The usual colors of Phoenix’s Civic Space Park were replaced last Sunday night by a mass of bike riders wearing colors of their own.
Members of the LGBTQ community, along with their family and friends, rode bicycles through downtown Phoenix in honor of LGBTQ history month.
The ride, usually a part of the Downtown Pedal Around, was a special occasion put together by Downtown Phoenix Inc. to honor the gay community and help share diversity around downtown.
The Downtown Pedal Around is a monthly bike ride held on a Sunday hosted by the Downtown Phoenix Inc. that helps give an “intro to riding in an urban setting” to community members, said Laura Potter, editor and social media manager of Downtown Phoenix Inc. The nonprofit organization works around the area to help the development of and get access to bikes, scooters, biking lanes and the light rail.
The bike ride began at 4 p.m. at the Civic Space Park near the ASU campus and concluded a few blocks away at the Dressing Room restaurant an hour later.
Riders were led through downtown Phoenix, taking to streets that lead to the developing and newly developed areas. Along the way, the group rode past FEZ Restaurant & Bar where the patrons at the restaurant applauded as the cyclists passed.
“It was really awesome,” said Jamie Thufin, an ASU student who participated in the ride. “The sense of community was amazing.” He has attended all of the Downtown Pedal Around’s bicycle rides since February.
Monthly downtown Phoenix bike rides
The goal of these bike rides is to showcase the development around downtown as part of a “multimodal infrastructure” movement that is “important in the thriving urban environment,” Potter said.
The monthly rides usually are between six and nine miles and are meant to “show amenities we have downtown,” said Jessyca Leach from Downtown Phoenix Inc. She also said the donations from the Rainbow Ride will go to the Southwest Center for HIV and AIDS.
Frankie Gutierrez said this was his first bike ride with the organization as well as the first LGBTQ event he has attended.
“It was very delightful,” Gutierrez said after the ride. “The route was a great distance, perfect weather, great conversation with strangers. Needless to say, I would participate again in the future.”
The rides usually end at different areas around downtown Phoenix. Sunday’s ended at the Dressing Room, which once served as the dressing room for the drag show and gay bar located next door at 307 Lounge.
Post-ride drinks and food were served to the cyclists followed by a discussion of the history of the LGBTQ community, led by Marshall Shore, Arizona’s self-proclaimed Hip Historian.
Next Downtown Pedal Around
The next Downtown Pedal Around will take place on Sunday, Nov. 9 for cyclists interested in
seeing development in downtown Phoenix.
More information about the bike rides and other events is available on the Downtown Phoenix Inc. Facebook event page.