Adventure Arkansas: Railyard Bike Park

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Last month, the city of Rogers opened up one of the largest bike parks in the US. Sean Bailey takes you to the bike tracks and trails of the Railyard in this week's Adventure Arkansas.

 

The bike trail boom continues in Northwest Arkansas as we head up to Rogers to check out their brand new bike park, the Railyard. Rogers Park Director, Andrea Brinton, explains the trail system that she says thousands of people use across the city everyday.

"We have the hard surface trails, all around town, about 40 miles. And off road we have around Lake Atalanta and some of the valleys that come off from this park, a little over 10 miles."

She estimates hundreds of people use the Railyard, especially on weekends.

The Railyard is one of a kind in Arkansas. According to Nathan "Woody" Woodruff, with Progressive Trail Design, it's also one of the largest in the country. He talks about how they incorporated its most iconic piece, an actual rail car, in the park.

"We did a ton of research and we talked with the Arkansas Missouri Railroad and they donated the car for free. So all we had to do was figure out how to get it from the railroad to the park."

Progressive Trail Design has designed over 40 miles of bike trails across NWA since 2007, including Slaughter Pen in Bentonville.

With the Railyard, they wanted to make the bike park have something for everyone.

"A bike park that's meant to be for all levels of riders. It's meant to introduce people into mountain biking and learn new skills. And then for experts who, you know, just want to have fun."

While 6 year old Melanie of Rogers rides around the kids zone, 18 year old Tanner Stolt of Bentonville has taken the challenge of the expert courses. He has some tips for newer riders.

"It's kind of a progressive deal. You gotta start at the bottom and work your way up and slowly kind of figure things out. It's a trial and error thing. You learn from your crashes and that's kind of where you learn all your skills."

He turned 18 while 8-10 feet in the air on the course today.

"It's a really cool, surreal experience, there's nothing else going on in your head. It's so cool to just float up there. It's really kind of a different experience and you have to do it to understand."

Tanner has been riding since he was 9 and he's had sponsors for his bike skills since he says he was around 14.

"It really is the most fun thing I've done. I'd love to get more sponsors, start traveling the world, that would be pretty cool. But for now I'm just a kid riding a bike."

Woodruff and Brinton say there will be even more places for Tanner to practice as they look to add and expand more trails a head of International Mountain Biking Associations World Summit in Novermber of Next Year.

Brinton says they are working to expand the Rogers trail system to connect more city parks.

Woody says more trails and expansions will happen ahead of International Mountain Biking association's meeting in Bentonville November next year.

For more information, check here and here.

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