Big Sugar is an ultra-endurance bicycling challenge held on the gravel roads through the Northwest region of Arkansas and Southeast region of Missouri. The start in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, which has turned into a biking mecca in recent years. The inaugural Big Sugar is produced by Life Time Fitness, a premier operator of first tier endurance events including the Leadville Race Series and Unbound Gravel (AKA Dirty Kanza). The event takes place the same weekend as the Outer Bike Festival which is a huge bike demo event.
Expect this to be one of the most challenging gravel courses featuring picturesque, rarely maintained, canopy-covered gravel roads with loose, rocky gravel, a few pavement sections and a few water crossings and bridges. If you like to ride in the dirt, venture off into stunning landscapes and share an experience with fellow cyclists, Big Sugar Gravel is a race reserved for you. There are two route options to choose from: (1) A 100-mile gravel race with 8,000 ft elevation gain in the remote and rugged highlands of the Ozark Mountains: (2) A 50-mile gravel race located in the highlands but designed for recreational cyclists. All riders will utilize a single-loop format and although some blacktop roads will be necessary from time to time, the majority of the course will be on gravel and dirt roads. Some of these roads receive little to no maintenance throughout the year and can be quite primitive in nature. There are also many blind corners while traversing the course.
Make your trip into a weekend getaway. Nestled in the Northwest Corner of Arkansas, Bentonville offers a world-class art scene, a thriving bike culture, aviation adventures and a vibrant city square right in the heart of the Ozarks.
The Gudrun – Northwoods MTB Festival is a premier mountain biking event and festival in Hot Springs Arkansas; an event showcasing Arkansas’s incredible progress in its mountain bike development in recent years with the state transforming into a world-class mountain bike destination. The Gudrun festival is everything great about Arkansas mountain biking, including excellently designed single track. Taking place in Hot Springs National Park and more specifically in the Northwood Trials system which is comprised of 26 miles of mountain bike trails and has been voted the best single-track in Arkansas! The festival runs from Friday, November 11, and finishes on Sunday the 13th. There is a vibrant mix of bike races, fun runs, bike expos, food, drinks, music, and fun for kids and the entire family. A wonderful attribute to this festival is the large range of categories in the mountain bike events so every level and age group is supported and welcomed.
There are two main bike events with the first being the Gudrun Enduro which is a 15-mile enduro race. Being a welcoming festival to all abilities there is also a compressed version of the enduro race of 8 miles as well. The other main mountain bike race is called the ‘Attila the Hun XC’ which is a cross country race with nearly every category imaginable to cater to every level of rider. The Junior and Category 3 race is 6 miles and the top end category 1 is 19 miles with varying lengths in the middle of those two. 2020 brought nearly 600 sign-ups combined for the Enduro, XC, and fun runs in a Covid Heavy time but 2021 brought large crowds and was an impressibly attended festival. The stunning North Wood Trails seems to be an extremely positive trend in Mountain biking with Arkansas and the Güdrun – Northwoods MTB Festival being at the heart of this. The Gudrun Mountian Bike Festival is a premier event in Arkansas and the southwest of America. Listed just below are the interactive maps for the “Attila the Hun” XC race with the respective categories 1, 2, and 3 in order.
The Pedaler’s Bash is an epic 44-miles endurance mountain bike race in world-famous Bentonville Arkansas. The Pedaler’s bash is well attended with an all-inclusive mass start of 250 riders. There is a general category, single-speed, and junior category which is rather streamlined as far as mountain bike racing goes. The Pedaler’s Bash blasts through world-class single track and the scenic ozark mountains on a 45-mile journey exploring the trail systems of Slaughter Pen, Bella Vista, Blowing Springs, and the famous Back 40. If this is your first time learning about Bentonville, or are unfamiliar with it, you should know that in the last 20 years the town has been developing top-of-the-line single-track mountain bike trail systems consistently. Over the years, Bentonville has made a great name for itself in the world of off-road riding as a premiere destination in the US and globally to travel to for mountain biking. While a mountain bike destination, there are not a lot of races on the Bentonville trail systems making the Pedalers bach sought after.
The Pedaler’s Bash is an ultimate culmination of some of the best trails Bentonville has to offer in an endurance-length format. It is not an easy ride at 44 miles with the challenge coming in the form of 4,300 feet of climbing. Looking at the profile, it is a nice mix of mainly short and punchy climbs in comparison to some endurance races in the Rockies which can have one or two long continuous climbs over the course of the race. In comparison, new trail systems tend to have a nice mix of ups and down, utilizing the land as best as possible.
The Pedalers bash race showcases some of the best single-track in the United States in an epic, 45-mile endurance event that equated to a total showstopper and an event that should definitely be on your to-do list!