September 12, 2019 by: Kathleen Fleming
The Fall Color Festival
It is almost time for the biggest mountain biking event of the year. The Fall Color Festival isn’t a downtown shopping event with a parade, but instead a heart-pounding, fast-paced, gear-grinding bike race at the John Muir Trails. On September 28th, the best mountain bikers from all across Wisconsin, and beyond, will gather to test their speed and ability for short and long races held throughout the day. This family-friendly event is great to participate in or watch from the sidelines. Here’s the breakdown of the whole event so you won’t miss a thing:
John Muir Trails in Kettle Moraine State Forest:
Kettle Moraine State Forest is quite possibly Wisconsin’s best state park. The centrally located park is just an hour from Madison and Milwaukee, two hours from Chicago, and in Whitewater’s backyard making it the perfect spot for exploring. There are 8 separate trails winding through the forest which gives riders the feeling of seclusion and freedom. The Fall Color Festival will have bikers racing through the blue, brown, green, and white trails to see who is the best of the best.
Schedule of Events:
8:00 am: The park opens and bikers will start getting ready for the races. Any last-minute registrations can start at the registration booth but must be filled out at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the event.
9:30 am: The biggest race starts! Racers will complete the 33-mile loop around the Brown, Blue, and Green loops. Cheer for the bikers at the finish line or head into the woods to give the riders a mid-race boost of excitement.
10:00 am: Watch the 22-mile race take off! Riders will complete two laps on the Blue loop and one lap of the Brown loop.
10:30 am: Excitement will be buzzing through the air as the 11-mile circuit takes off. Riders will be coming in from the 33-mile and 22-mile circuits and cowbells will be ringing.
11:00 am: The 5-mile speed loop will take off. This is personally one of my favorites to watch as it is always a close race. Cheer for your favorite racers and see which one crosses the finish line first!
11:30 am: Now it is time for a challenge. The unicyclists will take to the brown loop and see who will finish first. This is a crowd favorite and a definite must-see. The beer garden and food vendors will also open up to feed the hungry racers and sideline motivators. Grad a drink and some great food to celebrate the racers.
12:00 pm: The parent & child tag team race begins. The children take off first with a lap around the Brown loop then hand off to their parent to finish up strong! This family race is a blast and you may even see some future gold-medal bikers amongst the race.
1:00 pm: If you’ve got a little one with you who wants to join in on the action, then the children’s ride is perfect. The grass has been mowed short to provide for a short, easy course that the kids will love.
This great event is so much fun to watch and even more fun to participate in. Bring your bike and sign up for one of the circuits to test your ability and speed. All proceeds go right back into maintaining the John Muir Trail network that so many love to ride and hike. Come to the woods for the day and relax afterward in the quaint town of Whitewater for a perfect weekend getaway.
Planning a trip to the Fall Color Festival mountain bike races? Book a stay at the lovely Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast in downtown Whitewater, just minutes from Kettle Moraine State Park.