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Best Cycling Races Arkansas 2024

Best Cycling Races Arkansas 2024

Rider on a rocky descent in Bentonville, AK

Arkansas, often referred to as the Natural State, has emerged as a cycling paradise, capturing the hearts of riders with its diverse landscapes, challenging terrains, and a wealth of cycling events that cater to enthusiasts of all kinds. From smooth roads to gravel paths and rugged mountain trails, Arkansas offers a cycling experience that transcends boundaries.  In this article, Strambecco provides information about the best cycling locations and highlights the Best Cycling Events Arkansas 2024, including Little Sugar MTB and Big Sugar Gravel.  The team at Strambecco rates the Best Cycling Events in Arkansas based on various factors, including reputation, route quality, location, rider feedback, and the event's or race's overall uniqueness. Strambecco does not list every event.  We strive to identify and review special and noteworthy events, spanning Road, Gravel, and Mountain Bike events and races.

Road Cycling in Arkansas: For road cyclists, Arkansas boasts an extensive network of scenic byways and rolling hills that wind through picturesque landscapes. The Ozark and Ouachita Mountains provide a challenging backdrop for those seeking thrilling ascents and descents. Popular road cycling locations include the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, the Natchez Trace Parkway, and the Talimena National Scenic Byway.

Gravel Cycling Adventures: The gravel cycling scene has witnessed a surge in popularity in Arkansas, drawing riders eager to explore the state's hidden gems. The Ozark Highlands and the vast network of gravel roads around Fayetteville offer an immersive experience of the natural beauty and serenity of the region. Cyclists can traverse through dense forests, cross meandering streams, and discover the untamed beauty of Arkansas.

Mountain Biking Thrills: Arkansas, with its rugged terrain, provides an ideal playground for mountain biking enthusiasts. The state is home to an extensive trail system, including purpose-built mountain bike parks and challenging singletracks. The Ouachita National Recreation Trail the Womble Trail, and are among the many options that showcase the diverse mountain biking opportunities Arkansas has to offer.   Bentonville, in particular, has emerged as a national mountain biking mecca.

Popular Cycling Locations:

  1. Buffalo National River: Known for its pristine beauty, the Buffalo National River area offers a mix of road and gravel cycling routes. Cyclists can enjoy breathtaking views of the river and immerse themselves in the natural wonders of the Ozarks.
  2. Hot Springs National Park: With its thermal waters and historic charm, Hot Springs National Park provides a unique setting for cycling. Road cyclists can explore the scenic routes around the park, while mountain bikers can tackle the challenging trails of the nearby Ouachita National Forest.

Notable Cycling Events:

  1. Little Sugar MTB:
    • Date: Annually in the fall
    • Location: Bella Vista, AR
    • Description: The Little Sugar MTB event is a highlight on the Arkansas cycling calendar. Set in the picturesque Ozark Mountains, this mountain biking extravaganza offers a range of courses catering to different skill levels. From technical descents to scenic ridgeline trails, participants experience the thrill of Arkansas mountain biking at its finest.
    • Little Sugar MTB is a part of the prestigious Leadville Race Series and a qualifier for the famed Leadville 100 MTB.
  2. Big Sugar Classic:
    • Date: Annually in the fall
    • Location: Bentonville, AR
    • Description: The Big Sugar Classic is a gravel cycling event that showcases the growing popularity of gravel riding in Arkansas. Starting and finishing in the vibrant cycling community of Bentonville, participants navigate through the scenic Ozarks on challenging gravel roads. The event not only offers a test of endurance but also celebrates the camaraderie of the gravel cycling community.
    • Big Sugar is produced by Life Time Events, a premier operator of first-tier endurance events, including the Leadville Race Series and Unbound Gravel  (AKA Dirty Kanza).

Conclusion: Arkansas has firmly established itself as a mecca for cyclists, with its diverse landscapes and a plethora of cycling opportunities. Whether cruising on smooth roads, tackling gravel paths, or conquering rugged mountain trails, riders in the Natural State are spoiled for choice. Events like the Little Sugar MTB and Big Sugar Classic not only showcase the state's cycling culture but also provide enthusiasts with the perfect platforms to celebrate their love for two-wheeled adventures in the heart of Arkansas.

If you have suggestions on other events we should consider or review, please get in touch with us here or send us a note at editors@strambecco.com.  Strambecco also rates South-Central best Gravel and MTB events.

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