Every New Year’s Day the Big South Fork Bike Club invites all mountain bikers to ride the Big South Fork at an annual event called “The Mail Run”. Bikers meet at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at 9 am (ET), January 1st and then hit the trails. “The ride is traditionally called the Mail Run because ‘neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of the night’ keep us from getting out there on the first of the year,” said Joe Cross, President of the Big South Fork Bike Club. The Mail Run consists of a choice of rides varying anywhere from 8 to 35 miles so bikers can pick the group ride of a length they are most comfortable with.
This January 1st will be a special ride since it will take place on the first day of the National Park Service’s Centennial year. In order to help celebrate the National Park Service’s one hundred years, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has partnered with the International Mountain Biking Association, Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, and the Big South Fork Bike Club to highlight one hundred miles of outstanding mountain biking in the park during 2016. The 100 miles of highlighted trails include West Bandy-Collier Ridge Route, Duncan Hollow-Grand Gap Loop, IMBA/Epic Route, Kentucky Bike Trail, Chestnut Ridge-John Muir Trail Route, and Hatfield Ridge-Fork Ridge Route. The International Mountain Biking Association now has a special webpage that helps bikers plan their routes on those trails.
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has almost 300 miles of trails that allow mountain biking and in 2012 was the first national park in the nation to receive the International Mountain Biking Association’s (IMBA) elite Epic Ride designation. “Big South Fork’s extensive mountain biking trails along with the IMBA Epic designation, is likely to draw numerous new users to this part of the country,” said Tom Sauret, IMBA Regional Director for the Southeastern United States.
For more information on the Mail Run and mountain biking at the Big South Fork go to nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/mountainbikeriding.htm or call the park at 423-569-9778.