The somber e-mail was sent out a couple of weeks ago. After six years of two-wheeled rumpuses every warm Wednesday night, after numerous beer-soaked bicycle shenanigans, countless inappropriate costumes and endless rides around the Circle of Death (a.k.a. the concrete circle in Civic Center Park), the beloved Denver Cruisers rides were coming to an end, reported Brad Evans, the Cruisers' founder and fearless leader.
Almost immediately, people suspected something fishy. For one thing, the date was April 1, and Evans has a habit of tomfoolery, whether it be spearheading drunken Santa hijinks every holiday season or rampaging through kitschy garage sales each spring with a rambunctious entourage. For another, the Denver Cruisers seemed to be stronger than ever.
Sure enough, Evans soon announced it was all an April Fools joke. The Denver Cruisers' Wednesday-night ride wasn't dead. In fact, the Cruisers were expanding to a second weekly ride from May until September, launching every Sunday at 2 p.m. from an as yet undetermined location.
"It seemed like a good fit to do Sunday afternoon rides," says Evans, noting that lots of people told him they'd been avoiding the Wednesday evening rolling party, which sets off at 7 p.m. from Casselman's Bar and Venue, 2620 Walnut Street, because they feared the hangover at work on Thursday morning. Now with the new ride, participants have all Sunday evening to recover -- plus the rides in June and July will wrap up at the City Park Jazz concert.
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The second ride also helps with the fact that the Cruisers themselves seem to be expanding exponentially. Evans' list of participants has expanded from 700 last year to 3,000 this year. It's become so popular that last year, Evans launched Kickstand Magazine, dedicated to cruiser culture nationwide, and reports that issue number four, their latest work, is 100-percent in the black.
Thanks to the success of the publication and sponsorships he's lined up for the cruiser rides, Evans figures he may soon be able to quit his day job as a realtor (he'll surely keep his unofficial side job as a hardcore local scenester). That's good, because he's busier than ever, having been tapped to run the bike parade preceding the launch of the city's B-cycle bike share program on April 22 as well as help organize New Belgium Brewery's Tour de Fat celebration on September 11.
"How I got to be the go-to guy on bikes, I nave no idea," says Evans.
Obviously, the folks in charge never caught Evans cruising across the Civic Center dressed in nothing but a wig and a dress.