Josh Kravetz, founder of New Belgium’s legendary Urban Assault Ride, talks about mustaches, work/life balance and how “a big party of beer, bikes, and big wheels can be a chance to make the world a better place.”
What’s your favorite New Belgium beer at a UAR event?
Depends on the heat. I’m partial to Sunshine Wheat for sunny events – but it’s not available in all the markets where we produce the UAR. This month – I’ve been enjoying the fall seasonal beer, Hoptober. If you come to Ft. Collins UAR – you’ll get to try some of New Belgium’s limited run beers from the Lips of Faith series as well.
Do you have a favorite UAR event?
They’re all different. The Austin event is the oldest and biggest – it’s like a holiday in Texas for cyclists. Denver is really cool – you get to ride a roller coaster as one of the obstacles. Des Moines was crazy because those folks LOVE their beer – and plenty of it. St. Louis is one of our favorite cities to visit. All the cities are cool in their own way.
How did the UAR get started?
I wrote a blog post about this. It’s a long story about true love, punk rock, mountain bikes, and great beer.
Are there any other plans to expand the ride?
We’re actually going to reduce the size next year. 13 was a lot of events this season. We like to have fun on weekends and take in cool events too – so for us it’s a work/life balance thing.
What has been the coolest thing you’ve see on an UAR to date?
We’ve had marriage proposals, incredibly creative costumes, very impressive mustache dance contests. But I’d really have to say the coolest thing is the huge smile/look of fear on a person’s face when their realize that the big wheels we use don’t have brake – forcing them to power slide out of control.
What advice do you have for first time UAR riders?
I always tell everybody to ride the course prior to racing. You never know if a planned route has a bigger hill than expected, construction, etc. But also – the UAR is all about fun. You can’t take it too seriously. We certainly design the event so that you’ll have the best day ever on the bike.
Anything else to add?
We’re big advocates of using bikes for short trips around town and most riders have this great awakening after the UAR. They learn that bikes are so efficient – especially around the central areas that serve as the UAR course. We’re not preachy – we just like to expose people to a (perhaps) different way of life. We only work with companies that have sustainable business practices and our production is off-the-grid. We use solar power for our music and we recycle and compost 98% of the waste. There’s no reason a big party of beer, bikes, and big wheels can be a chance to make the world a better place.
The Urban Assault Ride comes to Los Angeles on Oct 23rd. See the full line-up of events.