Ride for a cause: Big Wheel Rally 2010

Remember when you’d speed around the block on your big wheel? You’d try and take off quickly but the balled front tire of your big wheel would just spin. On December 11, you have your chance to re-live that childhood memory with the 2010 Big Wheel Rally.

Each year, adults create their own one-of-a-kind big wheels, dress up in full costume and ride for a cause down Ingersoll Avenue as a part of this unique bar crawl-style event. The ride starts at Zimm’s at 11:00 a.m. and continues down Ingersoll (which now has bike lanes that the participants can use!) to GT’s Lounge, Yacht Club and Carl’s Place.

Here’s the schedule for the crawl: From 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. – Zimm’s with music by Jim Stockberger, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. GT’s with music by: DJ Kwalls and DJ Enyleated, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Yacht Club with music by Brian Congdon and the crawl will end at Carl’s Place with music by High While Driving.

Big Wheel Rally (BWR) will once again support Children’s Cancer Connection, a local non-profit organization. This is the 9th year that Children’s Cancer Connection has been the recipient of the funds that are raised from the event.

“My mom was diagnosed with cancer so it sounded like a great idea,” said Austin Gill, one of the organizers of BWR. “After seeing what she and our family went through, I couldn’t imagine having to deal with all of that as a kid.”

In 2002, the first year BWR benefited Children’s Cancer Connection, the event raised roughly $1,300 and now in 2010 BWR’s goal is to raise $20,000. The organizers of the BWR, Randy Kramer, Austin Gill, and Molly Gill, continue to support Children’s Cancer Connection each year because they have personally seen the impact that the organization makes on local children and families affected by childhood cancer.

“We attended the Breakfast of Childrens’ Champions event and visited the Oncology Camp this past summer,” said Austin Gill. “Listening to stories from families at the breakfast and seeing the kids at camp really showed us how much Children’s Cancer Connection makes a positive impact in a difficult time.  That has really motivated us to continue to support Children’s Cancer Connection and get our friends involved in supporting it as well.”

Grab a few of your friends and join the fun of Big Wheel Rally! Long-sleeved BWR t-shirts can be ordered online from www.bikeiowa.com for only $25 before December 5 and donations can be made there as well.

I’ve been going to this event for the past 2 years now and as a BWR veteran, I’d like to leave you with a few tips how to make the most out of your Big Wheel Rally experience:

Things I’ve learned as a Big Wheel Rally past participant:

1) Make sure you are there to see the “send off” of the big wheels down the parking lot at Zimm’s at 2:00 p.m. It’s hilarious and something you seriously don’t want to miss!

2) Many people ask me, “Do I have to bring/ride a big wheel to participate?” Answer: No, you can come to Big Wheel Rally without a big wheel, but it is really fun to create yourself a ride for the day! Be as creative as you’d like. The more unique the better.

3) Have someone drop you off and pick you up later in the evening – then you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to park or how you’re getting home.

4) Dress up but choose your costume wisely. Don’t choose a costume that will get caught in your wheels. You’ll also want something that’s warm because it can get pretty chilly in mid-December. I always wear gloves or bring a beverage koozie to keep my hands warm!

5) Bring cash to buy your drinks at the bar. Having cash is a lot easier to deal with and that way you won’t run the risk of loosing/forgetting your debit card.

6) Have fun – and donate! Even if it’s $1.00…your donation is appreciated and makes a difference!

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    1. Emily Beckmann

      It’s really funny to see! If you’re ever in Des Moines during the 2nd week in December…you have to check out the Big Wheel Rally. I’m still trying to come up with a costume idea for this year!

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