Adventure Arkansas: Springhill Park Mountain Biking

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The Natural State has always been an excellent host to runners and bikers alike. We caught up with a local marathon runner who combines and cross trains these two sports in this week's Adventure Arkansas.

The trails across Springhill Park near Barling offer opportunities for both hikers and mountain bikers to enjoy. After Scott's Bike Shop in Fort Smith hooked them up with some of the best bikes in town, it was time for Joe Pennington and Sean Bailey to meet up with Pepper Bourlon.

Pepper has laced up his running shoes for over 20 years. However over the past 4 years, he's double dipped, cross training with both running and biking. "I found out that in a Duathalon, in which you run, then jump on a bike and then run again was a great training plan for a runner."

In addition to Duathlons, he says biking has helped his marathons too. "Well most marathon training plans have a day where you cross train or two days a week where you cross train. It gives you the cardio you need and let's you spin your legs, spin your wheels and also there's no impact on your body like it is when you're on the roads pounding pavement."

The weather conditions can also help give you more training options. "I also found that in the summer time when it's hot that riding a bike, you get airflow. Running becomes overwhelming, and so a lot of times you can ride a bike when you can't run."

Pepper says the key to adding a bike into your fitness mix, is getting one that fits your body. "Each bike is measured by the distance off the ground that you stand. And so the key is getting a bike that fits and then getting used to the bike before you jump into a difficult trail."

Springhill Park's roughly 7 mile loop along the Arkansas River is a great place to start pedaling "It's great trails, people don't realize what we have to ride on, whether you're riding road bikes or you're on a mountain bike, and so this is one of the favorites for most mountain bikers."

Springhill Park also has camping sites for you and your family too.

Remember to always be safe and wear your helmet. For more biking trails and more information on duathlons, click here.

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