The New ROUTT RSL & ROUTT were put to the test during the 3 day adventure.
If you’ve been following Moots you’ll know that just over a year ago the company sold. Moots had been owned by the same individual for about 22 years or so. The owner at the time didn’t want to sell it to just anyone, or the highest bidder. He and his family cared deeply for cycling, the brand and the dedicated people that put hands to metal each and everyday. They cared so much that they wanted to leave us with just the right person at the helm. Finding the right person took about 5 years and like so many things that are just “right” that
person happened onto Moots in a very serendipitous way. He’s a super passionate cyclists and riding is a big part of his program. Last week he and a couple of friends departed on a ride they had put together that would take them from Little Rock, Arkansas to the IMBA World Summit in Bentonville, AR. Just a matter of 311 miles over 3 days, mostly on gravel. An amazing ride and pretty poignant way to show up at the summit. Brent wrote about their travels…..we hope you like it……
Ride to Bentonville
A passionate cyclist for many years, I found myself in Steamboat Springs in the summer of 2015 and took a tour of the Moots facility. You can’t help but fall in love with the bikes and the people as you tour the facility and I was no different. To make a long story short, I subsequently found myself talking to the Owner and was able to buy this tremendous business at the perfect time in my life.
Rain on day 2 gave them a bit of mud.
I’ve since spent a great deal of time with our employees, dealers, customers and other stakeholders to really understand the business and the passion of our customers. The common theme is clearly the ride quality of the bike and I’ve been blown away at the adventures of our customers and employees. Moots owners ride longer, they ride in more interesting places and they have a real spirit of adventure and I’ve seen this firsthand. Our employees are a great reflection of this and it has been inspiring to work around such an outstanding group of talented individuals who truly love to ride. The classic example was this Spring when we had our employee campout in Salida, CO. We had two employees who chose to ride to the campground, which is 180 miles! Just a normal day for this crew.
This adventurous spirit has certainly rubbed off on me and I now find myself thinking of cool rides I can dial up at some point. That is what happened as I started planning to attend the IMBA Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas. I was incredibly proud to have this event in my home state and tons of work has gone into the trail systems to ready for this awesome event. I ultimately decided that instead of driving to the event, it would be a lot of fun to ride instead. I knew it wouldn’t be as fun to just ride the roads, so a good friend and I got out the Gazetteer and started planning a route to incorporate as much gravel as possible and to include a tour through both the Ouachita and Ozark National Forests. It looked possible and we estimated it would be an approximately 250 mile ride, but an awesome way to arrive in Bentonville for the Summit.
Another friend, whom I didn’t know well, ultimately decided to join us and my good friend and excellent photographer, Bob Ocken, agreed to provide support and do some Moots photography. So we set off early one morning from my home excited to simply ride for 3 days straight. The beauty of long rides like this is the simplicity, the friendships created and ultimately the need to do only one thing – ride! We took advantage of dedicated bike paths and country roads to get out of Little Rock and head west to the Ouachita National Forest. At about mile 45, we hit gravel roads that took us right through the heart of the Forest. The scenery was stunning, the climbing was hard and unfortunately, the rain began. We pushed on though covering 60 miles of messy gravel roads getting both us and our bikes covered in grime but had a great day. We camped at dark at a flat spot we found off a gravel road and enjoyed a fantastic meal that evening under the stars.
We knew we needed to push on Day 2 to cover some ground, with the goal of another 100 miles. Again, we were trying to stay off the main roads and find the scenic routes, so the ride this day began with 40 miles of gravel. The highlight (or lowlight depending on perspective) was Old Highway 109, which was shown on the map going due north. And indeed it did for a while until a river crossing where the bridge was run down and there was no road on the other side. We were not in the mood to backtrack though, so pushed on, riding through fields and tramping through brush in a northerly direction until we hit a road and got back on track. A fun experience since it ended well of course. This day also happened to be Election Day and we were quite happy to be riding instead and commented on each “Vote Here” location we passed throughout the day.
Day 3 and we had to push to get to Bentonville. We thought we had about 70 miles remaining, but it ended up being 106! We started out though climbing up beautiful gravel roads up to White Rock Mountain. The roads in the Ozarks are some of my favorite with rock outcroppings everywhere, vistas at every turn and with the fall colors in full glory, it was pretty special. The climbs are difficult with steep grades, but you’re always rewarded with some killer descents. It was an especially painful day though with about 6K feet of climbing over 40 miles and as we neared Fayetteville, the realization of our miscalculation on distance set in and we knew we had another long day. Late afternoon, we arrived into Fayetteville and hit the Razorback Greenway, an uninterrupted cycling path that would take us all the way to Bentonville over the course of 31 miles. We knew we were home free at that point and it was high fives all around. We had to break out the lights on the last day and rolled into Bentonville at 7PM and it was a great feeling.
It was a fantastic adventure and through shared experiences like this, you create friendships that last a lifetime. The bikes performed beautifully and we all arrived safely at our destination.