The Brown County Breakdown is becoming a tradition that brings mountain bikers to the hills of southern Indiana to enjoy a truly epic weekend. The Breakdown is unique in that men, women, young, old, pro and amateur riders all ride together to raise money for the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association. The 6th annual event was held on October 9-10, 2010 and over 600 mountain bikers enjoyed the atmosphere of one of the most popular mountain bike events in the country. The 2010 event saw more families than ever before, and riders of all ages took part in both the Saturday demo and Sunday ride.
On Saturday, October 9, vendors setup early in the morning to display new bikes and products to hundreds of park visitors, ride participants. Demo bikes were available from Trek, Cannondale and Scott while Saris, SRAM, Magura, SKS-Germany and Mavic showed off new product for 2011. While some riders checked-in at the registration table for the weekend, other stopped by the HMBA and Friends of Brown County State Park booths to discuss the partnerships and pride of building a trail system that is shared by so many.
As the day progressed, riders from across the country began arriving, some as far away as Colorado and New Mexico. More than 200 campers setup their tents or RV’s in the exclusive on-site camping at the Start/Finish area, and the great music and lively atmosphere was made even better with lots of delicious, free beer from Upland Brewery of Bloomington, IN. Winners of a raffle were announced during the free beer on Saturday evening. RayAnne Peplinski of Louisville, KY took home an outdoor patio heater provided by ProPane Inc. of Brownsburg, IN, while Jake Garner of Indianapolis rode off on his new Cannondale Scalpel 5 mountain bike. The bike was provided by Nebo Ridge Bicycles of Carmel, IN. Raffle tickets were sold through out the day to raise more than $2500 for HMBA.
On Sunday, riders gathered in the early morning hours to check-in, enjoy the coffee provided by Revolution Bike & Bean of Bloomington, IN and ready themselves for one of the toughest and most rides in the Midwest. Participants chose routes of 20 to 100 miles and for many who have participated each year, each subsequent event offers new goals and new challenges to overcome. With the sounds of bluegrass music in the crisp morning air, the longer distance riders were the first to leave. For nearly an hour groups continued to head onto the course in 4-5 minute waves.
Participants enjoyed a tour of the beautiful Brown County mountain bike trails before reaching the first sag stop at the top of the two-mile Hesitation Point climb. Riders were greeted by the Friends of Brown County State Park who provided goodies and water along with one of the best views in the park. For the 20 mile riders, this would be the turn around point before heading back to the Start/Finish area. Over 500 riders continued on to the Hidden Cabin sag stop where they enjoyed Subway sandwiches provided by Nebo Ridge Bicycles in addition to the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pretzels, cookies and more.
Located beyond the boundaries of Brown County State Park, riders endured powder-dry trails and near white-out conditions as they headed south on horse trails only accessible on this one day of the year. As riders made their way down the steep trail leading into the Hidden Cabin, live bluegrass music could be heard coming from the cabin porch and riders found the bounty of food that had been laid out before them. For many riders, the biggest relief was the on-site mechanical support provided by Joe’s Cycles of Indianapolis, IN.
The Hidden Cabin, which is the turn around point for the 40 mile riders, is a place where riders can refuel and re-energize before continuing along their chosen route. Some turn around and head north up the ridge line where they will once again enjoy the fast, flowing trails of the Brown County State Park trail system. Others choose to continue beyond the Hidden Cabin to take on the more rugged trails of the Hoosier National Forest.
A record number of more than 200 riders continued on the Nebo Ridge trail to the 60 mile turn around at the Maumee Bridge sag stop. Here riders received one of the biggest surprises of the weekend when HMBA’s Grill-Master Kirk Wheeler provided hamburgers, brats and hotdogs to recharge riders before they continued on their way. Once at the bridge, 75 mile riders completed a 10 mile loop on the Hickory Ridge trails before heading back to the Hidden Cabin while the 100 mile riders complete an additional, brutal 30 mile loop on the Hickory Ridge trails. With more than 570 participants, only two completed the official 100 mile route. Congratulations to Bill Williams of Indianapolis, IN and Alex Harrington of Bloomington, IN for completing the truly epic 100 mile course.
Upon their return to the Finish line, riders were greeted by friends and family along with a huge hog roast from Jug’s Catering and live music. Jonathan England of Indianapolis played early in the afternoon and was followed up by the Gateway Trio,a long-time Nashville, Indiana favorite.
On Sunday, riders were randomly selected to win prizes in the sponsor raffle. Items were donated by SRAM, Giant, SKS-Germany, Continental, Fizik, Saris, Brown County CVB and Bicycle Outfitter Indy. Edward Hale of Carmel, IN won a Giant 3-Speed Cruiser provided by Bicycle Garage Indy while Peg Lindenlaub of Nashville, IN won the Saris Bones RS Bike Rack. Ben Miller of Indianapolis won a Kinetic Rock ‘n Roll Trainer and Lori Levernez of Bloomington won a Garmin Edge GPS, both provided by Bicycle Outfitters Indy. SRAM provided a set of Elixir CR brakes won by Mark Sullivan of Galveston, IN while Amber McClung of Beavercreek, OH won the Reba XX Fork.
No matter what challenge over the last six years, the Brown County Breakdown has continued to grow and improve. The 2010 event was no exception and raised a record $18,000 for the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association to build and maintain mountain bike in the state of Indiana.
Thank you to all our participants, sponsors and especially our volunteers. The Brown County Breakdown continues to grow not only in the number of participants, but in the number of individuals who volunteer their time to help the event run smoothly and professionally. We would like to thank Scott Spitz of Indianapolis, IN for designing the 2010 event t-shirt and to Philip Hurst of Cincinnati, OH for designing the event flier. We would also like to thank the CORA National Mountain Bike Patrol for once again patrolling trails during the event and helping with any medical or mechanical issues they may have encountered. Finally we would like to thank all our event sponsors and demo participants for taking part in this unique and special mountain bike event. We hope to see you all again in 2011.
Tania and Jonathan Juillerat