Happenstance Coffee sent your boy Red on a mission to check out the Dead Baby Bikes Downhill Race 2019 event to see what all the fuss is about. To be honest, I had never heard of this Seattle event. The event takes place in two parts: 1) a “race” that starts in Capitol Hill (although there is no planned out route) and ends in Georgetown; and 2) a post-race street party along several blocks of Airport Way in Georgetown.
I went with two objectives: 1) to have a little fun, take some pictures and report back for Happenstance Coffee; and 2) to find the winner of the event to see what his or her motivation was – prize money or simply glory?
I was hoping to see the finish of the race and talk to the winner. Thus I skipped the start of the race in Cap Hill and went to Georgetown. But I have to admit, by the time I arrived, the race had already finished. So, sadly, I could not locate the winner. And therefore was unable to ask what motivated said winner. But I’m guessing glory because I don’t seriously think prize money for the winner was on offer.
I do have to report, however, I only saw a total of two “dead” baby dolls affixed to bicycles. I was not disappointed. I’m not really sure what the deal is with the dead babies anyway. But the event has a dystopian, post-apocalyptic Mad Max type of a vibe going on. So, I guess the dead baby theme fits in that regard.
What I did, however, witness was a big ol’ party in Georgetown. At least 5 or 6 blocks of Airport Way in Georgetown were blocked off from traffic. There was a beer garden that cost $25 for all you can drink. At least that’s what a couple people I spoke to on the walk up to the grounds said. But I wasn’t in the drinkin’ mood so I didn’t bother to confirm. Oh yeah, there was also live, loud heavy rock music.
There were two main attractions on Airport Way, other than the beer garden. First, was a sectioned off area where people were parading their tricked out bikes. See pictures above/below/wherever they are in reference to this written report. The people riding the tricked out bikes were having a great time. And so were the spectators. I laughed out loud numerous times, myself. I also saw at least two crashes. Fortunately nobody was hurt.
The other main attraction was a bike course with several ramps and jumps, plus a hoop to jump through and a couple rails to ride on. Several of the riders on the trick course had considerable skills. See the attached photos for the air some of the dudes were catching.
Apparently, the main attraction of the night is a jousting event where participants ride 8-10 feet tall bikes, holding “lances” that have foam, a boxing glove or some other padded material at the end. As per jousting in the middle ages, the goal is to knock the opponent off their bike first. I didn’t stay late enough to see this event.
All in all, my experience at the Dead Baby Bike Downhill event 2019 was a good one. The crowd there was very diverse, quite friendly despite the post-apocalyptic vibe and, most importantly, seemed to be having a really great time.