It’s a warm summer evening in Boise – the kind that’s perfect for a nice bike ride. You’re cruisin’ down the Boise Greenbelt enjoying the fresh Idaho air and colorful summer sky. You’ve just crossed over a bridge where you took your eyes off the path for a split second to admire the shimmering water and enjoy the cool breeze lifting off the cresting river rapids below. When you bring your gaze back toward the pavement, you’re startled by a huge beast towering over you with two red menacing eyes and gigantic thorns sticking out from seemingly every which way, threatening to puncture your tubes and leave you stranded with double flat tires.
Ok so it’s not exactly like that, but the Goathead Monster is alive and well in Boise. This weekend, August 3 and 4, you can join the first ever Boise Goathead Fest and help put the kibosh on the pesky weed that’s been poppin’ bike tubes in Boise like it’s their job.
Let’s start from the beginning, what exactly is a goathead? And better yet, why should one attend a goathead-focused festival anyway? It’s best explained by Jimmy Hallyburton, Boise Bicycle Project Executive Director, and Martha Brabec, City of Boise Invasive Species Ecologist.
Many locals remember Tour de Fat, the touring bike and beer festival thrown by New Belgium Brewing Co. that took place in Boise for the past 16 summers. After New Belgium announced that the annual bicycle event would not be returning to the City of Trees in 2018, Jimmy and a handful of others got to work planning the first ever Boise Goathead Fest to take its place.
The fest kicks off on Friday, August 3 at Cecil Andrus Park, where the official Boise Goathead Fest Launch Party, powered by Radio Boise, will take place. From 4-6pm, attendees can listen to live music and participate in pedal-powered events to get pumped up for the festival.
On Saturday, August 4, Boise Goathead Fest will be in full swing starting at 11am with the Pedal-Powered Parade, which starts and ends on the Capitol steps. Anyone can ride in the parade with a recommended $5 donation, which will be donated to the participating charity of your choice! True to Tour de Fat tradition, costumes are welcome and team themes are encouraged. That’s your cue to pull out the costume box and register early for the pedal parade so you can be dressed up and ready to put the pedal to the pavement come Saturday.
Following the parade, a slew of local beer, beverages, food, entertainment, and a surprise grand finale event will keep the pedalin’ party alive from 12-5pm in Cecil Andrus Park. This year, 100 percent of proceeds will benefit Boise Bicycle Project, Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association, Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, Idaho Walk Bike Alliance, and Dirt Dolls.
Photos courtesy of Boise Goathead Fest