About this Episode
Hi Folks, it's Lyn.
Imagine living in a town where multiple generations can bike together regardless of age or ability. Imagine leaving your car at home and biking to work, school, and social events on paths and trails that are clean and safe. Imagine this town also having programs to provide bikes to those who don't have the cash to purchase a bike. It's sad that this seems like such a pipe dream, but Erik and I had the honor of visiting a town that is doing exactly this.
In this episode Erik and I bring you Gary Vernon, the Program Officer for the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group. Gary serves an important role in developing the biking trail systems in NW Arkansas.
About a year ago, Erik visited NW Arkansas as part of a "flying car" symposium. At the time neither of us knew anything about Bentonville, Arkansas or the surrounding area. When Erik returned home he was so full of excitement and couldn't quit telling everyone he met how fantastic of a town it was. The biking, town pride, restaurants, and art all connected by a system of trails was amazing.
A year later we were both invited back to give a talk on Entrepreneurship at the NW Arkansas technology convention. After just a few days in Bentonville I also became a convert. What an amazing city.
The city is doing many things right. They're providing jobs for the community, creating a beautiful infrastructure and centering it all around a trail system that can be used by all levels and types of bikes.
Please enjoy this episode and think about what you can do to improve the multi-generational active lifestyle needs of your cities and towns.
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Mentioned in this Episode
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Oz Trails Opera
Some of our favorite quotes
Your external environment does play a role in how easy it is to find happiness within. (Lyn)
To get the kids off their screens, you've got to provide an experience for them that is fun. (Gary)
If you build it, they will come has certainly happened here. (Gary)
The secret sauce is that you can leave from the center of Bentonville on a bike and be on 25 miles of mountain bike trails. (Gary)
We know that the number of kids between 6-17 that rarely or never ride a bike grows every year. If this trend continues, in 20 years there will be no more riders. (Gary)
I would have been really easy to wish about it, think about it and not make a move; but sometimes you've just gotta go for it. (Gary)
If you want to try it [mountain biking] out, just borrow or rent a bike. (Gary)
Don't rent a really nice bike; because then you're going to want one. (Erik)
I'm very excited about getting more kids on bikes. It's really scary to look at the statistics on how many hours a day with videos, games, and phones that kids are watching that aren't appropriate. If you can get a child interested in mountain biking, it's a really healthy sport that's changing lives. (Gary)
About Gary Vernon
Gary Vernon is the Program Officer for the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group.
An Erik Lindbergh original.
Lyn Lindbergh's award winning book.
Photos from our trip to Manzanita, Oregon.