BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Bentonville Bike Fest announced that their 2022 festival will feature an expanded expo, a fondo event and a world record attempt by one of the world’s best trials cyclists.
The 2022 Bentonville Bike Fest, presented by Mobil 1, will take place June 17-19 at the Mama Bear pump track next to 8th Street Market in Bentonville. According to a press release, this year’s festival features an expanded roster of exhibitors, where attendees can test some of the newest bikes on the market and buy cycling gear. All entertainment and access to the venue is free.
Bentonville Bike Fest has become an annual celebration of cycling culture, welcoming cyclists, bike fans and families of all disciplines, ages, skill levels and abilities. Taking place on Father’s Day weekend, this festival is “an opportunity for families to celebrate this special time, enjoying a fun and engaging activity together.”
This year’s competitions and events include an enduro, presented by Mojo Cycling; a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) trials competition; a BMX flatland competition; the All American sprint race, presented by Supernola; a gravel event, presented by WD-40; a new hill climb challenge; a kid’s enduro; Women Shred, presented by Arnicare; the Strider Cup; and Style it Up workshops, where riders can learn from Red Bull Rampage athletes at Coler Mountain Bike Preserve.
“A highlight of this year’s festival will be an effort to break a world record, something I’d like to feature every year,” said Kenny Belaey, multiple trials UCI World Champion and founder of Bentonville Bike Fest. “Bentonville is already the Mountain Biking Capital of the World, so breaking a cycling record here just makes sense.”
The world record attempt, presented by Van Dessel, will feature one of the world’s best trials bikers attempting the “highest bicycle forward step up.” This record is based on height and is achieved by pedaling a short distance forward, jumping and using the front tire to hook onto the top of an obstacle and then jumping the back tire to the top as well. No ramps will be used, and the rubber of the tires is the only thing that can touch the obstacle in the process.
The record will be broken if the athlete can jump higher than the current record, which is about 5.87 feet high (1.79 meters) and was established in London in 2017.
Cycling enthusiasts will also get to experience a Road Bike Workshop & Fondo, presented by Giant Bicycles. This will be a long-distance group ride through the Ozark hills. Additionally, the trials competition will be sanctioned by the UCI for the first ever UCI C1 competition.
Peter Van den Abeele, UCI sports director, said, “The UCI is delighted to see the growth of trials in America. With the development and investment on cycling in the city of Bentonville, the north American city will be the perfect place to host the international trials competition classed C1 on the UCI International Calendar. During the recent 2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville we already witnessed the popularity of cycling in Arkansas and the enthusiasm of the crowds.”
As the bike scene in Northwest Arkansas has grown, so has cycling-related tourism, with an influx of visitors from across the country, and increasingly from across the globe.
“Tourism and the biking economy have been a gift to Bentonville, and the Bentonville Bike Fest is a part of that,” said Kalene Griffith, president of Visit Bentonville. “This annual event, which Visit Bentonville has been a proud sponsor of from day one, continues to help elevate our city as the Mountain Biking Capital of the World and one of the best places to travel to for cycling. We will work hard to see it continue for years to come.”
For more information about Bentonville Bike Fest, please visit www.bentonvillebikefest.com.