You’ve probably heard every dead baby joke in the book, so we won’t bury the lede and tell you one. What we will tell you is that today is the 15th annual Dead Baby Downhill and Messenger Challenge, which is a lot more fun than two babies in a blender.
Started in 1997 by a couple of guys from the Dead Baby bike shop, which is rumored to have originally started out of the back room at Rendezvous, the Downhill is a boozy, tattooed, urban race which nearly always ends in someone crashing and a whole lot of people laughing about it.
The legality of the whole affair is questionable, but the folks who live for this yearly ride don’t really care. The terrain often includes riding over railroad tracks and up and down steep, weird embankments plus whatever else can be thrown in as obstacles. Many of the participants are professional bike messengers or delivery riders, and they just they just want to ride fast, listen to music, get sweaty and party with like-minded cyclists. There’s no Lycra, no Livestrong bracelets and no one who even begins to resemble Lance Armstrong. This is a different, Pabst-driven breed of cyclists. And for just $25, you can join the fun.
Your entrance fee gets you a commemorative “water” bottle (you could use it for water, but you’d be the only one), race shirt and bottomless beverages. And, of course, you get to ride in the race and challenge. But be warned: these are some serious riders. Don’t be the jerk who shows up on a unicycle ironically -- you will be shamed.
Pump up your tires, dig out your Gits t-shirt, pound a few tall boys and ride yourself to the Shipwreck Tavern on Admiral Way at 5pm. The race begins at 7pm, but you’ll want to pre-func with the rest of the riders. Because, much like telling a dead baby joke, it’s totally worth the fact that you feel kind of gross afterward.