Clark, 5:30 p.m.

Big Dam Bridge, Little Rock side, 8 a.m.

Bellview Elementary, 5:40 p.m.

Murray Park Pavilion #2, 7 a.m.

WEDNESDAY LEWIS & CLARK LADIES’ ROAD RIDE

SATURDAY BRUCE’S COFFEE RIDE

SUNDAY TWO RIVERS BRIDGE RIDE Two Rivers Bridge, 1 p.m.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK

Lewis & Clark, 6 p.m.

SATURDAY LEWIS & CLARK ROAD RIDE Lewis & Clark, 8 a.m.

THURSDAY HEELS ON WHEELS BEGINNERS PLUS RIDE

SPRINGDALE

Big Dam Bridge North Little Rock

MONDAY MTB MONDAYS

Pavilion, 6 p.m.

Lewis & Clark, 6:30 p.m.

P A D D L E O N 14908 CANTRELL RD., STE. 2, LITTLE ROCK, AR I  SOUTHERNREELOUTFITTERS.COM BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 69


EVENTS

ROGERS CYCLING FESTIVAL

MAY 20

LITTLE ROCK GRAN FONDO

MAY 26

BIKE HOT SPRINGS: SLOW ROLL

littlerockgranfondo.com

JUNE 23-25

DAWG DAYZ MTB RACE

JULY 22

RIDE FOR YOUR RIBBON

dltmultisport.com

facebook.com/rideforyourribbon

JULY 28-30

ROGERS CYCLING FESTIVAL

AUG 11-13

THE EUREKAN

rogerscyclingfestival.com

eurekasportsfestival.com

Community Bakery proudly supports cycling in Central Arkansas. • Bike Friendly Ride Stop • Plenty of Caffeine & Carbs

• Bike Rack Parking • Outdoor Seating

Join us for Bruce’s Saturday morning Coffee Ride! SoMa District | 1200 Main St., Little Rock, Arkansas | (501) 375-6418 | communitybakery.com 70 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

PHOTO COURTESY OF ROGERS CYCLING FESTIVAL

facebook.com/visithotsprings


BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 71


APRIL 22 CARDIAC CLASSIC BIKE RIDE

Come Play In Bella Vista

arheartfoundation.com

APRIL 29 IRON PIG FESTIVAL ironpigduathlon.com

MAY 6 10TH ANNUAL TOUR DE TOAD & IRON TOAD 2017 CHARITY BIKE RIDE facebook.com/TourDeToad

TOUR DE HOOT bikereg.com

MAY 6-7 IRON MOUNTAIN MAN MARATHON dltmultisport.com

MAY 13 THE 65 ROSES TOUR info@bellavistaar.gov

facebook.com/65RosesTour

SQUARE TO SQUARE BICYCLE RIDE

veloviewbiketours.com/ tours/arkansas-adventurebike-tour

JUNE 17 TOUR DE FUN FEST emseries.com/tour-de-funfest.html

JUNE 24 TRUE GRIT RIDE 2017 truegritride.com

JUNE 25 DAWG DAYS MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE dltmultisport.com

JULY 22 RIDE FOR YOUR RIBBON racesonline.com

JULY 28-30 ROGERS CYCLING FESTIVAL

parks.fayetteville-ar.gov

rogerscyclingfestival.com

JUNE 3 BRYANT KIDS TRIATHLON

AUG 19 TOUR DE CURE

bryantkidstri.com

diabetes.org/arkansastour

DEGRAY LAKE SPRING OFF ROAD TRIATHLON

AUG 27 BIKE & HIKE FOR ALS

dltmultisport.com

bikehikeforals.com

PEDAL THE RIDGE

SEPT 8-10 PIG TRAIL GRAVEL GRINDER

pedaltheridge.com

RETURNING HOME RIDE returninghomeride.com

TOUR DE ROCK carti.com/events/tour-derock

JUNE 10-17 RIDE THE NEW MADRID FAULT LINE ridethefault.com 72 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

JUNE 15 ARKANSAS ADVENTURE BIKE TOUR

mulberrymountainlodge. com/festivals/ptgg

SEPT 16 CONWAY FALL CLASSIC cycleconway.com


SEPT 23 BIG DAM BRIDGE 100 thebigdambridge100.com

SEPT 30 WHEEL A’ MENA wheelamena.org

OCT 1-2 SLAUGHTER PEN JAM visitbentonville.com/bike/ events/slaughter-pen-jam

DEC 9 CYCLOFROST fayetteville-ar.gov/1894/ Fayetteville-Race-Series SALES SERVICE ALL BRANDS

SAVE THE DATE

BIKE & HIKE FOR ALS AUGUST 27TH ROCKWATER VILLAGE 1600 ROCKWATER BLVD., NORTH LITTLE ROCK 501-470-8559 BIKEHIKEFORALS.COM

Take part in a unique race to benefit the ALS Association of Arkansas. Since 2012, the Bike & Hike for ALS race has been held to honor the memory of Les Vahsholtz—and to raise money and bring awareness to others who are fighting this debilitating disease. Road bike 18 miles to Pinnacle Mountain, then stow your bike and hike one of Arkansas’ most popular peaks— then bike back. It’s a journey across access roads, parts of the Ouachita Trail, over Pinnacle Mountain and back around its base, all making for a one-ofa-kind race experience.

