In a part of the country where organized bike rides are as de rigueur as microbrews and tacky Southwestern art, it's comforting to know that the trend can be co-opted on a small scale to support something as historically marginalized as queer youth services.
On Saturday Oct. 2, Colorado Springs' Inside/Out Youth Services will hold its second annual Cripple Creek Fall Foliage and Fat Tire Ride from Cripple Creek to the Bear Creek Nature Center in Colorado Springs. The 35- to 40-mile and roughly two- to six-hour ride (depending on riders' abilities) will take bicyclists through the mountains west of town along Jeep trails and single tracks during the ideal time of year to view the turning aspens.
Although small in terms of organized rides -- last year the ride drew about 25 people -- the event will benefit a gem of a local group. Inside/Out exists to promote positive sexual identity for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgendered, intersex and questioning youth from 13 to 22 years of age. The organization offers peer support and counseling for youth struggling with sexual identity, as well as providing safe recreation and leadership activities for queer-identified young people.
As a fund-raiser, the ride is one of Inside/Out's dispensations to the outdoors enthusiasts ubiquitous in Colorado. Their annual golf tournament tends to raise about $20,000 and their Awards Dinner this year (taking place this year on Oct. 16) will feature former Colorado Springs Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace as the keynote speaker. But the upcoming ride, according to Inside/Out Executive Director Tasha Hill, tends to draw an altogether distinct segment of the population. "The golf tournament brings golfers, and the dinner brings people who like to dress up," Hill said. "This is for a different demographic who maybe hadn't supported the organization before."
A $35 suggested donation for the ride will directly benefit Inside/Out programs, and will reap a nifty Inside/Out shirt for the rider. Riders who raise or donate $100 or more will receive a shirt and a hat, therefore doubling the niftiness. Those wishing to participate should e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org <> with their name, address, telephone number and e-mail address or should call 328-1056 with the same information.
-- Aaron Retka
capsule Second annual Inside/Out Cripple Creek Fall Foliage and Fat Tire Ride
Saturday, Oct. 2, 9:30 a.m. start.
Cripple Creek to Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs
328-1056 or www.insideoutys.org