Bike fest draws crowd despite the rainy day

Date Published: 
Wed, 09/30/2009

Stanhope — JORBA (Jersey Off-road Bicycling Association) held its second annual Bike Festival, a celebration of New Jersey mountain biking, at the Waterloo Village Concert Field in Stanhope on Saturday, Sept. 12. In spite of the constant light rain, the festival drew in nearly 450 people and raised over $2,800 dollars for the mountain biking cause and over a thousand food items for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. With only a few adjustments to accommodate the conditions, JORBA’s second annual mountain biking festival was a success.

Guided rides for all ages and skill levels included Allamuchy, Deer Park, and Stephens State Park. 145 participants were given a first-hand lesson of trail stewardship, carefully avoiding damage that could be caused by riding trails in inclement weather — a practice JORBA encourages.

In addition to the rides, Pat “The Human Vise” Povilaitus drew wild cheers as he performed feats of strength and professional biker and local hero Jeff Lenosky challenged riders — especially awe-struck children — to impromptu contests throughout the day. The Cyclecraft Skinny Contest, where participants balance across incredibly narrow planks of wood, drew in riders from kids on up. The Cycleworks Skills Clinics instructed riders of all levels how to navigate various obstacles, while at the same time, how to safely control the bicycle.

Inside the sponsor and vendor area, riders checked out new bikes and gear. Many took the opportunity to demo bikes out on the trails. JORBA’s member chapters exhibited photo displays and had volunteers on hand to talk with visitors about their work. Together, each chapter displayed the countless trails across New Jersey maintained by JORBA and their efforts to promote access to trails for all trail users and sustainable trail building.

As both an educational and charitable organization, JORBA encourages volunteerism and responsible riding, while advocating off-road cycling as a healthy, environmentally sound, and sustainable activity. Working closely with land managers, park officials, and other trail user groups, JORBA seeks to protect the rights and responsibilities of cyclists as equal members of the trail user community. With over 500 members strong at chapters throughout New Jersey, JORBA actively works toward conservation, development, and maintenance of multi-use, sustainable trails.

The Sparta Independent