Tom Walton parks his bike and surveys the surrounding terrain. Where I see modest hills sheathed in uninspiring winter brown, he sees cycling gold. "The return on investment that we’ve had, "says Walton, kicking at the Arkansas dirt with his mountain-biking shoe, "proves that building urban singletrack is a great model for rural America.

 

"In case you’re wondering: yes Tom is one of those Waltons, grandson of Sam founder of Walmart. And the modestly contoured Arkansas hills he’s hyping-maximum elevation maybe 1,500 feet-neighbor Bentonville, headquarters of the $500 billion company. The 34-year-old and his brother, Steuart, 36, are both cycling nuts, and they’re trying to do for mountain biking what the family business did for retailing: change everything.