Big Gay Pride Rallycat Ride!

By Derek Kidd

Every June the rainbow flags come out, and without fail, the questions of Pride’s relevance soon follows. Inevitably, we hear “Why do we still need to showcase Pride, isn’t the LGBTQ+ community well-represented enough?”, “Nobody cares if you’re gay, so just stay quiet about it.” or, my favorite, “Where’s my parade?” again and again.

So we decided to answer some of those questions… in the most entertaining form we could think of. A bike event!

The Big Gay Pride Rallycat Ride was held June 24th at Rocky Point. While a celebration of LGBTQ+ folks and the social movements that led to Pride, the ride was open to all members of NWTA. We had a dozen riders show up and participate in a friendly format which we dubbed a Rallycat (an offroad point-to-point ride in the style of inner-city Alleycat-races). Riders were given a manifest (a map of Rocky Point) which listed a number of checkpoints. The goal was for all the riders to get to as many checkpoints as possible in an hour, and meet back at the bottom of the new Stumpocalypse trail. 

To level the playing field, and to get some Pride education in, each checkpoint asked riders a question about LGBTQ+ history, and the strides this community has made in the last century. For example, did you know that you could still go to jail for being gay in the United States as recently as 2003? How about that 12 countries around the world still have the death penalty for being gay? We wanted to give all participants in the ride a reason to reflect on how far this community has come, how fragile the protections that keep us safe are, and how important it is to still celebrate Pride.

The ride was a huge success – with participants taking a variety of routes to get around the park, and back to the end point. SRAM provided refreshments, snacks, and prizes for the event: three pairs of the new CODE Silver Stealth brakes for the top three finishers! A huge thank-you to everyone who helped out and participated, especially Derek Kidd, Julie Baird and Chris San Augustin for planning the event. Additional support was provided by SRAM, Cyclepath and Warpaint Magazine. Congratulations to Jason, Hayden and Claire on the fast route-finding!

Happy Pride!