Air up your tires and fill up your CamelBak. It’s time for the first ever Square to Square Bicycle Ride!
The event, set for Saturday, Sept. 12, is a 30-mile ride along the newly completed Razorback Greenway beginning on the Bentonville square at 9 a.m., and finishing up on the Fayetteville square.
The ride is part of a new series of events organized by the Fayetteville Parks & Recreation Department intended to inspire locals to get active, and take advantage of the parks and trails around the city and region.
“Our program will mark the inaugural establishment of what we hope will become an annual tradition for our community and the surrounding area,” said Tiffany Gaulke, recreation program manager.
For this weekend’s Square to Square ride, shuttles will begin picking up cyclists and their bicycles in Fayetteville at Hillcrest Towers at 7:30 a.m. and bussing them to the ride starting point at Lawrence Plaza (Cormer of NE “A” and Blake St.) in Bentonville. Shuttles will also leave at 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 9 a.m.
Check-in in Bentonville is from 9-10:30 a.m. at Lawrence Plaza, and will include live music by local band Left of Center.
From there, participants will ride along the Greenway toward Fayetteville. Vendors will be set up along the way offering energy bars and water. For most, the ride will take around 2-3 hours.
Several activities will be set up on the Fayetteville square once participants arrive, including live music by local band Farmer & The Markets, a beer garden on the Town Center plaza, a photo backdrop to commemorate the ride, and a kids craft area stocked with supplies to decorate bicycle helmets and make streamers. A bicycle valet and storage area will also be available on the square, and several local shops will offer discounts to riders as well.
Shuttles back to Bentonville will depart from Hillcrest Towers at 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m., and 2:45 p.m. The shuttle will also drop off in Springdale at the Train Depot on the return trip by request.
Pre-registration is required, and is now open online. The cost is $15 for kids 9-13, $25 for ages 14 and up, and free for kids 8 and under. The fee includes a bike-friendly back pack for the first 475 participants and a shuttle ride.
Helmets are also required for the ride, and organizers are urging riders to be familiar with the rules of the Greenway, including proper trail etiquette before the ride. Some good information is available at nwatrails.org.
For more information about the ride, visit fayetteville-ar.gov or call the Parks and Recreation Department at 479-444-3471 or 479-444-3463.