All great things must evolve. Since the very first ride in 2005, what has remained constant is our commitment for Riding Bikes and Having Fun. While it’s true that change is never easy to embrace, with the 2017 DCR rides, we’re again doing something “different.” While this every-Wednesday tradition is evolving into a once-a-month celebration of bikes and fun; what we are embracing, and hope you will as well, is the evolution of the DCR from what it was, to what it will become. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that 1,000s of people would show up downtown, in costume, on bikes – turning it into the largest weekly social rides on the planet.
Creating and hosting this ride has been a wild ride from the very beginning. I’ve experienced just about every emotion since. It’s been an exciting, fun, evolving, excruciating, wonderful, anxiety-filled, crazy ball of energy all rolled into a blur of 12 summers. I can still recall the jitters I felt riding over to Paris Wine Bar for the very first DCR in May of 2005. Unwittingly setting the stage for what I would be doing nearly every summer Wednesday night since. Had I known what I was creating that fateful night in May, there might not have ever been a first ride. Fast-forward 13 years and the DCR still gives me the same kind of jittery excitement as it did on that very first ride. It’s this giddy excitement that’s why, instead of cancelling it all together, we’re moving to a monthly format. Same bike fun, just 5 times instead of 20.
One of the first “rules” of the DCR was to “not talk about the DCR.” Clearly, the fun we were having became viral, and people have been talking about it every since. As the rides grew from 13, to 65, to 100, to 300, to 3,000+, we continued to roll with these growing punches. Each year evolving how it rolled to some degree – but always with the same idea: Having Fun On Bikes. One turning point of the DCR came in 2008, on the 4th of July ride, we had made a stop in Larimer Square with 300+ people in tow at a bar that could maybe hold 100; as costumed riders spilled out on to the street, I recall asking Damon the Demon “who are all these people, and how did they find out about this?” Each summer has been like this every since. We kept riding, and people kept showing up. That’s been the absolute most amazing thing about this, and the bike riding fun that the DCR has spawned.
Every year since its inception, we’ve “embraced” changes. Eventually this off-the-radar fun we were having, got on the radar, and that required a whole NEW level of involvment. What had been essentially been an un-organzied free-for-all, quickly became something that needed a leader, and someone to answer to those that were asking questions… that was DPD and I was in a red prom dress. We’ve long worked to keep this bke fun real, but also dealt with what it required to keep it going. It’s easy to stay rogue, but had we done that, this institution that you know it today would not exist. This meant putting our big boy pants on, and being where the buck stopped. This single decision was pivitol in the success of the DCR, and why it’s still here today. (ask me in person what this is about).
It’s somewhat of a miracle that we’ve managed to keep the flash mob (is that still a thing?) feel to the DCR as it’s grown from a small ride to a very large ride. Perhaps that’s been part of the magic of what has made this so special? However keeping the rubber on the road has literally taken all my time (and several others’ time) to keep it going over the years. While this isn’t a complaint, it’s also a fact that being an “advocate” for Riding Bikes For Fun is not as lucrative as it has been imagined by some, and there’s been an enormous financial sacrifice on my part to keep it going. That being said, without the attention that’s been dedicated to this ride over the past 12 years, not only by me, but by countless volunteers that have contributed their time, there likely wouldn’t even be a DCR ride.
It’s absolutely true that riding bikes is FREE, but hosting a weekly bike party for 1000s of your best friends certainly is not. With the kickoff of the 2017 DCR, it’s not without sadness that we will be ending our support of a weekly series, and will be instead supporting a monthly set of rides. There will be a ride each month (all but Augus)t on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.While the format and time frame is changing somewhat, our love of bikes and commitment to host the DCR, is meant to honor it’s past, but also recognize the necessity to set this evolution in motion in order to provide for its future.
It’s our hope that you’ll appreciate our dedication to what’s become a Denver institution, and you will continue to support the DCR in a similar way that we’ve supported this ride, and your bike riding fun over the past 12 years.
Lots of love to each and everyone,
Brad K. Evans