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Bentonville - 8.5 hr drive from Austin

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Yep.  We rode to Coler, which is pretty flat-ish, but several miles back and forth.  So that dropped the ratio some.  Just getting up to the top of Coler, it's just under 200 feet for the privilege of riding down.  Payoff is pretty sweet, but you have no choice but to climb to make the payment.  

Riding the Greenway to Blowing Spings/Back 40 will likewise lower the ratio.  When you're on actual trails, you will be climbing...it's just a function of how the trails work.  All I'm suggesting is that if someone wants to go, be prepared for that and prepare yourself by doing stuff around here where there is legit climbing - Lakeway and the backside of HOL being great/close choices for that.  All of our last day this trip, hitting a ton of stuff in SP and then we rode to Coler, we had a little better than 100ft per mile.  That's more the rule than the exception...in fact, I can't see it any other way.  

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I keep expecting to hear from the Waltons that they are installing a lift on Coler, with passes available in the Gift Card section at Wal-Mart.

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On 4/22/2019 at 1:20 PM, 2112Greg said:

Making the trip with The Tip, I'll add a couple of cents as well.  This was my second trip to BV, went last year in June.  It was hot but not intolerable.  Go now, it's perfect weather in the Spring or early Fall.  

Before the last trip last year, I watched a ton of videos, read about the trails and how they are in contrast to much of what we ride in a lot of central Texas systems.  It's almost ALL flow, very little technical bits and rocks are the exception, not the rule, as they are here on our local trails.  The Back 40 is my favorite section out there, it's a ton of fun...but you have to climb.  I prepared this year AND last by hitting the BCBG a lot (Ed's Bowl, etc) and Lakeway as much as possible.  You HAVE to have climbing legs to make the most of BV.  It's essential to having a good experience there.

The Back 40 is a giant loop, but it also has a number of inside segments that are great.  Floride is absolutely AWESOME.  All of them are fun in their own way, but Floride is just out of this world.  If you hit the Back 40, that's a MUST.  If you want to get your technical/janky fix, then the Ledges is for you.  Not only is it technically challenging, it's got some pretty serious consequences for a mistake (like falling down a cliffside).  Definitely the most difficult segment of the area systems.  That said, I love this kind of riding.  It keeps you on your toes and your skills sharp.

There is something for everyone, but it's overall I'd say it's aimed at the intermediate rider and above.  Some of the flowy fun stuff in Slaughter Pen would be fun for a beginning rider, but overall it's for experienced riders.  And climbing, you will be climbing.  It's not sustained slogs up hills, much of the Back 40, going CCW, you go up berms/wide switchbacks which sounds weird, but it's a pretty efficient way to get up a steep climb.  And there are lots of them...but almost all of them have some sweet payoff.

If you're thinking of going to BV, research it, study the trails, watch videos of trails, look at Strava rides, see the kinds of elevation that will be expected and then train by doing Lakeway, Ed's Bowl and stuff that requires climbing around you.  If you can't climb or don't like to, then BV isn't something you'd enjoy.  I did 103 miles which is just about everything in the whole Slaughter Pen, Bella Vista and a little bit of Coler and did about 8,000 feet of climbing.  Prepare yourself!

Our group of 10 riders loved just about everything about it.  My gf and I are planning on going back later this year.  The entire culture of the city is centered on bikes...and not just mtbs (but that's it's focus)...but BV is a biker's dream.  And it just so happens that for mountain bikers, it's AMAZING.  

You're crazy. I literally rode Flowride an hour ago and pedaled 90% of the time. Huge disappointment.

 

Imo the only trails on the Back 40 with any redeeming qualities are Ledges, What the Chuck, and some parts of Pinyon Creek.

 

This is actually my second time out here and I was only convinced to come back because people keep telling me that all the good stuff is inside the Back 40 loop. After today I can confidently say they are full of shit. The Back 40 is currently on the top of my list of worst trail systems I have ever ridden.

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On 10/8/2019 at 3:37 PM, Big_papa_nuts said:

You're crazy. I literally rode Flowride an hour ago and pedaled 90% of the time. Huge disappointment.

 

Imo the only trails on the Back 40 with any redeeming qualities are Ledges, What the Chuck, and some parts of Pinyon Creek.

 

This is actually my second time out here and I was only convinced to come back because people keep telling me that all the good stuff is inside the Back 40 loop. After today I can confidently say they are full of shit. The Back 40 is currently on the top of my list of worst trail systems I have ever ridden.

I rode Flowline last month. Riding up it I pedaled a lot. Riding down it I hardly pedaled. 

Your comment that you pedaled 90% of the time tells me that you were riding it uphill. 

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Yea, you have to do it the right direction.  lol

I was going to say that, but I figured it would be pointing out the obvious...I can't imagine riding up Flo Ride.  Riding down it is spectacular.  

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6 hours ago, AustinBike said:

I rode Flowline last month. Riding up it I pedaled a lot. Riding down it I hardly pedaled. 

Your comment that you pedaled 90% of the time tells me that you were riding it uphill. 

Definitely rode it the right way, as confirmed by the signs and the other person I rode it with, and my data collecting app. Definitely pedaled more than I coasted. Also, had to stop and clear two trees. Definitely NOT a "flow" trail.

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Well, it is...it's got a few peddly bits in the middle section, but when it gets going, it's killer.  Sorry you didn't have the same experience that we've had on it.  Maybe you should try Hobbs State Park...

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9 hours ago, 2112Greg said:

Well, it is...it's got a few peddly bits in the middle section, but when it gets going, it's killer.  Sorry you didn't have the same experience that we've had on it.  Maybe you should try Hobbs State Park...

Or stick with Spider Mountain...  🙂

I absolutely loved The Back 40 and all the stuff in the middle.  I'd call some of the trails some of the best flowing single track I've ever ridden.  But FWIW, I also spent 7+ hrs riding that entire network when I was there.  I don't mind pedaling.

Later, -CJB

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just want to say Thanks for all the great info and insight this thread gave me for my first trip up there, last month.  only got 2.5 days of riding, with the .5 being in the middle of a turd floater at Coler.  Back 40 was fun, too, if submerged in a couple places (which didn't stop the many preriders or race organizers I came across).  Team CCW.

I'm not Billy Badass by any means, but these make me smile on non-ride days.  Enjoy.

 

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