Aimee Ross is no longer director of the nonprofit group Bike Bentonville, but she still promotes the area as a tourism destination for cyclists and mountain bikers.
In an email, Ross said she is now working on her own, choosing projects to work on that bring cycling to the area.
One of those projects is the Gone Graveling Festival. It’s a new event that will run April 28-30 in Bentonville and will include three days of educational clinics, group rides and community gatherings for riders who identify as women.
Girls Gone Gravel, an online community and podcast, and Live Feisty Media are behind the event. Ross is organizing the logistics.
“With the growth in gravel cycling and its approachability, we hope that Gone Graveling will continue to build upon the supportive community of women’s gravel cycling,” Ross said.
Ross said Girls Gone Gravel founder Kathryn Taylor visited Bentonville in June.
“She shared with me the idea of the festival and was intrigued by Bentonville and its interest in hosting a festival of this nature,” Ross said.
Registration opened on Dec. 7 and is limited to 250 women.
Ross resigned from Bike Bentonville in July. The nonprofit dates back to 2009 and since 2015 has been structured under the city’s tourism bureau, Visit Bentonville.
Ross previously worked as director of brand development for the International Mountain Biking Association when Visit Bentonville CEO Kalene Griffith recruited her to Bentonville in 2018.
Griffith said the job is still open, but the search will pick back up in January. She explained that the job title has changed from Bike Bentonville director to outdoor recreation sales and events manager.
“Cycling will be the key component, but it will also focus on other outdoor experiences in Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas,” she said.