Mountain Biking

Weekend promotes mountain biking and friendship | Local News – Batesville Herald Tribune

The aim of the sixth annual Hassmer Fest is to grow southeast Indiana’s mountain biking community. It takes place from 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, through noon Sunday, Sept. 29, at Versailles State Park. The sponsoring Southeast Indiana Mountain Bike Association will use all proceeds to construct and maintain trails there.

What’s new at Hassmer Fest this year? “We have a new local band playing for us, Classic Rock Band,” Saturday from 8-10:30 p.m., reports SIMBA Treasurer Lucinda Dunbar, Batesville.

Also, Jess Beck, Fort Wayne, will perform at night with lighted and fire-lit hula hoops. SIMBA logo temporary tattoos will be handed out, too.

Several group rides are planned, women’s and night rides Friday, and a couple more Saturday.

A new shuttle will take riders to and from the park’s Hassmer Hill side. She explains, “It will allow the riders that do not want to ride a lot of miles to ride the Hassmer side without being worn out.”

Camping, grilling and bonfires will be available at fest headquarters near the park’s pool, which is closed, but offers restroom and shower facilities. Trailers and RVs are welcome, but there are no hookups, according to her.

Many activities will keep kids engaged. The expert hula hooper will provide hoops and teach skills to children and the young at heart.

A chalk art competition will place two kids in each 4-by-6-foot frame. They can draw whatever they want. “The only criteria is that the artwork has to have a bicycle drawn in it. Each picture frame will have a number” so festgoers may vote for their favorites. The winner and second and third places will get small prizes.

She reports, “We will be having the bling parade again for the kids on Friday night. We are supplying the bling. There will also be the piñata Saturday evening. A bouncy house and straw play area will be back, too.”

A mountain bike-oriented movie will entertain families and individuals Friday night.

In conjunction with the fest, Sally Marchand Collins, Noblesville, a former professional racer, will teach a two-hour Sundance MTB Coed Adults Skills Clinic at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 28 for a $75 fee. A clinic for kids 7-14 follows from 10:30 a.m.-noon for a $20 fee.

The big raffle prize is a Salsa Cycles Journeyman Claris 700. Dozens of others have been donated by area businesses and the mountain biking industry. Tickets at $5 each or six for $25 may be purchased during the event until the raffle drawing begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

There’s a silent auction for a pig plus processing costs, thanks to donor Robert Pumphrey. Online bids can be emailed to by Sept. 26 at 11:59 p.m. Please use the subject line Pig Bid to ensure the bid is captured.

A beverage garden hosted by Great Crescent Brewery, Aurora, will be open Saturday evening, according to the website.

Dunbar likens Hassmer Fest’s mood to a big family reunion. “Even if you are new to the event, you will soon become a member and feel like a part of a fun-loving family.”

People should put this on their calendars because “you get to meet like-minded individuals who love to ride mountain bikes, love to camp, hear good music, hang out at the campfire and just have a fun weekend. Kids are welcomed and we are your babysitters for a good part of the weekend. We keep them entertained and safe.” One child told Dunbar at the 2018 fest it was the only time she got to see a friend. “We spend the whole weekend together!”

Debbie Blank can be contacted at or 812-717-3113.

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