BY MATT PICKETT – OCTOBER 2, 2011
POSTED IN: GENERAL, HEALTHY LIVING

Last Saturday marked the ninth time that the Cruiser Rocks orginization and the Love, Hope, Strength Foundation have teamed up to raise money for cancer awareness, not just here in Denver, but globally. Cruiser Rocks is a bicycle ride through the very popular Wash Park neighborhood of south Denver which stops not only at a few pubs here and there but also holds a party in Washington Park.

The party starts around noon where riders flood the corner of Pearl & Mississippi for a registration kick-off shindig at Pub on Pearl. Participants received a t-shirt and wrist band for drink specials for their $35 entry fee($60 for couples) and were able to pose for free take away pictures in there cool new tee. This years theme was “less gears, more beers”, since cruiser bikes usually don’t have any or very few gears which allows you to ride more casually even when a little tipsy. After everyone settles in, organizers and photographers from Jess Elysse Photography gather everyone around for a huge group photo. The event which started with 30 riders in 2007 has grown to nearly 400 cruisers in just 4 years. Cruiser Rocks founder Aden Holt has supported the Love, Hope, Strength Foundation since 2006 when his design group One Ton Creative, designed their logo.

The Ride

Once everyone checks in and the picture is taken, the bike parade works it’s way down E. Kentucky Ave which leads right into the western part of Wash Park, where riders takeover the parks bike path with bells and whistles blaring and the group is led by a guy toting a speaker box on wheels. The parade does a full lap around the park before settling in on the eastern side of the park, where there are about 15 cornhole games set up, the dj bike pulls right up and keeps the crowd moving even when they are off their bikes. A raffle is held where tickets are handed out for those that get a bean bag in the hole to win a cruiser bike of their own.

Also at the park, there were two tents setup, one handing out tallboys and the other to sign up to be a potential bone marrow donor. The “Get On The List” initiative is a way for you to put yourself in the donor pool which is actually very hard to get a match from, its only a 1 in 20,000 chance you will match up and be able to save the life of a perfect stranger. Over 150 of the 350 participants at this event signed up to be a donor!

After a couple hours of free drinks and honing bag tossing skills, the bevy of bikers mount up to head north through the park to head to their next destination, Ogden Street South, a friendly neighborhood bar where drink specials abound. The group overall was super nice and sociable making it easy for a newcomer like myself to mix it up with strangers and make new friends.

Next stop, the cavalcade of cancer fighters head back south down Pearl to one of Denver’s most well known watering holes, The Candlelight Tavern. By this time everyone is nice and loose, playing all the games the bar has to offer, pool, shuffle board, darts, taking pictures with all the costumed cruisaders, and mabye taking one last shot before hitting the road again.

Right around 7:30pm, the host and probably always the tallest person in the group at 7ft tall, Aden Holt makes his presence felt by blowing his whistle and instructing the crew to head back to where it all began, Pub on Pearl, for the raffle drawing and after party. The Pub was packed both inside and out with college football fans, cruisers, and any other stragglers that came by, one last set of raffle tickets was sold before the drawing began. Some of the awesome prizes included clothing, a keg party at the bar, and the piece de resistance – two cruiser bikes, one black, one pink.

After the drawing the dance party ensued, music was pumping as is always the goal at L,H,S events and the night seemed to never end. This was the second ride this year as it is a bi-annual event that happens once in summer and once in fall. The fall ride this year collected over a whopping $10,000 for this great cause. So this winter you better be polishing up those old Schwinn’s and getting ready to experience one of the funest fund raising events in Denver when Cruiser Rocks 10 rolls around next summer.

To see all the pictures from this event: click here