Written by Chris Davis
For this week’s Adventure Arkansas I traveled to Red Star, AR to the 12th Annual Buffalo Headwaters Challenge.
The OORC or Ozark Off Road Cyclists is a non-profit organization who’s blazing trails and making a name for themselves around the country…
The executive director of OORC, Brannon Pack, helped spear head the operation.
“It started officially in 2006 with some rowdy riders just looking for winter recreation opportunities and we’ve seen it grow in an event that is now hosting over 450 riders today in the Arkansas Ozarks,” said Pack.
The OORC’s mission is simple.
“Is to advocate for build, maintain, preserve, sustainable, multiuse soft surface trail throughout the Arkansas Ozarks,” said Pack.
And you wouldn’t believe how long it takes them to get ready for this event, Chick Maxwell, the President of OORC explains.
“Decades of preparation go into getting ready for this event, some of the local folk really defended the forest that was here first off,” said Maxwell.
This year’s event not only brought challenging trails, but an experience like no other.
Both Nickel Potter and Scott Schroen are local hammerheads…
“It’s so cool to come out here and have 300 to 400 people this year to come way out into the woods with a giant group of great people and just have fun on your bikes is awesome,” said Potter
“This is mountain biking right here,” said Schroen.
The event is run completely by volunteers and members of the OORC.
“It’s a passion for all of these folks here not only too jump on their bike and ride, but also what the organization stands for,” said Maxwell.
The riders range from the smallest.
“It’s been hard, but fun,” said McKenzie.
“Some climbs are real steep and rocky, but I try to push myself,” said Ethan.
Some attending the event for the first time, Caleb High is from Central Arkansas and wanted to come see what all the excitement was about.
“Wow, yeah there’s a lot of people, a lot to take in, ” said High.
Of course the regulars…
“This is my 4th year out here,” said Potter.
“Yeah 4 years, ” said Schroen.
People traveled from states away to come join in on the fun.
“We all ride bicycles together over around Tahlequah Oklahoma, we wanted to come over here and ride this epic ride, have a good time with friends, and see the beautiful scenery around the Buffalo River,” said Mike Bingham.
His friends from OK also attended Tony Cornell and Jill Herrlein.
Mike is celebrating a personal accomplishment too.
“I am a lung cancer survivor and I’m glad to be here,” said Bingham.
Even girls are making great strides to normalize the sport.
Allie Corlett has been riding for four years now and she recently won a state championship…how’s that for girl power!
“Riding bikes in school, the teams that are starting to pop up, a lot more ladies are getting into it,” said Corlett.
Another rowdy rider is Katelyn Johnson, this is her first time attending the BHC, but she encourages other girls to attend next year.
“Come out and ride you know if there’s more girls and more girls riding so it’s really good to see a bunch of girls out on the trails,” said Johnson.
Once the riders have conquered the BHWC tomato soup and grilled cheese await them after a victorious day of riding.
For this week’s Adventure Arkansas, I’m Megan Graddy!
For more information about the OORC and their upcoming events, click here!
Segment Sponsored By: Adventure Subaru