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Cycling in Northwest Arkansas provided $137 million in benefits to the regional economy in 2017. Needless to say, the region has zero chill when it comes to moving on two wheels.

Cover photo by @kangaroo_elite on IG

Cyclocross

2020 Pan-American Cyclocross Championships

With the Cyclocross World Championships two years out (ICYMI), it was announced recently that Fayetteville will host the 2020 Pan-American Cyclocross Championship. No big deal, right? Wrong. Very big deal!

The selection was made by Pan-American Cycling Confederation (COPACI). The organization encompasses 43 nations from North America, South America and the Caribbean, spanning from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.

The family-friendly, two-day event will take place on Nov. 7-8 at Centennial Park (a site in the process of becoming a 228-acre cycling park) and include several opportunities for amateur riders to get in on the action.

For those unfamiliar with cyclocross, get schooled here.

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Pump Track

Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Qualifier

In 2018, the Jones Center for Families constructed the nation’s largest pump track and played host to the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Finals. Red Bull recently announced that they are returning to the Runway Bike Park this year on April 24-25 for the first USA Qualifier of 2020.

Do you have what it takes to be the Pump Track World Champion? The Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships is open to everyone. Each qualifier is limited to 110 men and 110 women, be sure to register today to guarantee your spot.

Register Now
Pump Track

Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Qualifier

In 2018, the Jones Center for Families constructed the nation’s largest pump track and played host to the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Finals. Red Bull recently announced that they are returning to the Runway Bike Park this year on April 24-25 for the first USA Qualifier of 2020.

Do you have what it takes to be the Pump Track World Champion? The Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships is open to everyone. Each qualifier is limited to 110 men and 110 women, be sure to register today to guarantee your spot.

Register Now
Gravel Racing

Sold Out

Cyclocross, check. Pump track, check. What about gravel riding? To answer that question, a quick story:

At 8 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2019, registration opened for Northwest Arkansas’ newest gravel race, Big Sugar, which is set to take place in Bentonville on October 24, 2020. Five minutes and 1,000 registrations later, the race was sold out.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to miss out on all of the action. The Big Sugar event coincides with OuterBike Bentonville, an outdoor bike and gear demo event, that is sure to be a ton of fun for bike enthusiasts of all stripes.

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Mountain Biking

Don't Sleep on (NW) Arkansas

With 1.6 miles of new singletrack added each week to the hundreds of miles of singletrack already in place, is it any wonder why phrases like “mountain biking mecca,” “mountain bike utopia” and “Disneyland for mountain bikers” are slipping off the tongues of riders near and far? Pro-shredder, Jeff Kendall-Weed, has gone so far as to remark that there is nothing short of a revolution underway. Click the link below for Jeff’s full piece.

It is safe to say, few are sleeping on Northwest Arkansas’ Oz Trails network. And how could they? When all-star crews like this are meeting up to shred the region together: Jimmie Johnson (7-time NASCAR series champion), Jeremy McGrath (7-time Supercross champion), Steve Peat (world DH champion), Mike “Hucker” Clark (X Games silver medalist), Nick Troutman (freestyle kayak world champion), Hans Rey (MTB world champion), Tim Johnson (6-time cyclocross U.S. national champion), and Ben Bostrom (X Games Supermoto champion). Read about their visit HERE.

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Mountain Biking

Don't Sleep on (NW) Arkansas

With 1.6 miles of new singletrack added each week to the hundreds of miles of singletrack already in place, is it any wonder why phrases like “mountain biking mecca,” “mountain bike utopia” and “Disneyland for mountain bikers” are slipping off the tongues of riders near and far? Pro-shredder, Jeff Kendall-Weed, has gone so far as to remark that there is nothing short of a revolution underway. Click the link below for Jeff’s full piece.

It is safe to say, few are sleeping on Northwest Arkansas’ Oz Trails network. And how could they? When all-star crews like this are meeting up to shred the region together: Jimmie Johnson (7-time NASCAR series champion), Jeremy McGrath (7-time Supercross champion), Steve Peat (world DH champion), Mike “Hucker” Clark (X Games silver medalist), Nick Troutman (freestyle kayak world champion), Hans Rey (MTB world champion), Tim Johnson (6-time cyclocross U.S. national champion), and Ben Bostrom (X Games Supermoto champion). Read about their visit HERE.

Full Story
Cycling Infrastructure

Dutch Aspirations

The fact that mountain biking was the fourth topic mentioned in this post is a pretty good indicator of an active and attractive recreational cycling destination. That said, when will we see cycling as a way of life (i.e. senior citizens cycling to the grocery store, young children riding to school, and professionals commuting to work)? Never say never.

Bentonville City Council member, Aubrey Patterson, traveled with a group of regional leaders to the Netherlands to investigate this very question. As a mother of four teenagers and a history teacher who happily drives an SUV, the lessons and ideas she brought back were straightforward: safe and efficient routes to the places people want to go, encouraging children to bike to school, incentivizing healthy aspects of cycling, developing complete mobility plans and soliciting feedback from the community on how to make cycling work for them.

The good news is with regional advocacy organizations like Bike NWA and the Bike Alliance of Northwest Arkansas residents have a place to get involved and support efforts that aim to shift the culture and increase investments in our cycling infrastructure. Bike-friendly meetups, leadership training, toolkits, Open Streets events, pilot projects and school bike clubs are just a few ways residents can make strides to emulate our Dutch counterparts.

Aubrey's Trip

Oh, and bikepacking adventures. Northwest Arkansas is an excellent place for those, too.

Arkansas High Country
History of Bicycling in Arkansas
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