Dozens of sunset-painted bike racks rest across Northwest Arkansas. Whether you cycle or not, chances are you’ve seen them. These bike racks sit in front of local businesses, schools, restaurants, and shops. There are more than 16 bike racks in Bentonville, and two in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

“Painting gradients onto tiny rounded surfaces is no easy feat, but man, do they look sweet when you get it right. I love transforming something ordinary into something beautiful.

– Painter, Graham Edwards 

Inspired by the sunsets over the Ozarks, the slotted bicycle storage structures share the same color story as the OZ Trails logo. The original painter, Graham Edwards, says he broke down the seven colors used in the logo and created a simple gradient using Montana 94 spray paint.

This project began more than two years ago. Graham painted approximately 50 of the first bike racks and scattered them across Northwest Arkansas. Earlier this year, Graham trained two local artists to give the project to. Since then, the two artists, Nick Guerrero and Aaron Cheeseman, have painted 50 more.

This fall, OZ Trails is donating 20 bike racks to the Bentonville School District. Willowbrook, Centerton Gamble, Osage Creek, Cooper and Elm Tree elementary schools, Ardis Ann and Bright Field middle schools, and Lincoln Junior High School will be among the schools receiving these colorful bike racks. This donation is a part of a recent biking initiative to promote healthy living in Bentonville students and identify school infrastructure needs.

Communications Director at the Bentonville Schools Leslee Wright says, “These bike racks allow students to have a safe place to leave their bikes when they ride to school.”

On Oct. 6, Tom Walton rode his bike to Willowbrook Elementary School, where he was greeted by dozens of cheering students. Nearly 200 bikes and helmets lined the elementary school, with only a few chained to an actual bicycle storage structure. Principal of Willowbrook Elementary School Christina Hamilton said she plans to use the grant to buy the school more bike racks.

After explaining the campaign and announcing why Willowbrook Elementary won the competition, Walton presented a check for $5,000. The remaining 17 schools in the Bentonville School District will receive $2,500 grants for participating in the challenge.

Many factors go into making a city centered around cycling. Incorporating safe bike racks across Northwest Arkansas invites residents to bike places like the store, work, or school rather than drive.