Local Bicycle Shop Hosts First-Ever River Valley Rumble Race

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Mountain bikers raced the trail at Ben Geren Park in Fort Smith Sunday (June 19) during the first-ever River Valley Rumble.

The race was organized by Phat Tire Bike Shop in Fort Smith. Riders of all ages participated in races ranging from six miles to nearly 28.

Josh Carroll, one of the race organizers, said mountain biking is different than riding on pavement.

"It is more challenging to do it," he said. "Some people like that and it keeps your interest up because it is just not sitting there on a bike riding. Some people want to have the adrenaline rush of that challenge."

Former mountain biking World Champion, Ed Hawkins, said riding a bike takes your mind off of everyday life.

"You know, if you are dodging the squirrels and dodging the holes, and the rocks and whatever, it is hard to concentrate on what someone said to you today," he said.

Cyclists said these races take preparation and practice.

"I just ride around a lot at home, and I would go out and pre-ride the trail three days before the race," Nicolas Daughrity said.

The winners received medals made from bicycle gears, but most said they just do it because they love riding.

"People always ask me about my bike and how much it cost," Hawkins said. "My suggestion is you go out and buy a bike that you can afford. It may be a really cheap bike, it do not matter. Ride it until it falls apart. Then, if you still want to ride a bike, you can buy a better bike."

Organizers said they plan to make River Valley Rumble an annual race.

The race was part of the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series.