For registration information, visit bikehikeforals.com/registration.

SALES SERVICE ALL BRANDS SALES SERVICE ALL BRANDS

SALES SERVICE ALL BRANDS SALES TRAIL MAPS AVAILABLESERVICE ALL BRANDS HOT SPRINGS IS AN IMBA RIDE CENTER

TRAIL MAPS AVAILABLE 719 WHITTINGTON AVE., HOT SPRINGS, AR TRAIL MAPS AVAILABLE TUESDAY-FRIDAY 11 AM-6 PM SATURDAY 10 AM-4 PM PARKSIDE CYCLE PARKSIDE CYCLE 719 WHITTINGTON AVE. 501.623.6188 719 WHITTINGTON AVE. HOT SPRINGS, AR HOT SPRINGS, AR WWW.PARKSIDECYCLE.COM TUESDAY-FRIDAY TUESDAY-FRIDAY 11 AM-6 PM PARKSIDE_CYCLE@HOTMAIL.COM SATURDAY 11 AM-6 PM

TING A R B E L E C S! 22 YEAR

10 AM-4 PM

501.623.6188 WWW.PARKSIDECYCLE.COM PARKSIDE_CYCLE@HOTMAIL.COM

SATURDAY 10 AM-4 PM issue no. 5 73 BIKE ARKANSAS 501.623.6188


Children from Little Rock take to the streets on freshly refurbished bikes. These bikes were given away as part of post-Thanksgiving “Giving Tuesday” festivities.

GIVE BIKES, GET LOVE

T

BY MICHAEL ROBERTS

he gift of a bike can open doors that might never be able to go through otherwise. Two organizations, North Little Rock’s Recycle Bikes for Kids and Bentonville’s Pedal It Forward NWA, have made it their mission to give children and adults the opportunity to experience the freedom and sheer pleasure riding a bike provides. Since 2008, nonprofit Recycle Bikes for Kids has been responsible for more than 11,000 people in the Natural State receiving a free bicycle. The group collects bikes from individuals, community groups, bike drives and scrapyards, then whisks them away to a workshop in North Little Rock. There, an army of volunteers repairs and refurbishes the bikes and distributes them to kids who want nothing more than to put wheels to the road. In Bentonville, another group of excited volunteers just finished delivering a shipment of bikes to the Fayetteville Veteran’s Hospital as part of a bike giveaway designed to get veterans cycling. For the past two years, Pedal it Forward NWA has been fixing up bikes and delivering them monthly to needy families and other bike-hungry folks who need a little help getting a ride. As with most nonprofit groups, these organizations are always looking for volunteers. Could there be a better way to spend some free time than giving unwanted bikes a new lease on life? The look on a child’s face when they receive a new bike is all the answer you’ll need. Here are a few services the organizations need: • Bike Repairs: Handy with tools? Know a thing or two about fixing up a busted bike? Use your skills to cheer up a child today! • Shop Help: Even if tools aren’t your trade, helping the bike-hungry masses navigate all the wondrous cycle offerings is a vital role to play. • Test Time: Once a bike is repaired, volunteers make sure each cycle is ready for its next owner. It’s fun and practical!

RECYCLE BIKES FOR KIDS 717 E. 10TH ST. NORTH LITTLE ROCK 501-563-8264 RECYCLEBIKESFORKIDS.ORG 74 | BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5

PEDAL IT FORWARD NWA 3902 NW WISHING SPRINGS BENTONVILLE FACEBOOK.COM/ PEDALITFORWARDNWA

PHOTOS COURTESY OF RECYCLE BIKES FOR KIDS

Happy Trails


FOR ALL YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

2017 SANTA FE

TUCSON

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

CENTRAL ARKANSAS

Crain Hyundai of Fayetteville Fayetteville, AR (479) 695-5800

Crain Hyundai of Little Rock Little Rock, AR (501) 604-1500

Crain Hyundai of North Little Rock North Little Rock, AR (501) 542-5190

Crain Hyundai of Bentonville Bentonville, AR (479) 696-0800

Crain Hyundai of Fort Smith Fort Smith, AR (479) 424-2440

CRAINTEAM.COM BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 5 75


Bike Arkansas Spring 2017  
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