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Northwest Arkansas Cycling Adventure with the Garmin Forerunner 945

Northwest Arkansas Cycling Adventure with the Garmin Forerunner 945

By Natalie Cagle

There’s a little tucked away jewel in Northwest Arkansas that has earned a good reputation in the cycling community. Amid the clear creeks and Ozark mountains are miles and miles of trails both singletrack, as well as dedicated trail systems for running/walking/riding.

A friend of mine invited me to ride the Razorback Greenway Trail that stretches from Bentonville to Fayetteville, Arkansas. In its entirety the trail stretches 36 miles one way and is completely off the road, away from cars, except for a few intersections you must cross. It winds around lakes, springs, through forests and farmland until you reach either Bentonville or Fayetteville, depending on your start. We started out in Bentonville, and before we started had to fuel up at, The Meteor, a local coffee/wine/bike shop that fits perfectly into the cycling vibe that Northwest Arkansas has built.

This was my first time to use the Garmin® Forerunner® 945 so please learn from my mistakes. 😊  This is an incredibly robust training device. As a Corning® Gorilla® Glass employee, I knew that the 945 uses Gorilla® Glass DX on this device. I also know the material science behind why it’s helpful. However, using it in action on my ride made the value of having it on the device even more apparent (no pun intended). Essentially Gorilla Glass DX is a glass composite that helps you to see the watch face better when outdoors, with the bonus of providing durability. That’s important when you’re training because you frequently look down at your Garmin to see how far you’ve gone, how much you have left, if your heart rate is up too high/too low etc. you get the idea.  And for someone who is clumsy like me, having the durability is nice when you accidentally bang your watch against the railing on a bridge, like I did right before I snapped the picture below.

We started out the day in sprinkling rain but as the day went on, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. The first thing I did on my Garmin was navigate to “Bike” and press start. This defaulted to a setting that looked like it was measuring splits of five miles. Every five miles it would tell me how fast the previous five miles had been. I can see how this would be useful, but this ride was more casual, so I didn’t really need that. Also, I (my ego?) feel the need to disclaim since my stats are on display here that this was a very slow ride and when I took pictures the speed reads zero because I was stopped. #JustSayin

We went through tunnels several times and I noticed when I looked down in the second tunnel that the screen seemed to be lit up or more readable without pushing anything. I thought that was handy, so I snapped a photo of that too.

We stopped in Fayetteville for brunch at a little place called The Farmer’s Table and I saved my ride to that point so I could tinker with the settings. Over brunch I realized I had actually stopped my ride in a little town in Springdale when we stopped to go to the bathroom, so at this point I actually had two saved rides. One that was 19 miles and one that was 12.78 miles. Letting my Garmin newbie colors shine here!

Before we headed back out, I changed the way I was recording the ride from Fayetteville back to Bentonville. This time I navigated to Bike and then to options to “set a target” and chose “distance only” and input the number of miles I thought it would take us to finish.

On our way back we stopped in Springdale again and cooled off with some cider slushees at The Black Apple Cidery. The sun was shining bright at this point and with a quick flip of the wrist I could see that I still had good visibility to read the watch face on my Garmin despite the sun.  Go Gorilla Glass DX!

I ended the ride with a total of 64.1 miles, and no ride would be complete for me without ice cream. At the end of the day we topped off the ride with a visit to Trash Creamery not too far from Bentonville Town Square.

 

I downloaded the Garmin Connect™ app and it can sync with all sorts of health data apps which proves interesting after a ride, especially if you’re training for a race or event in particular. I look forward to continuing to explore how to train with my Garmin Forerunner 945 for an upcoming race. If you have any tips you think I should know be sure to let me know on the Gorilla Glass social channels. Trust me, I’ll see them. 😉

About Natalie Cagle

Natalie is the Digital Marketing Manager for Corning® Gorilla® Glass. When she’s not doing mom things for her kids, or convincing her dog not to be lazy, or nerding out on digital stuff, she rides her bike, swims and runs…and when she’s feeling particularly nutty she does all three in a triathlon.