Bikefest may have growing pains

Published 9:20 pm Friday, September 18, 2009

Relaxing on his motorcycle and listening to the music, Dan Harris of Albany said he’s been coming to Bainbridge Bikefest for six years, and the new venue has offered a new twist to the annual festival—it’s roomier and more secluded.

He said he likes it, but for one thing, which may play havoc with the festival as a whole this year—the dirt paths around the venue are a little muddy from the recent rains.

“But it’s all right,” Harris said while the opening band, Evergreen, played at the venue’s new permanent stage.

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However, Bikefest President Roy Reynolds said this year the organization will have some growing pains, so much so that it charitable donations may be compromised.

As a result of the success of the 11 previous Bikefests, the organization has been able to donate approximately $650,000 to various charities, but because of moving to its new location on Pond Town Road, Bikefest has had to spend more money than anticipated to get the site ready for this weekend’s festival, Reynolds said.

And if rains persist, the gate receipts may be off if the weather forecast plays havoc with attendance.

However, Reynolds is optimistic that the extremely hard work by an army of volunteers weekend after weekend will pay off.

Estimates were that more than 400 campers were set up around the venue as of Thursday, and Reynolds said there were only a few who went to the old site at Commodore Industrial Park or complained about the dirt paths around the venue.

“We’re going to have a good year. Our gate is what it was last year,” Reynolds said Thursday evening.