24th Annual Ozark Mountain Bike Festival

Shift Frequent Shifters Club

A little over 24 years ago a couple of park people from Devil’s Den State Park went out west to check out this mountain biking thing they had heard about. After getting back to the park they created one of the first mountain biking events in the state, the Ozark Mountain Bike Festival at Devil’s Den State Park. Those staff members are still around and the Festival lives on, although it’s a bit different than it was in the early days (more on that in another article).  Unlike other big mountain biking events in the state, this one doesn’t include a lot of races, they were split off to a second festival that happens in the Fall. This is more of a family event with programs designed to get people involved in mountain biking. Several beginner and intermediate rides were scheduled plus some fun kid stuff. And boy did they have a lot of kids there.

A good looking group of kids.
A good looking group of kids.

I missed the intermediate ride but was able to get a quick lap in on the Fossil Flats Trail and then visited with folks who were still showing up.

Most of the events and programs happened in Camping area A which has a nice flat area in the middle where kid friendly challenges were set up. I think the adults had as much fun watching the kids as the kids had riding around through the obstacles which included a few teeter-totters, skinnys, a limbo and other fun. Park Interpreter Rebekah got everything going while Tim Scott (that guy who started all this) encouraged kids and helped chase down strays.

The Barbie Bike, complete with doll carrier.
The Barbie Bike, complete with doll carrier.
Kids from all ages rode.
Kids of all ages rode.
As I've always said, the wheelie is still the best trick.
As I've always said, the wheelie is still the best trick.
How low can you go?
How low can you go?

Shortly after being entertained by the kids I was able to help with the poker run. Five of us were stationed out on the Outlaw Loop of the Fossil Flats Trail with a deck of cards each. Riders did the loop drawing a card at each station. They would then hold onto their hand until the hamburger cookout later that night.

See also  Groundbreaking of the Southeast Trail in Little Rock
Waiting for the poker players.
Waiting for the poker players.
A couple of the kids on the poker run.
A couple of the kids on the poker run.

It was really great seeing some of the folks from Ozark Off-Road Cyclists whom I first met at an IMBA workshop up here earlier this Winter. Also hanging out with Woody from Progressive Trail Design. Local bike shops donated enough swag that it didn’t really matter what kind of Poker hand you had, everyone was a winner.

Angry Dave's Flying Ad
If you brought your own t-shirt you could silkscreen the logo on it for only $3.
If you brought your own t-shirt you could silkscreen the logo on it for $3.
The swag table gets rushed...pandemonium ensues.
The swag table gets rushed...pandemonium ensues.

After enjoying a good meal and great company it began to rain and instead of camping the night I decided to head home.

But last, a photo of this gentleman who borrowed Tim’s bike to show us all how NOT to cross Lee Creek. I promised him he’d be in the story so here he is. (Also, more photos for you to download on our Flickr Page.)

Bike and biker take a bath in Lee Creek.
Bike and biker take a bath in Lee Creek.

 

Shift Modern Cyclery - Be Ready To Ride.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *