Cirque du SoGay 2020 – a whole week of queer bike fun!
WHAT: Bike scavenger hunt on your own or with your roomies
WHERE: Twin Cities, USA
WHEN: Friday, September 25, 2020 6:00pm through Friday, October 2, 2020 11:59pm
HOW: Choose your own route to complete a bingo (4 corners, across, horizontal, vertical, special cover all and maybe another category or two) to be entered to win a digital gift card from our most fave sponsors from years past.
FREE: because we all deserve a break!
LEARN MORE or REGISTER!
If you would like to chip in to the gift card prize pot, you can donate at paypal.me/QueerBikeGang
About Queer Bike Gang
Queer Bike Gang (QBG) consists of a bunch of Queers who wanna ride bikes together around the Twin Cities. You’re perfect for QBG if:
- You’re a homo/lez/bi/trans/genderqueer/label-free or all of those
- You sort of know how to ride a bike or you want to know how to ride a bike
- You want to hang out with others like you.
We exist so everyone can learn and have fun in a safe and welcoming environment and as a healthy, alternative venue for Queers to socialize, network, and share ideas. We endorse Queer political activism, sexual health advocacy, and the three R’s (reducing, reusing, and reCYCLING, that is!).
QBG is best known for its annual race/ride Cirque du SoGay: “The Gayest Show on Earth,” which seeks to connect LGBTQ individuals to community resources and each other. The “race” route features LGBTQ landmarks and requires participants to do goofy challenges along the way. Read on to learn more…
Cirque History + Philosophy
Cirque du SoGay was started in 2009 because some folks were bored, or inspired, or just wanted to meet people. Cirque du SoGay was an event for the newly formed Queer Bike Gang (QBG). This ride took inspiration from other alley cat rides, namely Babes in Bikeland, to create a sense of belonging among folks who are traditionally missing from “mainstream bike culture” or even “bike subculture.” Here “bike (sub)culture” is referring to the overwhelmingly white, cis-male dominated sport. This can include a wide spectrum of people who ride bikes, from trail warriors to bike messengers. Our goal was to create a safer space for people who aren’t into macho, expensive, flashy, fast, or technical bike culture.
In recognition of creating safer spaces for more people, we have also made conscious decisions to attempt to be more inclusive of other identities such as ability, sobriety, race and ethnicity, to name a few.
What is it?
Like, what is this thing even? Like other alley cat races/rides, CdSG is basically a scavenger hunt by bike! Riders start and end in a specific location, with a number of physical locations they need to visit along the way. These stops in the middle can be done in any order. Participants will get a checklist of stops/activities at the beginning of the event; this sheet of paper is often referred to as a manifest. Traditionally, the first one to the predetermined finish line to verify that they have visited all checkpoints is the winner (i.e., the fastest person wins), but we’re pretty postmodern and can define winning any way we want.
Some spots are obvious, like local nonprofits and businesses catering to Queer folks. There are also a number of lesser-known sports leagues, crafting circles, dance groups, comedy troupes, and other gems where queer people are building community. At each checkpoint, riders are asked to engage in a short activity that helps them learn more about the resource or connect with each other.
The ride helps people discover and support these resources, all while riding their bikes. At the same time, it seeks to create safer space for individuals who may have felt unwelcome in other biking events or spaces that traditionally are built for and cater to heterosexual, cisgender white men. Says one trans masculine rider “Cirque du SoGay has changed my life. It’s rare to find an activity that is so dominated by white, cisgender, straight men be enthusiastically reclaimed by queer and trans folks.”
Over the years, event participants have peppered the streets of the twin cities donned in brilliant outfits and costumes ranging from comical to political to just plain fabulous. Participants have the option to do a longer (20+ miles) or shorter (about 10 miles) route, though distances vary depending on an individual’s personal route. The ride is followed with awards, snacks and entertainment.