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City Leaders Of Bentonville, Arkansas Claim "Mountain Biking Capital Of The World"


While Bentonville, Arkansas is known for many things, including being the home of brick and mortar retail giant Wal-Mart, city leaders have now gone public with the claim that the city is the "Mountain Biking Capital of the World".

"It's true that Bentonville has become the new Mountain Biking Capital of the World," says Mayor Stephanie Orman. "Over the past decade, our community has built a reputation among mountain biking enthusiasts and athletes as the premier global destination for the sport."

The city is pulling these bragging rights from the praise of industry insiders and mountain biking enthusiasts that have taken advantage of the experience the city has to offer to riders. This experience was not an accident, either. The cities mountain biking popularity came from a concerted effort by the community, its leaders, and "a clear vision and a foundation for what was possible," according to a press release from the city of Bentonville via PR Newswire.

"This incredible distinction has come after years of intentional work from Bentonville's city leaders, trail builders, maintenance teams, new and experienced riders, and countless others in our great community," said Tom Walton, co-founder of RUNWAY Group, a lifelong Bentonville patron, and avid mountain biking enthusiast. "From the outset of our shared vision to transform our city as a mountain biking paradise unique from other destinations, the city government and community leaders provided the support and balanced leadership we needed to help make the dream become a reality."

Bentonville does have the goods when it comes to places to ride, boasting a network of approximately 130 miles of singletrack connected to downtown Bentonville. Beyond the city network, riders have access to over 250 miles of regional trails that are part of the state's OZ Trails system. Combine that massive rider-friendly network with all of the amenities of a modern city, and one could definitely see this place as a top mountain biking destination. Everything you could want is within a short ride from the trails, whether it's lodging, restaurants, drinks, or art museums. The local economy has embraced Bentonville's role as a leader in mountain biking tourism and has developed and attracted a number of quality bike shops, rental and retail vendors, bike guides, and manufacturers, along with professional riders and outdoor enthusiasts.

"Bentonville is the birthplace of a modern mountain biking landscape, much like a ski town is out West, only we'll be riding all four seasons," said Visit Bentonville Executive Director Kalene Griffith. "Just one day of visiting here and you'll quickly learn why there's no other place quite like Bentonville that continues to bring you back over and over again."

As ridership seems to have increased across all biking disciplines during the COVID-19 outbreak, Bentonville has surely seen an increase in local ridership. Will the city be able to maintain a title like "Mountain Biking Capital of the World" as travel increases? Only time will tell. For now, the rider community may have to take their word for it. But, even though they did write their own press, if the experience is exactly as they are boasting, that city could make for one heck of a ride.

Bentonville AR MTB from Runway Group on Vimeo.


Photo: Only a block away from downtown, there is immediate access to the best rides any novice or expert rider could hope to find. - Credit: City of Bentonville

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