Bicyclists in costumes, acting as human bowling balls while throwing newspapers at each other and riding a massive slip-and-slide, were just some of the scenes from the eighth annual Urban Assault Ride, UAR, on Sunday.
â€œIâ€™ve been mountain bike racing for years, and I love festivals and beer, so I came up with this idea,â€ Josh Kravetz said.
Kravetz debuted this quirky bicycle ride in Austin, Texas in 2003. Teams of two made their way through town stopping at designated checkpoints to complete hilarious physical challenges like human bowling and pool relays on huge inflatable ducks.
â€œThis was one of the hardest obstacles yet,â€ said participant, Peter Brown. â€œThat duck got the best of me.â€
Brown and his buddy Markus Konley are Fort Collins High School alums and competed together as The Mankins.
Brownâ€™s mother, Rita, and her husband were competing as Mankins also. This is their first year in the race.
â€œI think the hardest part was getting on those ducks,â€ she said.
More than 500 people signed up for the event. Kravetz said he never really expected the UAR to become so popular.
â€œIt was just something fun I wanted to do and now we run the event every summer in 13 cities,â€ Kravetz said.
Heâ€™s a native to Fort Collins, lived in Texas for a while and now lives Denver. He and his wife oversee the race operations but rely on big sponsors, like New Belgium Brewery, to help bring it all together.
As participants rolled toward the finish line at New Belgium, which lies on the outskirts of Old Town, they had to trade in their two wheels for three and take a ride around the adult big wheel course. Then, teams proceeded to a massive slip-and-slide that dumped out to the finish.
Team Bicycular Homicide made up of Dan Turnbeaugh and Nick True may have been the sixth team listed on the roster, but were one of the latter teams to finish. Drenched and clearly elated, the Homicides were in no way jaded by their performance.
â€œIn our own minds, we are the champs,â€ True said. â€œWe overcame adversity. Weâ€™re the winners.â€
â€œIâ€™d like to thank my mom, and God, and my site for her undying support through all of this,â€ Turnbeaugh added, jokingly.
After the race, New Belgium hosted an after party. Participants, families and friends drank beer, played games and tried the mini-bike limbo.
â€œThis is harder than it looks,â€ said 13-year-old Josh Johnson about the mini-bike limbo competition.
Jimmy Ellis and Michael Crook from Team China Bana were hysterical as they tried to ride under the bar with out knocking it down. â€œThereâ€™s got to be some kind of technique to this,â€ Ellis said.
China Banaâ€™s four members were sporting embroidered denim vests that looked like they came out grandmaâ€™s closet.
â€œWeâ€™re bringing back the denim,â€ Crook said.
â€œWe had a puker, but over all it was great fun,â€ Crook said, jokingly when asked how his team did in the race.
Staff Writer Emily Johnson can be reached at email@example.com.