South Florida

Fakawi: an off-the-beaten path mountain-bike ride

It started out as a fun adventure throughout west Broward County, but the Fakawi is now billed as the largest group mountain-bike ride in the state. Its name derives from a coarse joke.

The Fakawi ride — a meandering event with a name that makes sense when it follows the words, "Where the … " — will leave Markham Park in Sunrise on Sunday morning, with routes of either 15, 30 or 50 miles.

"It's something that you don't have to be an expert to do," organizer Jim Toural says. "Fast guys at the front, then smaller groups and, this year, an even smaller group for families. Sometimes, you get father and son."

Toural created the ride about five years ago by mountain-biking along horse trails and other paths in Weston and off U.S. 27. He attracted 70 riders his first year, and more than 700 in 2013, the ride's fourth. Alex's Bicycle Shop provides mechanical support and water stations.

"The whole thing kind of happened almost by accident," he says.

Toural marks the course the day before, then bolts out in front of the pack, encouraging everyone to follow him. Thin-tired road bikes likely can't handle the terrain of grass and gravel, he says.

The Fakawi mountain bike ride will begin 8 a.m. Sunday at Markham Park, 16001 W. State Road 84, in Sunrise. It's free to participate. Go to or search for "Fakawi" on Facebook.

Copyright © 2015, South Florida
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