First ride of the season next week for Breckenridge Cruisers
May 31, 2012
Every Thursday night throughout June, July and August, a strange band of cyclists can be seen taking over the streets, bars, public spaces and parks of Breckenridge. While they may look scary, they are actually extremely welcoming, as anyone and everyone is invited to participate in this ever-growing weekly cruiser ride.Riding the nationwide bandwagon of burgeoning social cruiser rides (the Breckenridge Cruisers’ cousins, the Denver Cruisers, currently host the largest regular weekly social ride in the country), this group of hooligans and renegades, aka your neighbors, meet around 6 p.m. every Thursday during the summer at the Blue River Plaza, where riders mount their improvised steeds equipped with boom boxes, cup holders, flags, and sometimes fire and other accoutrements. The group has been in existence for about seven years now, hosting regular cruiser rides throughout downtown Breck. Originally founded by a Breckenridge ski patroller who shall remain unnamed, the ride was, according to current ringmaster Michael Tracy, “a super low key, underground event.” Tracy took over leadership of the seasonal, weekly cruiser rides approximately four years ago. “I’d say the best thing about the rides now is meeting new people and the growing involvement with people getting into wearing costumes for the themes each week,” said Tracy. “I’ve really modeled our ride after what Brad Evans has done with the Denver Cruisers – it takes a decent amount of work and planning to keep it together.” That work includes planning costume themes, planning a weekly route, and coordinating with bar owners so they can staff accordingly for the cruiser crowd. “The most important people are the riders that are there each week bringing their fun attitude, and the bars that have supported us from the beginning: Liquid Lounge, Motherloaded Tavern, and new ones like Ollie’s Pub & Grub, Ullr’s, and Angle’s Hollow,” Tracy said. “Not to mention the Town of Breckenridge for letting us do what we do on Thursday nights. We like to keep it fun and exciting.”Fun is an understatement when it comes to these types of social rides. The Denver Cruisers has doubled every year since its inception in 2005, with rides taking place every Wednesday night mid-May through September. “More than a thousand people show up each Wednesday dressed in full regalia to themes ranging from Pirates and Sea Men to Hobos and Hillbillies,” said ride founder Brad Evans. “I like to think of our ride as a well-oiled machine that supports the concept of fun, and the freedom that can only be had at the helm of a two-, and sometimes three-, wheeled contraption called a bicycle.”If you are looking to get geared up for cruiser season, check out Carvers bike shop in downtown Breck, at 203 N. Main. The shop not only sells Electra brand cruisers, but also carries all the accessories to retrofit that mom-bike you just pulled out and dusted off that you thought you’d never ride. “We stock Electra brand cruisers, but even more than that, we have all the bells and whistles, literally,” said 14-year Carvers manager Sam Breedy. “We stock banana seats, ape-hangar handlebars, springer forks, fenders, lights.” In a nutshell, everything you need to be cruiser-ready for summer, with a local’s discount to boot. “The cool thing is, we have these things in stock, we don’t have to order them,” said Breedy.The best way to keep up with Breckenridge Cruisers happenings-and weekly ride costume themes-is by following them on Facebook. Or, just show up on Thursday nights with your decorated two- or three-wheeled contraption, a smile on your face, and an excuse to be late to work the next morning.