I love the Denver Cruiser Ride. It is an infectious blend of high energy, youthful exuberance, costumes, and to a certain extent…beer. Every time that I’ve ridden in the DCR, I’ve had a great time zipping through the streets of Denver at night with hundreds of people who get my enthusiasm and love of bike riding.
But the last time I participated, I have to admit that I found myself asking, “Am I too old for the cruiser ride?” You see, the majority of participants seem to all be in their twenties. I’m not a big drinker, so I’m not really wanting to hang out after the ride, and I’m not much of a costume person either.
But I Still Love The Ride
The ride feels most magical for me at the beginning of summer. The weather isn’t too hot or too cold. The sunsets late and streaks of orange and purples decorate the sky as the ride is about to start. When the stars start to sprinkle through the sky, I know that it’s time for the ride to begin.
I love hearing the laughter of the riders, the music thumping as I follow the bike with the giant speaker in a cart attached to it. I love how happy everyone seems. I love the camaraderie and pure joy of riding through the streets of Denver with people I’ve never met before and sharing what feels like a magical moment. Shouted conversations go back and forth, and safety tips are communicated to one another as streetlights turn red. There are literally hundreds of people riding behind me.
Despite not dressing up, not wanting to meet up after the ride for a drink or being in my twenties, I realize that I still belong at the DCR because I love bike riding–pure and simple. No one else seems to be concerned about my age, my lack of costume or anything else. They are just enjoying the moment that they are in. The moment I stopped over thinking things, I noticed that there are some people with kids, some people who are older and some who are younger. There are families, couples and singletons. In fact, the riders reflect the whole diaspora of riding life, and for me that is what makes this event so special.
For those of you who have been hesitant to participate in a ride like the DCR, don’t be! Try it at least once this summer. This is your tribe. My love of biking started right after birth, so it’s fitting that I continue to love it ’til this day and will want to get my future children involved in similar bike rides and events. I want them to discover a community of people who enjoy the simplicity of riding their favorite bike. I would also like my kids to experience the feeling of the wind in their hair, the sun on their face and getting from point a to point b on their own steam.
So, no, I am not too old for the Denver Cruiser Ride. And maybe, just maybe, you may see me breaking down and wearing a mask one day. Regardless, I will continue to go as myself and just enjoy the moment. Hope to see you there!