For some Boiseans, a bicycle is simply a healthful and inexpensive mode of transportation. For others, it's a way of life. The annual Pedal 4 the People is a celebration of bike culture for casual cyclists, career riders and everyone in between. This year marks the sixth annual P4TP, which has been shortened from from a full week to three days. Yet what it lost in length, it gained in intensity, with more than two dozen individual cycling events scheduled from Friday, June 23, through Sunday, June 25. According to P4TP organizer and Boise Bicycle Project Executive Director Jimmy Hallyburton, the action will be evident to residents and visitors alike.
"If you were from out of town, people would say, 'Something's going on in Boise today,'" he said.
As in years past, P4TP is open-source, and several people created their own events. The marquee events—Bike Prom, the infamous Helladrome and the Finale Bike Parade—each have a $5 cover charge, but purchasing a Spoke Card for $10 provides not only access to all three events but also eligibility for glory and prizes.
Mountain bikers, road cyclists, Greenbelt cruisers and even the most occasional rider can find some free-wheeling fun at P4TP.
"It's to get people excited and to get people close together," Hallyburton said. "These subcultures get to meet and interact."
Below is our short-list of P4TP highlights. Visit pedal4thepeople.org for a full schedule.
Friday, June 23
Riding pretty is one of the perks of being a cyclist in Boise, and people in the City of Trees have are great at combining their love of bikes with their unique sensibilities. There isn't a dress code for Bike Prom, but don't eschew tuxedos, gowns and corsages; or grass skirts, bike shorts, rhinestone-covered helmets, thigh-high boots, wigs or whatever clothing, costumes and accessories get your flag flying. The party runs 5-9 p.m. at 10 Barrel Brewing Company and includes a photo booth, bike wars (participants should wear pads), music by Lounge on Fire and, of course, plenty of food and beer. Admission is $5 or free with a Spoke Card.
Bike Prom After Party
For everyone left in their saddles after Bike Prom, there's a party after the party. Immediately following the main event at 10 Barrel, decamp to The Olympic, where DJ Brett Perry will be spinning tracks to keep your wheels turning until 2 a.m. Admission is $5 or free with a Spoke Card, 21 and older only.
Thug Unicorn Scavenger Hunt
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Thug Unicorn Scavenger Hunt has been cancelled. For more info, see the Pedal 4 the People schedule of events.
The identity of the Thug Unicorn is shrouded in mystery, but one thing is certain: It can be found in the Boise Foothills. Charge up your bike light, cinch your helmet strap and join a cohort of adventurers and late-night explorers from 9 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. at Camel's Back Park for a free riding scavenger hunt for all ages.
Saturday, June 24
Red, White and Blue Mountain Bike Ride
Join Team RWB and local veterans at 9 a.m. for a mountain bike ride starting at the Military Reserve Archery Range (2098 Mountain Cove Road). Along the way, cool down and perk up with cold-brewed coffee from Cafe Mule. Riders can turn back from there, but more experienced mountain bikers can continue with the crew for a longer ride. The ride is free and open to anyone.
Secret Agent Ride
Editor's Note: Secret Agent Ride has been cancelled.
At the i48 film contest this year, Boise Green Bike was a sponsor, and its distinctive steeds made appearances in every novice division entry. The bikeshare program is getting smart again with the Secret Agent Ride, 3-6:45 p.m., in which participants must ride "secret agent" BGB bikes with 00, 86 and 99 serial numbers from bike hub to bike hub. The first rider to hop on every eligible bike goes home with a "fabulous prize," and win or lose, everyone will end up at a bar that serves martinis "shaken, not stirred." Admission is free, 21 and older only. For more info, contact Dave Fotsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most eagerly anticipated P4TP events of the weekend is Helladrome VI—it's like a game of Mario Kart on bikes. Dress up as your favorite Mad Max character (bonus points for going as Doof Warrior) and pedal for supremacy in a variety of competitions on the obstacle course/CX race at Pre Funk Beer Bar. There's a $10 race fee, helmets are required and some individual Helladrome events are only for riders 21 and older. For more details and a list of races, check out the Pedal 4 the People website. The fun starts at 5 p.m.
Sunday, June 25
Boise Ridge Road Radonnee
At 45 miles long and with 7,000 feet of vertical climbing, BR3 is by far the most physically demanding P4TP event this year. This eight-hour mountain bike "jaunt" starts at the Boise Co-op at 8:45 a.m. and ends at SunRay Cafe in Hyde Park. In between, grind through the Boise Foothills on gravel roads. The ride is free to join but it's unsupported, so don't forget a helmet, plenty of water, some food, sunscreen and an awareness of your limits.
This is the event where P4TP comes full-circle—literally. Dress in your wackiest getup and ride to the Payette Brewing Taproom by 11:45 a.m. The first 13 riders receive Dandy Horse Pedal Pies for the closing parade, which starts at noon and takes you right back where you started for beers. Admission to the parade is $5, or free with a Spoke Card and for kids 12 and under.