Bella Vista hosting portion of American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure ride

Premier cycling fundraiser adding a 2017 mountain biking event

The City of Bella Vista is excited to host part of the annual American Diabetes Association Arkansas Tour de Cure fundraiser cycling event in August, on both paved roads and soft-surface trails.

The 2017 event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19, starting in Bentonville at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art — a new location this year.

For the first time in Arkansas, the ADA has added a mountain biking component to the popular road cycling event. Riders are able to choose from three distance options — a beginner route of approximately 10 miles through Bentonville’s Slaughter Pen trails, an intermediate route of approximately 20 miles through Blowing Springs Park and a more advanced route of about 40 miles on the Back 40 trails.

All routes will be fully-supported with rest stops (did someone say bacon?) and safety personnel.

Registration is open now through the events website

“We have such a fantastic public trail system in Bella Vista — the Back 40 trails — in addition to Blowing Springs trails,” Mayor Peter Christie said. “We are excited to help host this fun event, which raises money for such an important cause — diabetes research and advocacy.”

This is the 16th year for the Arkansas Tour, and Director of Development Malorie Marrs said “We are thrilled to have the addition of mountain biking to our Tour! We hope this will draw more riders from across the nation, and we appreciate the support from our local community partners to help make this a safe and supported ride as well!”

Arkansas is the only Tour de Cure in the nation to have a mountain biking event included in the fundraiser ride. With Bella Vista having 50 miles of trails within city limits, in combination with the trails in Bentonville, and the recent boom of mountain biking in the area, adding to the event was a no-brainer.

Routes are available on the Tour’s website. Riders are encouraged to train for the event, and participate in the route best matching his or her abilities.

The road ride will take place as usual, and will still offer multiple distances to choose from. The 100K (65.7 miles) and the 100-mile road event will pass through Bella Vista, traveling north on U.S. 71 into Missouri.

The road cycling routes offer participants a three-state adventure, and since the Back 40 trails touch the Missouri line, we can offer the mountain bikers a two-state adventure as well, Christie said. That is something else that sets this tour apart from other states’ events, he added.

Visit the ADA’s website for more information on the event, to participate or volunteer and to learn more about what you can do to help fight against diabetes.