BENTONVILLE — Amped Electric Games will host its first International Personal Electric Vehicle Games this weekend.
Riders from around the world will compete in the personal electric vehicle competition at the Benton County Fairgrounds at 7640 SW Regional Airport Blvd., according to a news release.
An electric unicycle is a personal transportation device that works on the self-balancing principle like a Segway but has only one wheel. The rider controls direction and speed by leaning back or forward. The rider steers by leaning or using their feet to redirect the steering wheel, according to FreeMotionShop.com.
“We are very excited about this event,” said Seth Johnson, organizer for Amped Electric Games. “We will showcase the best EV drivers in the country. Events will include on-road and off-road racing, show jumping, steeplechase and freestyle.”
Riders led by Chris Iwinski are expected to hit speeds in excess of 55 mph on wheels up to 24 inches in diameter. The jumpers plan to attempt to jump over a school bus driven by Mike Leahy on its lighter 18-inch-diameter wheels, according to the release.
Riders in the competition will use electric unicycles and Onewheel, an electric skateboard, Johnson said.
Amped Electric events have been held on the East and West coasts, but a more centralized location was sought for this event, Johnson said.
Riders from France and Poland will be in town, and both coasts will be well represented with competitors from New York, Florida, North Carolina, California and Washington, Johnson said.
Johnson said he has been planning the event since December and has been in town for the past three or four months to prepare. He said he gets some weird looks when he rides his electric unicycle and jumps at the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve.
“The electric unicycle is revolutionizing urban transportation and is the fastest growing new segment in green transportation,” Nathan Pust, founder of REV Rides, said in the release. “We are very excited for more people to experience this level of freedom in transportation and recreation.”
The first 250 tickets on Friday will be free, then tickets are $25 per adult each day and $20 for a children’s weekend pass, Johnson said.
Amped Electric Games has chosen to support the Childhood Cancer Organization of America, and part of the money from a 50/50 raffle during the event will go to that group. The Bentonville event coincides with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
During the games, people can purchase 50/50 raffle tickets to win one of two electric unicycles sponsored by Eeves and the Free Motion Shop.
Visit www.ampedelectricgames.com for more information.