This weekend, the Powderhorn neighborhood will play host to one of the coolest community cycling events in a city known for its great cycling culture.
The Powderhorn 24 (aka PH24) celebrates cycling, and its relationship to the Powderhorn neighborhood, with a 24-hour-long bike ride. Cyclists can participate individually or in teams, and can ride as much (or little) as they want. Riders must check in at 4 checkpoints during every lap, in order to receive credit for that loop. In addition, riders are encouraged to stop by rotating bonus stops which are announced on race day.
Bonus stops are fun ways for cyclists to learn more about the neighborhood, as businesses, non-profits and even some residents open their doors to cyclists. In past years, these stops have invited cyclists to learn to play the ukulele, paint bowls (for the Powderhorn Empty Bowls program) and spend some time with seniors at a nearby senior center. For many, it’s these experiences that make the PH24 such a memorable event. The ride is really about connecting to the community, and not just racking up miles in the saddle.
While some riders use the PH24 as an opportunity to test their mettle, with a few individual cyclists logging more than 300 miles in 24 hours, the ride is unique because it is open and accessible to all types of cyclist. As one organizer explained, the ride is for everyone “from messengers to mountain bikers, beach cruisers to BMXers, unicyclists…to families on tandems and cargo bikes.” Riders are encouraged to decorate their bicycles and wear costumes.
The PH24 began in 2011, after organizers were inspired by a similar ride in Milwaukee. It has steadily grown in popularity, from fewer than 100 riders during its inaugural year, to more than 600 participants this year. Registration is closed, but spectators are encouraged and organizers still need volunteers for everything from set up help to safety marshals. If you can help click here.
Roads are not closed during the PH24 and riders can be penalized if they don’t follow traffic laws, or conduct themselves in ways unbecoming of an upstanding citizen. Helmets and lights are also required.
Cyclists are not required to ride the entire time and may rest as they see fit. It’s not uncommon to spot a rider sacked out along the Midtown Greenway, in Powderhorn Park, or in the yard of a nearby friend.
The ride starts at 7pm on Friday, August 14 and ends at 7pm the following day. The suggested course route can be found here. There will be live music on Friday and Saturday evening at checkpoints 1 and 2. Spectators can watch the ride, and encourage the participants, anywhere along the course, although many find a spot along the Greenway.