Memorial Day is a time to celebrate. Over the three day weekend we will celebrate many things: those we have lost in war, an extra day off from work, friends and family, hot dogs – so many hot dogs – and of course the official arrival of summer. Not sure how official it is, but for most, the last weekend in May kicks off the summer season and Labor Day closes it. The kids are out of school – or nearly – the weather is hitting that mid 70s sweet spot, the trees and flowers are in full regalia. Yes, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to get outside and celebrate this beautiful country we live in and all it has to offer in the outdoors, but it is not all backyard barbeques, beer, and beaches. Memorial Day weekend is also a time to gather with loved ones – or nice strangers – and give something back.
Fortunately, if you are a mountain biker in Virginia, you can do it all at the annual Virginia Mountain Bike Festival. The Virginia Mountain Bike Festival is an event celebrating mountain biking in Virginia National Forests, and is organized by Shenandoah Mountain Touring, based out of Harrisonburg. Part bicycle jamboree, part hard-core riding weekend, the festival has something for everyone, the whole family, and even those who don’t ride.
Beginning noon Friday and running through Monday evening at the Stokesville Campground – a private campground abutting George Washington National Forest outside Mt. Solon, Va. – the festival features events for all ages and abilities. There are organized rides that range from day-long epics to kids races, and everything in between that take off right from camp. Breakfast and dinner are provided, as well as maps, ride leaders, nightly bonfires and stargazing. You can also give a little back by participating in Sunday’s trail work session. Not into shredding dirt? The hiking is great, as well as road riding on Virginia’s vast system of country roads.
This is a great way to gather for a weekend of hanging with like minded people, getting out on the trail, and celebrating all Virginia has to offer the mountain biking community.