Blake Dawson, overall winner of the Sports men’s race, approaches the finish line.
Blake Dawson, overall winner of the Sports men’s race, approaches the finish line.
WINONA LAKE – The Do INdiana Off-road (D.IN.O) Mountain Bike Racing Series has been holding races at the Winona Lake Trails since 2002. Since 2005, it’s been one of the headliners of the Fat & Skinny Tire Festival, a three-day event celebrating all things bicycle.

Some muddy conditions on Saturday morning didn’t stop the series from hosting a wide variety of races ranging from pro and elite to juniors and kids. With a wide variety of skill ranges out on the trail, plenty were in attendance to cheer on the racers.

This particular race is just one of around 25 events D.IN.O will host all over the state of Indiana in a given year. Along with a trail run series, the mountain bike series consists of six races which will run until the end of August. Point totals from these races are accumulated.

Being held in the area for three years longer than the festival it now headlines, D.IN.O director Brian Holzhausen says the two are a perfect match for each other.

“When the festival started, we moved our race to align with it. We love the support, there’s no place in Indiana that supports our series quite like here. They’re the best,” Holzhausen said.

Chris Bowman was the winner of the Pro-Elite men’s race with a time of 2:13:52.5. It was a close finish, with second place rider Richard Mezo just four seconds behind.

In the Sport men’s race, Dennis Barber of North Vernon finished in first place in the 60+ age group. Barber has been competing in the D.IN.O series for 29 years.

“I enjoy riding. I felt good today,” Barber said. “It was muddy but it was a lot of fun because the way it makes your tires move it makes it feel like you’re going faster.”

Rindy Walton traveled all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio to compete in the Sports women’s race. She’s been doing the D.IN.O for three years, and says she’ll be back next year. Walton echoed Holzhausen’s thoughts on the community support of the race.

“I’ve met great people here. There’s the comradery, the fun, and people just supporting each other,” Walton said.