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The Gravel Grinder

The Land Run 100 with Team De Pjip.

Dirty Kanza Slideshow 2013 from Eric Benjamin on Vimeo. The Dirty Kanza 200 is a solo, self-supported, non-stop, 200-mile-long bicycling endurance challenge on the gravel and dirt roads of the Flint Hills region in east-central Kansas. The race brings over 1,000 riders from 7 countries and 46 states, and is recognized as one of the top five endurance races in the world. What the heck does this … [Read more...]

Springtime in the Timberlands

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For the second year in a row, on May 10th, a little mountain bike race in an unlikely place will start off the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series. Most of the races in the series have taken place in the Ozark or Ouachita Mountains or Arkansas River Valley. The Timberlands Mountain Bike Race takes place right on the geological border between the Timberlands of southern Arkansas and the … [Read more...]

Trails don’t just happen

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One of the most popular activities in parks and wilderness areas is hiking on trails. For thousands of years trails have been used for transportation, hunting, exploring, commerce. Long before roads, trails were created not on purpose but through repetition of use, the path of least resistance to travel from one point to another. In the late 19th century, as our technological world expanded … [Read more...]

Spring Forward – Spring Fling 5K

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Spring officially arrived last week, clocks moved forward an hour a couple of weeks ago, and even the daffodil blooms signal the end of a somewhat harsh Winter; but for many runners the true harbinger of Spring is the Spring Fling 5K in Cabot, Arkansas. Currently one of the links in the chain of the Arkansas Road Running Club of America (ArkansasRRCA) Grand Prix Series, the race has been an early … [Read more...]

The Long and Short of It.

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How many laps can you do on a 10 mile trail in 6.5 hours? That's the question to be answered in the Spa City 6-Hour Marathon Mountain Bike Race. This is the only race of its type in the Arkansas Mountain Bike Marathon Series. The race utilizes a Le Mans start, that is riders stand a good distance away from their bikes at a starting line between two flags at the bottom of a large, grassy … [Read more...]

Flat, Cold, Windy and Wonderful

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Sandwiched by two beautiful Spring days, Sunday was cool, windy and gray. While many people would consider the weather a hindrance to cycling, fifteen teams of five cyclists met at Willow Beach Park along the Arkansas River near Scott, Arkansas to race in the cold wind on an overcast morning. For the second year in a row, Justin Slarks, who many know from Chainwheel Bike Shop in Little … [Read more...]

Help Arrives for the Injured Epic

The view from the White River Bluff Loop.

The Syllamo (Sĭl’-lă-mō) Mountain Bike Trail five miles north of Mountain View in Stone County, Arkansas, consists of a series of interconnecting loops offering mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners 50 miles of trail, most of it singletrack. The trail name dates back to an infamous resident of the area in the early 1800s, a Creek Indian named Syllamo who was tolerated by the native Shawnees. … [Read more...]

Round and Round They Go

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Time to get the party started, time for the Grand Prix Series. The first event of the series is the One Hour Track Run, held for the second year in a row at Danville High School. Danville is a small town situated in the Petit Jean River Valley just down the road from the states highest point, Mount Magazine. This race had little to do with mountains and valleys and a lot to do with … [Read more...]

This thing’s got EPIC written all over it.

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In 1972, the Buffalo River became the Buffalo National River, the first National River in the country. Most of the area surrounding the river went under the control of the National Park Service but not all. The Buffalo Headwaters is in a section of the Ozark National Forest just a ridge or two southwest of Whitaker Point. Like most areas associated with the Buffalo National River, it's riddled … [Read more...]

Boyle Revival

Here is an old post card depicting a small water fall along Rock Creek in Boyle Park.

Back in the 1930's under the direction of President Roosevelt, the Civilian Conservation Corps was formed. The "Tree Army" as it was referred to provided work and taught skills to depression era men across the United States. Some of the most endearing places they worked later became national, state and city parks. In Arkansas the cabins, lodges, dams and trails they created are preserved in places … [Read more...]