the book end of our Rapha Prestige weekend

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 an observation on the whereabouts & culture of Bentonville, AR

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A few of the Drama Kings and myself were invited to join the Rapha Prestige Ozark Plateau weekend, which included a few different programmed events, and ultimately culminated to focus on two rides in which cyclists were gathering for: a gravel fondo & a prestige 4-man ride. 

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We had a pal (Hunter Cole) solo out for the fondo, while Dustin Dew, Carson Legg, Jake Huggart & myself made our 4-man team for the hot, grueling & ever incredible 118 mile route throughout Ozark country.  blistering heat. 7400ft of climbing. rolling hills. strange local interactions. hippy commune villages. the whole sha-bang...

 

you can check out our ride here: https://www.strava.com/activities/1568248868

Rapha, along with Bentonville did an amazing job hosting this event along with putting together programming for cyclist around the world to gather and share these incredibly unique moments together. Our group of guys were fortunate to meet some kind people. We had exposure to very impressive and incredible companies: like Allied Cycleworks,  which collaborated with Rapha on their flagship disc model: the Alfa All-Road(see pics below)...but after its all said and done, Bentonville is what is sticking with me. 

This city made up of a population under 40,000 really had an impression on me. The culture is special here, the food scene is top notch for the city's size & the green space...well, you just need to come for yourself to see the green space. 

 

After our ride Saturday, we cruised Sunday morning around the town. My crew of guys had RSVP'd for a Rapha programmed brunch in which I forgot to do so, so I decided to hit up Crystal Bridges in the morning. beforehand, we knew we needed to explore some of the inner city- integrated single track before we left town (even though we only had our road bikes..braap). Whats amazing about these trails is that they are designed to move with the roads & lines of the downtown area of Bentonville, the trails featured in these photos both: intersect & parallel once of the key greenways among the downtown area. We ultimately decided to get wild on our reasonably skinny tires, and took a few cautious, yet wildly fun flows and poodled around town. 

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Before my buddies and I went separate ways on Sunday am, we enjoyed coffee treats at Onyx downtown.

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Crystal Bridges Museum is an incredibly special place. I was certain the most impressive feature of this visit would have to be the structure itself, which that statement may indeed ring true, but the art collection is very moving. The focus on Early American landscape and settlement is breathtaking. 

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Ill need to figure out ways to continually sneak off to this tiny little cycling sanctuary once more. Maybe taking Audrey would be a good start. 

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