WAITSBURG, Wash. -- After each day's ride, Cycle Oregon gives cyclists a chance to unwind and relax at its traveling Widmer Brewing beer garden, and to enjoy some evening entertainment. Most nights, the focus is a local band performing live on the traveling ODS main stage.
For me, the best entertainment of the week is "Bike Rodeo."
That's the one night when the hard-working wrenches at Bike Gallery get a chance to take a break from working on riders’ bikers and instead get to play games on their own.
During the layover day in Waitsburg, the mechanics outdid themselves, vying for two-wheeled superiority in a mix of made-up competitions that included a wheelie contest, bike limbo (where they literally ride bikes under a limbo stick), a big-air jumping contest, an insane five-lap race around and through the assembled crowd, and a fabulous invention called bike jousting.
VIDEO: Cycle Oregon "Bike Jousting"
The crowning event, for which qualifying rounds are held, is called "foot down." In foot down, riders pedal at and into each other in an effort to force the other rider to put a foot down on the ground. Whoever stays upright longest, wins!
VIDEO: Cycle Oregon Foot Down
On this night, none other than Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves won the marquee competition, despite repeated attempts by the BG announcer to help the tech known as the "man-child". They were definitely not sucking up to the boss in this one! Jay, whose company has provided the mechanical support for all 23 editions of Cycle Oregon, won foot-down fair and square!
I think I can speak for every one of the two-thousand-plus riders when I say "chapeau" to the Bike Gallery team for a week of tireless rider support. It was a hilarious evening of fun with bikes, and we're glad the injuries were only "flesh wounds."