Six years and hundreds of rides since its inception, Denver weekly bicycle meet-up, Loops, is bigger and better than ever. The free group ride meets every Tuesday rain or shine for a nighttime ride around the city, and organizer Broox Pulford says that as Denver's population grows, so does the interest in Loops.
This Saturday, June 28, Loops will celebrate its sixth anniversary with Pulford's version of an alleycat race followed by a big party and show featuring prizes, games and half a dozen local bands.
The celebration will be an extended version of a usual Loops cruise and cover around thirty miles of the city via bike trails and street terrain. Pulford says that alleycat races can be done any number of ways -- usually entailing a map with checkpoints -- but his version will be less about speed and more about fun.
"We'll have a silly task for riders to complete at each check point. That way it gives people who aren't the typically fast riders a more even playing field to go up against people who often win these races," says Pulford.
The tasks and checkpoint locations are secret until the start of the race, but the organizer says the route might include things like popping your bike tire and then patching it, doing push-ups or even beating a level of Super Mario Bros. on a TV set up along the course. The aim is to have fun and meet other people who enjoy city riding.
The Saturday gathering will also serve as the official the launch of a new Loops website, one that Pulford says he hopes can be both a hub for cyclists to get information on rides but also inspire others to start Loops events in their cities. Tempe, Phoenix and Santa Fe already host versions of Loops, and bike-friendly folks in Worcester, Massachusetts and Seoul, South Korea have recently started rides too.
"My overall goal is to get more rides started throughout the country so people can do it if they're interested in traveling to a new city and getting to know the lay of the land," says Pulford. "With a Loops ride, you can ride with people in other cities and get to know your way around."
The Loops sixth anniversary party and alleycat race go down this Saturday, June 28 at Bannock Street Garage; registration begins at 6 p.m., race starts at 7 p.m. Entrance is $10 to race, and riders get a Loops VI Race shirt, a spoke card and a chance to win prizes. Post-race show featuring Taverns, Mountain and the Hound, Best Creeps and Quantum Creep starts around 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Loops website and Facebook event page.
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