Over the weekend, Stevens Point became overwhelmed with bicycle-riding zombies, gypsies, Spidermen, and even a Mr Potato Head, all cruising the city in an effort to snap scavenger hunt pics and perform bike-themed challenges. No, this wasn’t some sort of post-apocalyptic alien invasion. It was simply the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza, put on by John Pawlak of Point Area Bicycle Service (PABS).
Over 110 people participated in this massive Bike Fun event, and smiles were rampant among all the Adventurers throughout the pleasantly warm and sunny afternoon. This was undoubtedly a first-of-its-kind for Stevens Point, and by any measure, the Extravaganza was a huge success. Based on the great turnout, I suspect we’ll see more like this in years to come.
I spent the afternoon riding around taking pictures of the event. Bike Fun radiated from all I encountered, and I hope readers can vicariously share that positive energy from my recap and photos below.
Adventurers started arriving before noon to the registration at PABS on Strongs Ave. The crowd steadily grew, and as 1 PM neared the area teemed with people of all ages riding bicycles of all sorts.
About 15 minutes before they were released to start riding, Adventurers received their packets containing a list of 30 scavenger hunt items to take pictures of and a map of 5 challenge checkpoints to visit. Participants, both in teams and as individuals, pored over the materials to plan their routes and strategy. Adventurers pondered where they could locate items such as a house with a blue door or a water fountain painted green (which turned out to be one of the harder items to locate).
At around 1 PM, it was time to start riding. Adventurers had until 5 PM to complete their efforts and arrive at Mead Park across the Clark St Bridge, so there was no need to race. Judging was entirely based on pics snapped and challenges performed, so Adventurers casually biked slowly around the area in search of items that would boost their point totals.
At each of the checkpoints, Adventurers were faced with a challenge to perform. Most were bicycle-themed, and only the most skilled earned points towards the prizes awaiting at the finish.
One scavenger hunt item required taking a selfie of all team members riding a coin operated kid’s ride. A team of 5 Adventurers managed to pile onto the Big Bird ride outside of the Division St K-Mart:
My own bike displaying my PPSP logo even became part of the scavenger hunt. A couple of alert teams realized that it would satisfy the picture of a shell that was on the list:
At every turn, it was hard to miss the smiling faces among the crowds of Adventurers:
Costumes were encouraged on the Extravaganza, and Adventurers were eager to oblige:
Adventurers rode bikes of all types. Some were more conventional…
…while others were more unusual:
There was certainly no lack of children sharing Bike Fun on the Extravaganza:
A slew of volunteers kept everything running smoothly. And I’m pretty certain they shared as much Bike Fun as the Adventurers:
John from PABS oversaw everything to ensure that a good time was had by all:
As the afternoon wore on, Adventurers slowly gathered at the finish in Mead Park. The festive atmosphere, not to mention the snacks and beverages, made for a lively party while the final stages of the Extravaganza played out:
One final challenge involved the water balloons that Adventurers had so carefully carried to the finish. Additional points could be gained by striking a target with the water balloon, but at the risk of losing their water balloon points if they missed:
The main focus eventually turned to scoring to discover who would win the top prize for accumulating the most points during the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza:
There was a tie for one of the lesser prizes. As announced at the start, Adventurers were directed to take a tie-breaker photo during the Extravaganza that would be judged on creativity and technical merit as determined by John’s 4-year-old son. What might appeal to a 4-year-old?
When the scoring was complete, one team stood above all others as the champion of the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza:
Of course, when it comes to Bike Fun, everyone is a winner. I spoke with Adventurers all afternoon and it was obvious that all were having a blast. And I certainly had my fill of Bike Fun simply riding around and taking pictures of all the goings on.
I want to congratulate John from PABS for creating such a successful event and sharing so much Bike Fun. I’m certain he would appreciate it if you stopped by his shop and mentioned how great this event was (even if you weren’t there).
Let’s all hope he organizes something similar next year. After all, one can never have enough Bike Fun.
Send feedback on this post by e-mail: