The bike trail network continues to expand all across Northwest Arkansas, especially in Bentonville. In this week's Adventure Arkansas, we show you the new friends of all ages you can meet along Bentonville's more than 20 miles of bike trails.
A great place to start is to join one of the many biking clubs Northwest Arkansas has to offer. Girls Bike Bentonville started as a bike group about 5 years ago. Stacy Bigelow and Susan Zehner have each been with Girls Bike Bentonville for three years now and say it's for women with any skill level.
Bigelow says, "From people who just want to bike to people who want to do bike racing or triathlons, it's kind of all over. And we support each other whatever your goal is."
Zehner adds, "We've got Iron Women right down to the townie rider who just wants to get out on the Greenway and talk with her friends."
For this week's adventure Phat Tire in Bentonville helped us get our gear ready to take to the trails for their Tuesday lunch bike ride. They usually have a handful of riders on Tuesday, but they say they can fill the square with 40 or more people for their evening and weekend group rides,
Adults aren't the only ones gathering into groups. Numerous groups for kids are forming too! Cynthia Maggard with National Interscholastic Cycling Association or NICA, estimates they have a couple hundred junior high and high school student athletes within their group in Northwest Arkansas.
Maggard told us that, "Mountain biking is a sport and we can show these kids that you ARE an athlete. You can do this. The best thing about our league is that we are inclusive, everybody rides and we have no bench-warmers. Every start counts and every finish counts."
And even more groups continue to evolve. Greg Pool, a rider with Friends of Arkansas SingleTrack, started FAST Kids. He's seen the kids grow more than just with their biking skills.
"The things that have impressed me and given me pride in our team, they're not around the plaques or the trophies or medals. It's around where I've seen kids support other kids on the trail, where I've seen friendships being built. I've seen kids do the right thing or do the tough thing when they didn't have to." says Pool.
The FAST Kids group has a very large following like Connor Phillips, coming for the thrill of mountain biking. Connor told us, "My favorite part about mountain biking is just the rush you know. Of going down a hill or just being with yourself and just at peace."
And the young bikers say the biking community is here for any age or any level. Chloe Pool, FAST Kids Biker explains, "I'm starting it, and so I get to see all my brothers and sisters racing. So it's really fun."
Her brother, Cason Pool, another FAST Kids Biker, agrees, "Try and find some friends that like biking too, because it's great to rise with friends. It's just great to be able to have a community where you can just ride together."
There are so many trails to explore in Bentonville and it's always better to do it with friends. Links to the groups feature in this week's adventure can be found below if you want to join in on their fun!
Segment Sponsored By: Adventure Subaru
Bike Bentonville Local Rides: http://www.bikebentonville.com/#!2016-bentonville-events/c283
Girls Bike Bentonville: http://www.girlsbikebentonville.com/
GBB Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/girlsbikebentonville/?fref=ts
NICA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arkansasmountainbiking/
NICA Website: http://www.arkansasmtb.org/
FAST Kids: https://www.facebook.com/FAST-Kids-322432881157123/
Friends of Arkansas SingleTrack (FAST): http://friendsofarkansassingletrack.org/
Kids Bike AR: https://www.facebook.com/kidsbikear/