By Sue George
The Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club (SMBC) will host its tenth annual mountain bike festival near Harrisonburg, Virginia, on October 6-8, 2006. Every fall, a few hundred mid-Atlantic riders converge for a weekend of riding and camping in the George Washington National Forest. According to Club President Thomas Jenkins, "The festival is unique as a grassroots, all-volunteer event at which attendees not only play together, but also give back to complete a major trail work project each year."
The festival began in 1997 when club members wanted to host a fun mountain bike event for those visiting the area during the UCI World Cup Downhill Race at nearby Massanutten resort. Rides now occur on many of the same trails featured in the Shenandoah Mountain 100 endurance cross-country race. This year, special events include a kids' ride held in conjunction with IMBA's Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, a full-moon night ride, a dawn patrol trail run, and a women's skills clinic and adventure ride.
Proceeds from the festival support the non-profit club's efforts to maintain local trails. The club annually logs over 1000 hours of volunteer trail work. For more information, see www.shenandoahmountainbikeclub.com.