We set out on that short 550 mile drive from Austin, TX to Bentonville, AR for another go. It was time to apply what we learned on the recon trip to see if we could tie it all together better than our First Look. Staying in town this time, we were within ride distance of the Slaughter Pen Trail head. Two Knolly Warden Carbon and a Pivot Mach 6 Carbon were the weapons of choice for this one, and a GoPro Hero5 Black to capture it all.
We full intentions of riding Coler Preserve Trails first, we were, once again, faced with rain rendering the trails too wet to ride on our first day. It was time to redirect to the Slaughter Pen Trails. Applying that trail memory, All American trail was up first, leading us over to Free Time to tie in the wood drop features one after another. Slaughter Pen Trail conditions this time were close to what we have here in Austin. Riding mid-day we seemed to have the trails to ourselves. We followed the Medusa Trail to the top hitting each feature on the way. Slaughter Pen DH Flow Trail was running fast today, and some of us were riding it for the first time. You’ll want to session this one, and be sure to carry speed into the wall. You’ll like the reward, as it delivers you with speed into the next set of table jumps.
Rider sending it off of the second drop at the Slaughter Pen Drop ZoneRider sending it off of the second drop at the Slaughter Pen Drop Zone
Day two, we launched from the Blowing Springs parking headed straight for the Back 40 loop trail. Dirt conditions were good. The flow into Summit School this time around was a reminder why we’re here. Flo Ride really does flow north to south. We found ourselves riding this one both ways. Be sure to check your MTB Project and Trailforks apps for this one, and shuttle it if you can. It’s one of the longer downhill flow trails in the Back 40.
Intersection at the beginning of Flo Ride. Shuttle time.
Where to eat? That’s right, we returned to The Pedaler’s Pub, located in downtown Bentonville, to experience more of that great atmosphere and back patio. The food here really does hit the spot.
NWA PedalersPub Bentonville AR. Ride Abstract Art, Pedaler’s Pub
Coler Preserve Trails
With the trail networks dried out enough, Coler Preserve Trails were up next for a third day of riding. We highly recommending parking it here, bring a lunch, and session. Fire Line Trail was running fast this trip and we had the privilege to ride the new Rock Solid Trail for the first time. Once The Hub opens for dropping in at the top, full of technical lines, rock drops, and launchers, this trail will not disappoint.
The Rail Yard
We didn’t pay a visit to The Rail Yard Bike Park this time as it was closed due to rain the night before. I guess we’ll need to head back there again.
I somehow rode the entire Slaughter Pen trail system without rebound damping. Thinking my fork had lost oil, we dropped in to the Phat Tire Bike Shop after our 10 mile Slaughter Pen ride, to find Bentonville IPA on tap. Delicious. I made my fork oil purchase and we were on our way.
Plenty of Phat Tire apparel to be had
We’ll be headed to the Ozark Mountains again in the Fall to experience more of that bike-centric culture we like so much, and tie it all together again.