The most memorable demo I’ve had this year so far was in the town of Bentonville, Arkansas. The local Juliana/Santa Cruz shop is called Phat Tire Bike Shop and it’s a beaut! I went in to the shop to say hi as soon as I got to town, and asked where I could go for a ride. I ended up going straight from the shop down the road a mile and into a super fun bike park called Slaughter Pen trails. I poked around a bit by myself that day, but then Phat Tire's GM, Scott Schroen, and local shredder Dustin Slaughter gave me a personal tour of the system after the demo was over on Sunday.
I didn’t expect too much from the trails in Arkansas, but I had heard good things from reputable sources, so I was prepared for anything. I was really blown away by the amount of work and planning that has gone into the local Bentonville trails. There's something for everyone, and after riding for a couple hours we headed to a local's house for a refreshing beverage to end the ride on a high note.
Everyone I came into contact with was happy and fun to be around, and were so welcoming! Two sisters from Kansas City even drove the four hours to come and demo bikes from me, and one of the sisters ended up winning the Juliana Photo Demo Contest. Yah!
Phat Tire sent out a crew to help wrench, and our local rep lent a hand setting up and chatting with everyone who had questions. The access road to get into the demo site was one of a kind, I got to drive the van and trailer over a river and really close to a small waterfall — definitely not typical terrain for a Sprinter van with a trailer!
I’d like to thanks Tandie Bailey and Dustin Slaughter for letting me sleep in front of their house, and everyone was very friendly and made the Juliana Demo trip Bentonville extra special for me. I can’t wait to visit again!