By John Ray
Want some free bacon handed to you as you ride the NWA Razorback Greenway? How about some homemade ice cream churned by a pedal-powered mobile ice cream maker? Throw in some fantastic creatures that could have come straight out of Harry Potter, add heavy doses of music — R&B, folk, even a mariachi band — to provide the soundtrack, and you have yourselves one magical day on that splendid spine of trail that offers so much.
That day was this past Saturday.
Bacon hand-ups. Courtesy of Ozark Off Road Cyclists!
The biannual Square 2 Square ride is a fantastic combination of several things that help make Northwest Arkansas such a great place to live. Despite the fact that the wind took an unexpected turn to blow from the north, around 900 people participated in this year’s ride on a clear, cool day. The event was combined with the Walton Arts Center’s annual Artosphere/Trail Mix, an example of community synergy at its finest. Various bike shops and bike clubs turned out in force to man the aid stations (yep, bacon and ice cream were part of the “fuel” provided by volunteers) and various cities, arts organizations, businesses and bicycle groups pulled off a beauty of an event.
The ride started from the Fayetteville square and rolled through Springdale, Rogers & ended at the Bentonville square. Covering 32 miles of NWA.
Video courtesy of Bike Bentonville.
Maybe the best thing about the ride, though, was the variety of people it drew out onto the trail. Clubs in full kits, grandparents pulling kids behind them in trailers, groups of friends on cruisers, families — from beginner to expert and everywhere in between, all were represented out on the Greenway. There was even a shuttle service for those who wanted to make the trip one way; I saw a number of folks who did up-and-back rides, too.
Serious kudos to everyone who planned, volunteered and pulled this thing off. Can’t wait for the Square 2 Square fall ride. Check out the info here, and mark your calendar for the September 10th ride from Bentonville to Fayetteville.