Mission Statement

 
Friends of Arkansas Single Track (FAST) is a dedicated group of volunteers working together to develop and maintain the Bentonville, Arkansas off-road trail system at Slaughter Pen mountain bike park and Blowing Springs in Bella Vista, Arkansas. FAST promotes off-road cycling, hiking, and trail running in Northwest Arkansas, educates the community, and is working to make our community bike friendly and safe. In addition, FAST is growing the amount of volunteers by encouraging a fun, family friendly, and team like atmosphere.

Where To Ride

The Slaughter Pen trail system is part of an ongoing downtown revitalization. Our single-track philosophy is centered on supporting active lifestyles in Bentonville. The trail system is designed with a simple goal: create a trail that challenges riders and provides opportunities for skills improvement every day. Over the years, the best single-track we’ve come to know are not smooth and effortless, but rather the type that challenge riders to step out of their comfort zones. It’s when you surpass the challenge that the real rewards are felt in the endorphins, smiles, and laughs. This trail system incorporates progressive features, but also takes into account all riders by providing alternate lines for all skill levels. Technical features, like rock squeezes and stairs are quintessential components. Slaughter Pen provides quality single-track located near the heart of Bentonville so our hardworking residents could have one of the best trails seconds away from their office or house. The All-American trail is a gateway trail to the Slaughter Pen trail system for beginners and families. The All-American trail is a soft surface trail that parallels the paved Crystal Bridges trail which is easily accessed from the Downtown Square.
Blowing Springs Walking and Biking Trails offers 6.3 miles of natural-surface trails at Blowing Springs Park in Bella Vista. The rolling contour trails range from two to three feet wide. The trails are designed to be used by pedestrians and mountain bikers of all age and skill levels. The trails have been designed to take advantage of the park’s natural beauty, including its many bluff lines, springs, caverns and established natural habitat. One of the trails’ highlights is a 30-foot bridge that leaves a rock shelf to connect to the trail below that winds around to a “natural air-conditioned cavern,” which releases 60 degree air. The trail system includes a total of eight bridges and 15 benches. Given the terrain, some of the trails are inherently more challenging; however, the trail was built with safety and sustainability in mind.
The Lake Leatherwood trails are a mix of singletrack and fireroads that offers some of the best mountain biking around. The ride is not overly technical so intermediate riders should have no issues, beginners may be on and off there bike a few times but should be able to tackle a large percentage of the trail. Some of the more technical aspects to the trail are some semi-steep downs, switchbacks, rocks, and creek crossings. The outer loops are more technical so more experienced riders should head over to that section. The trails are well maintained and well marked.

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Meet The Team

Gary Vernon
President
Gary is the Director in the Environmental Division of Walmart Inc. He is a longtime bicycle and motorcycle competitor starting with BMX in grade school. He has competed in motocross and motorcycle observed trials for over 25 years. He fell in love with mountain biking in the early 90’s. Gary has a son Grayson Vernon, a daughter Abigail Vernon and is Married to Aimee Vernon. The Vernon’s are all avid cyclist and help support the trail systems in Bentonville and Bella Vista.
Dale Bailey
Founder
Dale's passion for mountain biking started when Slaughter Pen Hollow trail system opened back in 2007. In just a short time after the trails opened, Dale along with Tim Robinson got together to organize FAST as an effort to give back to the trail system and to give back to the city of Bentonville. Dale not only loves being in the outdoors maintaining and building new trail, he also enjoys teaching beginning bikers the basic skills needed to launch their own passion for mountain biking.
Angie Bailey
Secretary
Angie, an outdoor enthusiast, along with Dale Bailey got together to organize FAST as an effort to give back to the trail system and to give back to the city of Bentonville.
Greg Pool
Treasurer
I bought my first mountain bike (Trek 4500) in 2003. I was living in Houston, had a very stressful job, and had put on a lot of weight. At 260 lbs, unhealthy lifestyle, and a house full of little kids – I knew I had to change something to be the healthy grandpa or even to see them grow up. I started riding to lose weight and found that it was not only a great way to stay fit but I loved the lifestyle and the community rewards. We all started cycling as a family and when we moved to NW Arkansas in 2007 our activity level exploded! I met Gary Vernon on the trail and he invited me over to his house to work on my bike. Not long after we held our first FAST meeting at the old Phat Tire location and the rest is history!
John Nichols
Workday Director
John started mountain biking in 2007 for fitness and immediately fell in love with the sport. He began Cross Country Mountain Bike racing in 2008 and continues to race in the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series (AMBCS). He is a certified International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) skills instructor. John believes in giving back to sport he loves through volunteering with trail building, trail maintenance, and teaching mountain biking skills. When not on the trail, John is a Project Manager in Supply Chain Innovations at Walmart Stores, Inc.
Chuck Woods
Director of Equipment & Trails
Chuck is a Freight Specialist at Con-Way Multi-Modal. He began mountain biking in 2002 when he moved to Bentonville. He raced for a couple years in the AMBCS Series and has promoted mountain biking events in the area. Now enjoys getting out doors and enjoying the beautiful scenery we have in North West Arkansas. Very excited about the growth of biking in our area looking forward to a tremendous future. Chuck is married to Carol has 2 daughters Lauren and Bailey all of which are outdoor enthusiasts.
Carlie Mock
Director of Solid Waste & Recycling
Through years of playing and camping in the woods, I developed my passion for the outdoors. In April 2007 I purchased my first mountain bike, GT Avalanche 3.0, hard tail. The Mtb world didn't know what hit 'em! My passion soon turned into obsession with riding my bike. I loved the strength I developed, but mostly I loved seeing nature from a new aspect. I rode as much as possible with any free time I had. With all that time spent on the trails, I began noticing changes, both natural from rain and erosion to the wear and tear from other passionate riders. My mindset was and still is, "If I'm going to ride these trails, then I'm going to help maintain them." A means of paying it forward for others and to show respect for having trails to ride.
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