Denver Cruisers to be featured in Travel Channel pilot with off-season ride

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People across the country may have their eyes on the Mile High City because legalized marijuana is officially a thing. But Denver's also going to get some national attention for another celebrated activity: its night-time bike parties. The Denver Cruisers are hosting an off-season ride tonight that will be featured in a new Travel Channel pilot.

The Cruisers don't typically do their Wednesday night group rides in the winter, but when the producers of the program reached out and said they wanted to feature the cycling group in the pilot, Brad Evans, founder of the Denver Cruiser Ride, decided to make an exception.

"There's been some news stories, but this is the first [time]...the Cruisers are being featured as something to do in Denver," Evans says. "It's exciting to have the Cruisers called out."

The ride tonight comes just weeks after the Denver Police Department announced that cyclists riding drunk will now be subject to DUI laws. It was a policy shift that concerned bike advocates across the city, including Evans, given that the Cruiser Ride typically stops at bars.

DPD has said it is not planning on doing any sort of targeted enforcement around these kinds of events -- and besides, the next Cruiser Ride wasn't expected to take place for months until Evans decided to schedule this one.

Either way, Evans isn't too worried.

"On the maps, we're gonna say... 'Don't ride drunk,'" he says. "I'm not paranoid about it. I'm trying to get people to be responsible. That's the best I can do."

Plus, it's not too long of a ride tonight, given that the cyclists will be focused on the reality shoot.

Continue for more about the Denver Cruisers' ride and the Travel Channel pilot. The theme for tonight's ride is "retro ski wear." The footage is expected to turn up in It's Five O'Clock Somewhere, a Travel Channel pilot hosted by Bert Kreischer.

"They're trying to capture the look and the feel of the Cruiser Ride as much as possible," Evans says. "Everyone's gonna come out and be themselves."

The ride meets at 7 p.m. at the Ginn Mill, which will be providing a first round of drinks, followed by a short downtown ride. Then, it's on to the Corner Office for an after-party featuring live music from Human Agency.

Given the cold weather, Evans says he isn't expecting the thousands that sometimes show up to their rides. But he notes that there are already more than a hundred people who say they'll be attending on the Facebook event page.

He adds, "This is more of a theater piece."

Evans says it'll be nice for Cruisers to get attention that's not negative.

"We get so much crap -- it's nice to hear the positive stuff and get that recognition...rather than just drunk assholes on bikes," he says.

Plus, the reality spot further cements Denver's growth as a bike-friendly city.

"How do you build that bike culture? You put in the facilities, you have a great advocacy group...and our job is to drive the culture," he says, adding, "The vibrancy of every city isn't ever focused on one thing. This is another facet...of Denver."

More from our Things to Do archive: "Laura Baker: Fundraiser for much-loved bike advocate seriously injured in crash."

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.

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