Brown County Breakdown, Yeehaw Edition

Both Lisa and I came to the conclusion in early August that we would again attend the Brown County Break Down in Nashville, IN the weekend of October 8th. Unfortunately the BCB always conflicts with the Burnin’ 12 hour race.

Demo zone featuring Giant, Trek and Felt along with other component companies. Lisa fell in love with the small-frame 2012 Superfly 100 Elite. Uh-oh…

However, the BCB is so damn enjoyable, stress-free and awesome that I have no problem traveling the four hours to hang out with other like-minded midwestern mountain bikers looking for great food, fantastic blue-grass music and legendary flowy trails.

Yep, that’s her new love. She said it handled well and felt really fast on board. I’d agree with that; we were hauling!

The Brown County Breakdown is HMBA’s (Hoosier Mountain Bike Association) big fund-raising event for the year where they rake in upwards of $20K to fund their ongoing mechanized trail building at Brown County State Park and other local parks. The entry fee to the BCB is steep ($80-100 depending on sign up date) but you are rewarded with the above-mentioned music, food, beer, bike demos, raffles, and organized rides.

Lisa and I signed up for the 45 mile ride (on review of the GPS the 45 miler climbed 3,600 feet. The 100 milers got something like 9,000-11,000ft of climbing!!!!!). They also offer 25, 65, 80 and 100 mile lengths, however, the bulk of the 500+ attendees typically choose the 45 or 65 mile routes. The 80/100 milers are left for the racers because you really do need to haul butt… this year the 100 milers started at 8am and rolled in between 6-7:30pm… and remember, this ride takes place on a Sunday.

Yes, Sunday. That’s the only bummer for us folks in St. Louis. After the fantastic 45 mile ride and buffet-style mega dinner you can revel in some top-notch bluegrass but take note – you have a 4 hour drive home with work awaiting you the next day. Ugh!

Start/Finish zone as we all get into our respective mileage groups. We rode Pine Valley, North Tower, Aynes, Green Valley, Hesitation Point, Walnut, Limekiln and some open-only-this-weekend trails.

The musical guests this year included Danny Barnes on Saturday night (fantastic genre-bending banjo player from Austin’s Bad Livers who works solo now and has travelled with Dave Matthews Band) and the White Lightning Boys from Nashville, Indiana. This large bluegrass band rocked and filled the air with the yeehaw vibe.

Beer sampling on Saturday included Uplands Brewery and a newcomer called Flat 12. Both breweries were terrific. Had we arrived Friday night, we would have been treated to Big Woods Brewery, the local and talented microbrewery in Nashville.

The camping around the pool house with hundreds of other MTBers was just right due to the fantastic mild weather. And I can’t forget to mention the hot showers all weekend! Other folks from St. Louis included Luke (newport) and his friends, along with Dianna (muleskinner) and her family. Both groups ended up on the 45 mile route.

The ride on Sunday lasted about 5 hours including all of our stops.

Riding on the new Green Valley loop? Check!

Banjo in them woods

Random fiddlers and banjos in the hollers playing to the passers-by? Check!

On top of Hesitation Point chomping on cookies (5!) and getting ready for some technical Walnut

Homemade cookies on top of Hesitation Point while listening to the Whipstitch Sallies? Check!

Tech on Walnut? Check!

Ripping it pump-track style on Limekiln? Double-double check!!

Drop in to the Nebo Cabin for refreshments and music? Check Check!

The Cabin at the 45 mile turnaround. In a tight valley, this cabin is quintessential hillbilly deluxe.

At the end of the ride we both agreed that we would most likely be back next year. The vibe, enjoyable people, organizational prowess, music talentness, tasty good foodness and shred-nastic trail wonderfondness adds up to one hell of an event.

To miss the Brown County Breakdown is a bummer, indeed. See y’all out there next year??!