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Fontana Festival Takes Kids Mountain Biking

What's a great way for kids to enjoy the outdoors? Take them on a mountain bike ride. And that is just what happened on July 19th thanks to the organizers of the Fontana Fest. The Fontana Fest Mountain Bike Festival is a family-oriented fundraiser to benefit The Mountain Community School Bike Club. The festival features group rides to Tsali and Fontana Village trails, live music, games and contests, and much more. This year Rusty Sprocket Productions and Pisgah Area SORBA partnered to put on a kids ride.

The SORBA Trips for Kids bikes, which at stored at Gainesville State College, where loaded up and delivered to the event via the Subaru Tour de SORBA Forester. We fitted a few bikes at Fontana Village Saturday morning and then headed over to Tsali for a ride. It was a beautiful summer day to explore the Thompson loop trail. Tsali has long been a mountain bike destination in the southeast and we saw a few familiar faces, jerseys and bikes on the trail.

After a short talk about safety and trail etiquette Darrin Tinsley added the final word on having fun. So we did. Within the first few miles the group of twenty began to show signs of sub-groupings of speed and ability. We had some great teams working with the kids and making sure everyone was having a good time. Snacks were provided by Soy Joy, so we took a break just pasted the half way point on the loop. What a wonderful sound young riders make in the woods, I even hear a few older kids vocalizing their enjoyment with a Woo Hoo now and then. The idea of a swim back at Fontana Village kept everyone moving on the final mile or two of the trail. Six of our riders were taking their first mountain bike ride in the woods. Word is some of them have been visiting local bike shops to get a bike of their own, very cool.