Every year, Dave Williams and other local, dedicated volunteers organize “The Rumble in the Jungle,” a mountain bike race in Markham Park to raise money used to maintain what are some of South Florida’s best off-road trails. Today’s third annual Rumble in the Jungle attracted almost 150 teams and solo riders from as far north as Jupiter (On Your Mark) and as far south as Miami (Scoot Skate & Bike, RB Cycles, Everglades Bicycle Club). Registration involved a visit to a local Broward County bicycle shop and purchase of a $25 Home Depot gift card that would go 100% toward supplies used to keep the trails well-maintained.
The race is pretty laid-back. Riders from novice to expert came out to ride the 8 laps totaling 50miles of trail. There were riders at least as young as 13 (Go Chris!) to the… more mature cyclist. The whole thing is clearly a labor of love on the part of dedicated Mountain Bike Patrol volunteers and it was inspiring to see what some friends and like-minded recreational riders can do when they work together. Local shop, Alex’s Pro Bicycle Shop, donated the race plates. Redbull dropped off some drinks and shots. When a sudden downpour came to cool down what felt like record-breaking heat, everyone helped keep the gear undercover. Before the final count, it was clear that ride has raised upwards of $4,000.
If you’re considering getting on a mountain bike for the first time, why not ask around your local bike shop? Maybe a neighbor is at Oleta every weekend – or Markham, Quiet Waters, Amelia Earhart, Dyer or any of the other South Florida parks catering to off-road bicycling. Groups like Club Mud (Miami and Broward) and the Florida Off Road Cycling Enthusiasts, or FORCE (Palm Beach) are ready to talk to you and offer suggestions for your next off-road ride. South Florida is home to some of the most fun, supportive and engaged people on bicycles whom I have ever met. I’m so lucky that I get to meet more of you all the time – don’t be shy; come out, ride and say hello!
If you do want to race next year, you’ve got lots of time to prepare; the next ride is in March. Given the support from Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, organizer Dave Williams suggested he might consider having registration at some shops outside of Broward, too. The South Florida Bike Coalition was proud to help out and see friends new and old riding for all of us. Ride On.