Brown County event lures mountain bikers

Ride your bike through beautiful Brown County State Park.


of mountain bikers from all over the U.S. and Canada will take to the trails of

Brown County and beyond this weekend.


Brown County Breakdown is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Hoosier

Mountain Bike Association

, raising $65,000 for the trail building and advocacy

group over the past six years. The money has helped build dozens of miles of

trails in Brown County State Park – where the ride and related

festivities kick off – and throughout the state. Although Sunday's ride

is the major attraction, there's plenty to keep riders occupied when they're

not in the saddle.


routes ranging from 25 miles up to 100 miles, there's a ride for all ability

levels, said race promoter Jonathan Juillerat. Organizers are quick to point

out the event isn't a race, although plenty of friends will be competing

against one another for bragging rights for a year.


100 miles on a mountain bike is nothing casual; in fact, it's incredibly hard,"

Juillerat said. "The finishing rate for the 100-mile route over the past six

years hovers around 5 percent. I might not have the elevation that (famous

mountain bike race) Leadville has, but I bet it's just as hard."


for every rider looking for a challenge, there are dozens of others looking to

have fun on their bike, catch up with old friends and drink a lot of free beer.


beer starts flowing Friday night with a complimentary tasting courtesy of Big

Woods Brewery

, followed by an Upland tasting Saturday night. Beer from Flat12


will be poured during Sunday's post-ride hog roast.


can also test ride the latest models from Trek, Giant and Felt from 10 a.m. to

5 p.m. Saturday. A free family fun ride is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday as well.


an event named after the title of one of Bill Monroe's best-known songs, the weekend's

entertainment will be heavy on the bluegrass. Local favorites New Old Calvary

will play Saturday evening, followed by national recording artist Danny Barnes.

Barnes, described by Juillerat as "the only banjo player you'll see on stage

wearing a Melvins T-shirt," is a cutting-edge bluegrass performer who's shared

stages with the Dave Matthews Band and country troubadour Robbie Fulks in the



Lightning Boys will perform Sunday afternoon. Musicians will be scattered

through the course during Sunday's ride as well, with Weed Patch Music Company

playing at the well-known hidden-cabin stop.


is the first year the Breakdown is exactly how we originally envisioned it

– it's really a music festival with weekend camping and an epic bike

ride," Juillerat said. "We already have these great trails that are on par with

the best the country has to offer. Every year we add more activities to the

weekend and get more people. It makes me proud when someone tells me they drove

10 hours or more to get here."


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