“If the price gets up to $3,000, I’ll buy everybody here a beer!” My attempted conversation is drowned out by the sound of 500 people cheering. New Belgium Brewery is auctioning off a signature “Fat Tire” beach cruiser bike. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Des Moines Bike Collective, a Des Moines based nonprofit. The man holding the current bid immediately raises his hand to increase his own bid to $3,000. And the cheers get even louder.
It’s a random conglomeration of people at the after party; bikers dressed in full matching bike tights, goofballs in costume, men wearing dresses and ladies with stick-on mustaches, fit competitive bikers, and out of shape weekenders just looking for a fun workout. There’s even a man dressed as a priest sporting half of a giant bushy mustache—a little odd but, whatever. This is my kind of party; active people who like to have a goofy good time, and I was having a great day.
Preceding this party was the Des Moines Urban Assault Bike Ride. Though the name sounds intimidating, the race was the exact opposite. Given eight checkpoints throughout the city, riders plotted their own route and raced to each checkpoint and back to Mullets Bar, where the race began. The catch, though, and the very thing that makes this race unique, were the tasks required at each checkpoint. Each checkpoint had an obstacle course, from a big wheel race, to swimming in the Ashworth Pool, ring toss, slip-n-slides, skateboard races and much more. The tasks were goofy, fun and kept you on your toes.
I want to thank Sarah of Osprey Packs as well as Brian of Ames Adventure Outfitters for setting us up with a team. I had never even heard of this event until I was signed up this year. The ride was enough of a workout to break a sweat, but not enough to dampen the mile-wide smile that was plastered on my face. The day had a fun, laid-back feel. Between tasks five and six, we stopped at a bar to have a ‘pick-me-up’ cocktail. And we weren’t the only ones with that same idea. People were riding together, laughing together and helping each other out with route planning. Then of course, the after party. Sunday Fun Day at its finest.
Peter Cutler is an Ames Adventure Outfitters Ambassador.