Alcohol tends to facilitate both good and bad ideas. Bad ideas come in the form of, say, the woman in Georgia who last month assaulted an officer with a plate of chicken wings after being pulled over for drunk driving. In contrast, a good idea would be the First Thursday Moto Rally, a monthly meeting of motorbike riders that Denverite Aaron Scott dreamed up last spring while drinking at PS 1515.
Inspired by the legendary First Thursday gathering at Dulono's Pizza in Minneapolis, which has drawn hundreds of motorbike enthusiasts every month for twenty years, Scott and friend Mike Blotz founded the Denver rally -- now in its sixth month -- because they wanted to hang out with other riders in a "zero attitude" environment.
"Anything with two wheels and a motor is welcome," Scott says. "I want it to be negative-free. I want it to be about the bikes."
Encompassing everything from scooters and mopeds to motorcycles and minibikes, the monthly event offers a chance for riders to network, learn a thing or two and "just fucking talk motorcycles," he adds. "There are a lot of old-timers who have been around for a while and really know their shit. It's just a great place to talk bikes, find a bike or hook up with people to ride."
And although Scott says he hopes to see more scooters and mopeds this month, he's really jonesin' for the vintage and the strange.
"Ideally, I want people to bring out the weird stuff and not be afraid to show up on whatever," Scott says. "The weirder the better."
The seventh annual Jack-O-Launch keeps 'em flying.
People do insane things in the name of competition. Take David "Cannonball" Smith, who set a Guinness record when he fired himself nearly 186 feet from a cannon in May 1998. Less than a month later, Danny Capps spat a dead cricket a record-setting thirty feet on live television for fame. And that same summer, the creators of the Aludlum Q-36 Pumpkin Modulator grabbed a place in the Guinness Book when their air cannon hurled a ten-pound pumpkin 4,491 feet.
The fifteen Colorado teams taking part in today's Jack-O-Launch (part of the City of Aurora's Pumpkinfest) won't be setting any world records, thanks to a 1,000-foot launching limit -- but that doesn't make the whole thing any less bizarre.
"It's just so crazy," says Aurora special-events coordinator Marie Addleman. "It's one of those things you have to see to believe."
Competitors will use air cannons, catapults and other odd devices to win points in various categories. The launch, which benefits Denver Urban Gardens, begins at 9 a.m. on the historic DeLaney Farm, 170 South Chambers Road in Aurora. For more information, call 303-739-7000 or visit www.dug.org/pumpkin.html. -- Drew Bixby