Bentonville Schools Compete for September Ride to School Prize

Bentonville Schools Compete for September Ride to School Prize

Competition to encourage healthy lifestyles and identify bicycle-related infrastructure needs around schools

With hundreds of bicycles on school campuses this year, Bentonville Schools is launching a competition called Bike Bentonville Schools. The effort aims to encourage healthy lifestyles among students in the Mountain Biking Capital of the World.

The Bentonville school with the highest percentage of students riding bicycles to class between Sept. 1 and 30 will win a $5,000 grant to use in any way they decide.

”Anyone who drives through our town in the morning or afternoon knows traffic is tough,” said Bentonville Schools Superintendent Dr. Debbie Jones. “I’d love to see any student who can safely get to class on a bike embrace this movement.”

The competition will also identify bike-related infrastructure needs around the schools. The district is asking teachers to report back about these needs throughout the duration of the competition so that information can be shared with city planners. The end goal is less traffic, healthier lifestyles and safe bike paths for all students.

The school district has also connected with Pedal it Forward, a local nonprofit organization that gifts bicycles to families in need. They are prepared to help any students involved who would like a bike but are not in a position to buy one.

The local community recognizes that cycling offers many benefits for students, including reinforcing healthy living.

Benefits of cycling for students:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Social health when cycling with peers
  • Contributing to environmentally friendly transportation

“Riding a bicycle is a part of the culture here in the Mountain Biking Capital of the World™, and that includes our children,” said Gary Vernon, on behalf of Runway . “Engaging the next generation on two-wheels is a fantastic way to teach them about health, physical fitness and the rules of the road.”

The competition is a public-private partnership between Bentonville Public Schools and Runway Group, with philanthropic support from Steuart Walton and Tom Walton. In additional support of the competition, OZ Trails will donate 20 bike racks to schools across the district in September.

Parents, students and teachers who post about the competition on social media are encouraged to use #BvilleBikes2School.


About Bentonville Schools

Established in 1841, Bentonville Schools is the premier public school system in Arkansas serving more than 18,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Twenty-three schools, spanning more than 140 miles across Northwest Arkansas, call the district home. Bentonville Schools is critically acclaimed for its academics, arts and athletics and is committed to excellence through innovative, inspiring learning experiences. For more information, visit

About Runway Group

Runway Group is a holding company in Bentonville with a commitment to moving Northwest Arkansas forward. Steuart and Tom Walton started the Runway mission more than a decade ago to sustainably develop and transform the Northwest Arkansas region into a dynamic “lifestyle” metropolitan area. Runway’s focus areas include property development and management, outdoor and recreation investment, hospitality, and new ventures and investments.


  • OZ Brands galvanizes NWA’s gravel scene


    Equal parts grit and grace, gravel cycling may be the fastest-growing segment of two-wheeled sport. What's happening: OZ Gravel, a lifestyle brand designed to promote the flourishing gravel cycling ecosystem in Northwest Arkansas, launches Monday.

  • Arkansas First Gentleman: Double outdoor recreation economy in a decade

    Canoe Outdoor Recreation

    Speaking about public-private partnerships, [Tom] Walton said, “I don’t have the foggiest idea how directionally which way they’re going to go all the time, but when you bring people together, you figure it out. And when you find the common thread, then it actually builds momentum and takes off.”

  • USA Cycling holds Grand Opening Event in the Mountain Biking Capital of the World™


    USA Cycling hosted a Community Kick-Off to celebrate its new satellite office and officially launch Bentonville as the new home of the U.S. Mountain Bike National Team. The event was held in the world’s first bikeable building, Ledger, on Thursday, April 13, 2023.

  • ‘Coolest’ airport continues to build on unique brand in Bentonville


    The airport is unique because of the hard work and dedication of many people, and relationships created between private and public sectors, said Bill Burckart, a City Council member who served on the Airport Advisory Board from 2009 to 2017.

  • Business or Adventure: Thaden Charters Adds New Aircraft to Lineup


    Operating out of Downtown Bentonville’s Thaden Field (VBT), Thaden Charters has long served as a first choice for adventurers and business travelers. The advantages of a charter flight over commercial airlines are many: Charter clients can skip the security lines, parking shuttles, and crowded terminals. Now, with the addition of…Read More

  • Sunny’s Turns Up the Lights on Catering, Coffee

    Since it opened on 2nd St. in Bentonville two years ago, Sunny’s has brought the light of thoughtfully sourced food and wellness programming to Downtown. Now, with extended hours, this community cornerstone has added coffee and catering to its mix.

  • Outdoor Recreation is ‘Big Business,’ With Room to Grow

    sarah sanders and bryan sanders

    “Northwest Arkansas has seen an explosion in the outdoor economy due to strategic investments in infrastructure and experiences,” Tom Walton said. “There’s no reason a person couldn’t start a small business or make a career in the outdoor industry here. And it’s the council’s job to make those opportunities visible…Read More

  • Walton, Dillard, Stephens discuss third generation Arkansas at LR Rotary


    Third-generation heirs of three of the state’s biggest businesses spoke with the Rotary Club of Little Rock Tuesday to discuss the future of Arkansas. Steuart Walton of Walmart, Annemarie Dillard Jazic of Dillards, and John Stephens of Stephens Inc. all moved away from Arkansas, but told the audience they decided…Read More

  • Arkansas looks to match Colorado in outdoor rec economy

    TS BSand

    Wearing ball caps and smiles, first gentleman Bryan Sanders and Runway Group co-founder Tom Walton met Axios NWA at OZ1 Flying Club last week to discuss the Natural State Initiative. "I really think Arkansas has the potential to be the equivalent or better than Colorado [in] 10 years' time in…Read More

  • Paddlesports Trade Coalition Formed in Bentonville

    Paddlesports Trade Coalition x

    Paddlesports industry leaders gathered in Bentonville, AR, January 25-27, for a leadership summit where the group approved the formation of a new national trade organization. The Paddlesports Trade Coalition will bring together manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives, retailers, and media to grow paddlesports in North America as well as monitor and…Read More