In Northwest Arkansas, it is never too early or too late to join the cycling community. This bike-friendly post is for the little ones, the young adults, and all of those beginning their cycling journey!
New Bicycle Playground & More
By now, we know you have heard that the Jones Center in Springdale, Arkansas is home to the newest and largest pump track in the nation, but did you hear that the Runway Bike Park is also home to a brand new bicycle playground!? The goal of the Runway Bike Park is to be a platform for people of all ages to learn bike handling skills and develop the confidence to then explore the hundreds of miles of mountain bike trails waiting for them across the Ozarks. In our region, that confidence-building starts with the ultra-beginner (young shredders under 6).
Just a few miles east of Runway Bike Park, a new strider pump track was added to Springdale’s Fitzgerald Mountain! And thanks to the Walton Family Foundation, Hormel, and Rogue Trails a brand new trail was completed specifically for the kids at the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter!
Runway Bike Park
Trail of Hope
There are also several groups in the region helping kids and young adults become strong, confident riders.
F.A.S.T. (Friends of Arkansas Singletrack) Kids
Usually shredding the Bentonville Slaughter Pen trail, the kids’ team was put together with the goal of introducing kids to team rides and competitive racing. They’ll ride the trail with a few different “pace groups” and then talk about some aspect of cycling or racing (safety, courtesy, passing, bike maintenance, etc). Learn more at fasttrails.org.
The Little Bellas is a mountain bike organization whose goal is to help young women realize their potential through cycling. This time of year, it can be hard for young girls (who just want to get out and rip some trails) to find a group to ride with—enter the Little Bellas Winter Ride Program. The Benton County, AR Winter Ride Program meets every Sunday throughout the winter at various trails in the area. Open to girls of all abilities, the Winter Ride offers the girls a unique opportunity to learn how to ride mountain bikes from their most experienced mentors. The winter program starts on January 13th, 2019, spread the word to your daughters, nieces, and friends. Learn more at littlebellas.com.
Breakaway Cycling Team
Breakaway Cycling Team is a non-profit setting out to create a one-of-a-kind high-level junior/young adult program that positively impacts the local cycling community. In addition to road cycling, they’ve added a cyclocross program that runs from October until the end of November. Cyclocross, whose popularity has grown regionally thanks most recently to the NWA Cyclocross series, is a form of bicycle racing that requires riders to dismount in obstacle areas and run with their bike. You can learn more about the program and team at breakawaycyclingteam.org.
Mudtown BMX is a local BMX racing organization totally made up of volunteers dedicated to providing the youth of our community with a fun-filled recreational sports program that promotes responsibility, respect, character building and family togetherness. Based in Lowell, AR, they typically schedule 1-2 days a week for track maintenance and practice. They are always looking for people willing to support the track, you can follow them and learn more at on their Facebook page here.
Beginners Without Age
While youth cycling amenities, youth programs, and youth teams continue to grow in number, we’ve also seen the addition of more and more beginner-level group rides and even the arrival of a cycling movement that focuses on the elderly and disabled.
Ozark Cycling Adventures
Ozark Cycling Adventures is one of the best local sources for regional cycling news and events. For those interested, the group keeps an updated calendar on their website organized by experience level and/or city. From ladies road rides to kids mountain biking rides, there are beginner group ride options for every age and interest. Visit ozarkcyclingadventures.com to check out all of the upcoming rides and events.
Cycling Without Age
Cycling Without Age is a movement that started in 2012 in Denmark and was recently brought to Northwest Arkansas by passionate community members. BikeNWA, helped launch the program this past July with a focus on helping the elderly and disabled get back on their bicycles, by offering free bike rides on special electric assist bikes called trishaws. Northwest Arkansas is the first community-owned program in Cycling Without Age and is working to add more miles and smiles for elderly and disabled residents of Northwest Arkansas. Learn more at bikenwa.org.
This is Northwest Arkansas. Home to a thriving, fun cycling culture for all ages, interests, and abilities.