Road to FloatLife Fest 4
Last month, the Float Gang went on a 9-day adventure to Bentonville, Arkansas to experience the amazing FloatLife Fest 4. Along the way we were able to meet some incredible people, go on some stunning rides, eat delicious food, and see some of natures beauty. Keep reading for a day-by-day breakdown from the road to FloatLife Fest.
The day started out with us packing the trailer full of everything we would need for the coming journey: 10 Onewheels, 1 powerful scooter, and hundreds of shirts, hats, and stickers. We even managed to pack a pop-up shop complete with a lounge for our booth at the festival.
It was a rainy drive that first day, raining almost all the way to the Florida and Georgia border. Despite that, we made great progress and made it from Orlando, FL to Austell, GA in that first day (a total of 450 miles) despite having to spend time hunting for an air pump and stopping twice to fill up a tire.
If you get an opportunity to hit a Buc-ee’s at any point, DO IT! The brisket sandwiches and beef jerky were amazing, as were the Buc-ee’s nuggets and candied pecans.
After spending the night in Austell, we woke up early and hit the road again. It was a cloudy morning as we made our way to sweet home Alabama. We had a quick lunch at Eugene’s Hot Chicken in Birmingham and made it to Memphis, TN by the afternoon.
We had enough time to take our Onewheels out and explore Memphis, riding up the Mississippi River at sunset and making our way to Beale Street (the home of the blues!). We happened to run into a local news crew who was filming the sunset, and the reporter started to yell at us! At first, we thought we were in trouble. But it turns out she needed a translator for an older man who was asking her for assistance. Luckily, we were able to help give the man directions back home and continued on our trip through Downtown Memphis.
A few minutes later, we ran into another Onewheeler, who just so happened to be wearing one of our OG Float Gang shirts! His name was Justin, and he was also on his way to FloatLife Fest. We chatted for a bit, then met up with some old friends of ours who now live in Memphis. We enjoyed a drink with them at Loflin Yard, explored the city some more, and then called it a night.
Despite the late night, FloatLife Fest was calling our names! So we got up way too early and made sure we were on the road by 8am. FloatLife was held at the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve just outside of Bentonville, Arkansas. We made it to town that afternoon and found the house we were staying at completely overrun with Onewheelers!
We had a fantastic time hanging out at the house all night, getting to know these people for real after years of interacting with them just through Facebook and Instagram. We shared a ton of stories with Bryan from This Fun Wheel (spoiler alert: be on the lookout for a collab with them soon) and even got to ride with the famous Bart Miller to go grab some food for everyone.
We had to make sure it was an early night though. The next morning it was time to set up for the festival.
We got up early and started the day by cooking breakfast for the boys. Then we got to work unpacking the trailer and setting up our event booth.
All set up for the start of the festival, we were able to take part in the evening group ride at the top of the All American Trail and over to the Red Barn by Leopards Loop Trail where organizers had set up a welcome party. We spent the night getting to know everyone else who had made the journey and had a moment of silence for Onewheelers who have passed away.
Then, we headed back to the house for one last bit of rest before the official start of FloatLife Fest.
The first day of the event was EPIC!
We quickly began welcoming Onewheelers to our pop-up lounge and selling Float Gang merch. Edgar bought cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches to give away to vendors and team riders. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to go around and introduce ourselves to all of the other vendors that we had not already met yet. We also got to meet George from DynaVap. If you ask us, George is one of the coolest person and the DynaVap is a neat little gadget. And Javier Starks, aka “Onewheel Wing” aka the rider with the highest mileage, stopped by our booth to say “what’s up?”!
Of course, we were able to get out and enjoy the festivities as well. We watched Bodhi Harrison from The Float Life host a trick clinic, then went on a group ride with Chavis Flagg (the “Mad Max” of Atlanta) where we ran into a kid wearing one of our shirts! We also filmed our team rider, Eddie Miro, on one of the gnarliest trails we’ve ever seen!
The first official day ended with a costume party. Edgar dressed up as a Care Bear with a Cloud over the Onewheel and made it to 3rd place in the costume contest.
We started the second day of the festival by grabbing some donuts and handing them out to all the attendees hanging out near Vendor Village. At our booth the great Jeff McCosker stopped by to hang out with us for a bit, Noah Onewheelin Dylan was caught on film teaching a local mountain biker how to ride a Onewheel, Floaty McFly was riding the Onewill Service prowler board, and we got to chill with the newest member of the Float Gang: King, a French bulldog.
The XR Mass race was this day, and it was WILD. Over 200 Onewheelers all racing at the same time! It was great being able to go to the bottom of the Thunder Dome Trail to watch the racers bomb the last hill on the course and practice their time trials.
And somehow, in between all of that, we managed to slip away for a bit to ride the Good Vibrations Trail.
The day was a whirlwind of events. It all started with the racers taking off from the Dual Slalom-style course on the Thunder Dome Trail. We then watched our first game of FLOAT, hosted by Jeff McCosker. Practically everyone in attendance lined up for a giant group picture, then it was time for the FLUX MVMNT Hooligan Rumble! The first one was won by Vinnie, and the 2nd was won by none other than Bart Miller’s daughter.
Everyone soon gathered at the Bentonville Brewery to celebrate the winners of the races. After the awards were handed out, there was a Row Sham Bow for a Onewheel XR. The same kid who we saw wearing our shirt during the Chavis Flagg group ride ended up winning!
We stayed at the Bentonville Brewery, hanging out with the homies and having a great conversation with Wren from Corridor Crew. Then we went for a night ride out on the trails! We met up with the crew at Leopards Loop and rode until the early morning hours.
This was the last (and hottest) day of the event. We ended up hosting all of the homies at our booth lounge since it was the best place to watch all of the events and still beat the heat!
First up was the Flight Fins Bonk competition. Gage Ramos broke the world record and won the High Bonk competition. Then 15-year old Samuel Lara (aka Send It Sam) won the long distance bonk with Flight Fins on. Cory from Armor Dilloz hosted the Onewheel Toss challenge, which was won by Bob from Bob’s Stoke Shop with a crazy long throw. Then there was the street style competition, where we got to watch riders like Bodhi, Tyson Hawk, Floaty McFly, and Chris Richardson shred.
Throughout the day we continued to get to meet some awesome people. Slydog is now officially one of the homies after hanging with us at our booth. And Michael from Flight Fins and Brandon from the Float Life dropped by to hang for a bit before saying goodbye.
And then, just like that, the festival was over. We had an early dinner at Las Palmas Mexican restaurant and went to bed exhausted.
Before leaving Bentonville we did an early morning group ride with the housemates and some other riders from South Florida. He waited until the last day, but Erick decided it would be a good time to hit a pole during this morning ride and take a spill. Luckily he just got scraped up and is all good.
We then grabbed some breakfast with the crew, packed up the trailer, said our goodbyes, and got back on the road for the trip home.
All told, we traveled 2,460 miles to get from Orlando to Arkansas and back again. We met old friends for the first time, gained some new homies, and experienced a lifetime of memories.
We can’t wait to do it all again next year!