September 26, 2008

“Happy Thursday!” Trouble in Boulder Cruiser Ride Paradise.

Below’s a great post on the troubles of negotiating anarchy vs community vs drinking vs. family fun when it comes to Boulder, Colorado’s wilding popular (thousands gather all dressed up to cruise around town) weekly Cruiser Ride. Excerpt via photographer Steve Z, who’s offered a photo feature for the upcomin’ elephant issue:


A few weeks ago, it was announced that the Boulder Cruiser Ride was disbanding. There would be no more semi-organized rides leaving from the Sports Garage. The group who has been active in the Happy Thursday Yahoo Group got tired of drunken mob shenanigans and decided to start meeting at roving secret locations. That much is fact, and is what is.

The Cruiser Ride grew to a point where it reached its maximum capacity, in its current form. The current format was everyone meets at one location, and everyone cruises the same route, and everyone stops and starts with everyone else. The crowds snarled the ride to a crawling parade, where drunken hooligans with a bad attitude could act like idiots and harass bystanders, hidden in the anonymity of a huge crowd. People bickered about stopping too much/not enough, riding too far/too little, too much booze and no booze. And most of all, the veteran cruisers wept nostalgic over the days when they flew through traffic circles under the radar with the breeze in their hair.

Boulder is a quintessential bike town. The ‘keep Boulder weird’ attitude has lured literally tens of thousands of people to experience and enjoy the Boulder Cruiser Ride over the years. That attitude will never die. It is here and it is in our blood. What we need is an even better Cruiser Ride. Last year swelling crowds led us to move the start of the Cruiser Ride away from the Sports Garage for the first time ever. Cruiser Ride 2.0 started at Scott Carpenter Park, and allowed the group to swell to over 800 people, until finally the ride reached the limit of how many people could fit through one intersection at one time. Megaphones, Ride Rangers, and Rules were all used to try to keep the crowd within control. But who really wants all that? So I am going to use my little quasi-media outlet to promote and spread the world about the Cruiser Ride 3.0. But I am going to change the name.

I have a dream, and it is called Boulder Cruiser Night. I dream of a Cruiser Ride that has no limits of size. I dream of a Cruiser Ride that has no limits of participation…for more.



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