Boise Bicycle Project Yanks Noxious Burrs Ahead of Goathead Fest 

Puncture vines (pictured) are the villains of this year's Goathead Fest.

Puncture vines (pictured) are the villains of this year's Goathead Fest.

Some people were shocked when Tour de Fat, the New Belgium Brewing-funded traveling bike carnival, announced it wasn't returning to Boise, but Boise Bicycle Project Director Jimmy Hallyburton wasn't one of them.

"We've always known there would be a time when they wouldn't come back to Boise," he said. "...So we were really excited that they handed over the reins to us."

Tour de Fat raised more than $500,000 for bicycle-related nonprofits like BBP and the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, but Hallyburton said its larger success was rallying Boise's biking community to enable social change. Now, he hopes to recreate some of that magic with a new bike event, Goathead Fest.

The festival begins Friday, Aug. 3, at Cecil D. Andrus Park with a kickoff party featuring a dance performance by Project Flux and music by Oregon-based Summer Cannibals; Berkeley, California-based Cello Joe; Boiseans Eleven & Jason D; and Radio Boise's The Wreck.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, there will be a bicycle parade at 10 a.m.; music by Seattle-based Wet City Rockers, and Boise-based Juice; dancing with The Dance Commander; more music from Radio Boise's Psyche Sirens program; kids activities with The Glitter Projects and more.

The ambition is to raise $50,000 for a wider swath of bike-related nonprofits and bring 6,000-8,000 people to the park, which will be transformed around the theme of that common enemy of all Boise bicyclists: the goathead.

"I think of it as this goathead monster who, for the last several decades, has wreaked havoc on our bicycle community. It's popped all these tires, it's just been this demon," Hallyburton said.

Goatheads have long been a thorn in BBP's side. Before the festival, organizers encouraged people to form teams to pull up the vines, and they hope to collect goatheads by the ton.

"The goathead collection is a really fun way to get people excited about the festival where we'll celebrate all different types of cyclists, and the festival itself is a way to get people excited about getting out there and collecting goatheads," Hallyburton said.

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