© 2016 Liz Chrisman imbaws16-1020-bw

IMBAWS2016

Mountain biking and Arkansas go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or macaroni and cheese. Peas & carrots? Whatever idiom you may use to describe the relationship, Arkansas has proven itself to be the mountain biking capital of the southeast part of the US. The volunteer efforts of so many Arkansans to maintain the five IMBA Epic trails that the state hosts as well as the surge of singletrack building that’s occurred in a frenzy up in the northwestern part of the state have put The Natural State on the map. But honestly, you’d have to have been living under a rock to not have a clue as to the relationship that mountain biking and Arkansas have had over the years.

That very population of NWA’s eyes were forced open, however, last month when the 2016 IMBA World Summit was hosted in Bentonville. This nearly weeklong series of workshops, keynote speakers, industry roundtables and tons of great soft surface riding was a “pretty big deal” for my native state.

When I was given the opportunity to play the small part of photographing the summit on behalf of IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association,) my state pride beamed and I was truly stoked to be a “tourist” in the world of the industry of the sport. Sure, I’ve MTB’ed for the past few years, but to be immersed in the culture and people that make the sport what it is today…darn cool.

Danny Macaskill, Hans Rey and Ryan Leech were the highlight of mosts’ week with a killer trials performance at the Rogers’ Railyard. These three legends had never (and probably will never again) performed together.

Enjoy some of my very favorites from the Summit below.

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