Events in ‘Mountain Biking Capital of the World’ to provide an inspiring OZ experience, blending outdoor recreation, art, culture, and culinary attractions
BENTONVILLE, AR., AUG. 9, 2022 – Women of OZ will soon host some of the nation’s top industry leaders and mountain biking coaches for a weekend of trail rides, workshops, and panel discussions, entertainment, and cultural adventures. Bentonville – “The Mountain Biking Capital of the World” – will be the site of the Sunset Summit on Sept. 16-17 at the Momentary, a contemporary art space near downtown.
Women of all skill levels, even those who have never tried mountain biking before, are invited to the summit to learn the fundamentals while developing confidence and building community. Seventy-five ambassadors – representing some of the most prominent professionals from the most successful mountain biking organizations – will work directly with attendees on learning to take life by the trail.
All ambassadors are recognizable names in the world of women’s mountain biking; they include keynote speakers, Anita Naidu and Lindsey Richter, and professionals such as Anneke Beerten, Caroline Washam, and Angi Weston.
Naidu, a Brown Panther, has been named one of the World’s Most Adventurous Women, as well as among the Most Influential Women in the Outdoors, by industry experts. She became the first professional mountain biker of Indian heritage more than a decade ago.
Richter, the founder of Ladies AllRide, which puts on clinics nationally, pursues the mission of “changing women’s lives with two wheels and some dirt.” She was a contestant on the CBS reality series, Survivor, and now shares her passion for mountain biking across the globe through innovative and inspirational skills camps.
Beerten, who currently resides in Bentonville, grew up in the Netherlands. She won two world championships in BMX racing before taking three more first-place trophies in a 4-cross competition.
Washam, owner of Spoked, LLC in North Carolina, is a professional downhill racer who has competed in mountain biking since she was 10 years old. She is a Level 2 Certified PMBIA (Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association) coach.
Weston, owner and head coach of Radical Roots Mountain Biking in Bellingham, Wash., operates award-winning events such as Transition Women’s Weekend and a junior race team, Radical Racing.
Top-tier mountain biking associations will also be represented at the summit: All In Mountain Biking, Arkansas Latinas En Bici, Bike School Bentonville, Biking with Brittany, Dirt Series, Flownetic Mountain Bike Skills, Girls AllRide, PST Coaching, School of Dirt, Star Mountain Biking Guides, Vida Mountain Biking, Women of OZ, and World Ride.
“This is an invaluable, unique mountain biking experience, as no other event in the nation features this caliber of coaches, ambassadors, and organizations all together at one summit,” said Allyson de la Houssaye, executive director of Women of OZ. “Most of these professionals own a mountain biking business or have founded women’s biking organizations. This truly will feature the best of the best.”
Professionals and industry leaders will engage in discussions about all things mountain bike-related on Friday evening. The summit’s professional coaches will spearhead hands-on mountain bike skills workshops on Saturday morning and afternoon.
Unlike other events in the industry, the Sunset Summit is intended to be more than a workshop: It is a fitness and community experience celebrating Northwest Arkansas’ culture of exploration. Riders will be introduced to the OZ Trails network, more than 400 miles of world-class, rugged terrain accessible from downtown Bentonville. A guided bike-and-art tour will be led by OZ Art NWA, with an emphasis on women-produced works in a variety of media and forms, including murals and outdoor installations, accessible in the landscape and best seen on two wheels.
“I discovered the great sport of mountain biking after experiencing the beautiful OZ Trails system in Northwest Arkansas,” said de la Houssaye. “While we certainly want the women who attend our summit to learn something about mountain biking, the ultimate objective is to offer a once-in-a-lifetime bonding opportunity for them, regardless of their race, orientation, or background. Hitting those trails together truly is the best road trip.”
Sunset Summit events will be held at the Momentary, a contemporary art space and satellite to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art that provides a platform for artists and audiences to perform and enjoy music, dance, performance art, film screenings, festivals, and more. As part of the OZ experience, summit ticket holders will also have exclusive VIP access to attend a concert by two-time Grammy-nominated Indie pop band, Japanese Breakfast, at the Momentary on Saturday night. Friday night will feature the airing of a short documentary about the formation of Women of OZ and the movement to make space for women in mountain biking. The film is presented in partnership with the Bentonville Film Foundation, which will also be represented at the summit. Other Friday evening activities include a reception with food, drinks, and panel discussions.
Attendees are welcome to come alone or in groups, but they must bring their own bike and related equipment. For ticket information and additional details about the summit, visit www.wozsunsetsummit.com.