“From my standpoint as a public policy, the more you can encourage people to ride bikes the better it is from every angle," said Mayor Dave Bieter. "The better for our citizens, the better for the environment and less hassle on the road."
Mayor Bieter was one of the dozens of volunteers who gathered near Jefferson Elementary in Boise to pick up goat heads that can puncture bike tires.
“It’s this invasive species in Boise and it has been here for years and years and years," said Jimmy Hallyburton of the Boise Bicycle Project. "It’s sort of the vain of bicycling, it’s caused who knows how many flat tires for kids, adults and families, it doesn’t discriminate.”
The Tour De Fat festival put on by New Belgium decided not to come to Boise this year, however Hallyburton took that as a chance to create the Goat Head Festival that happens on August 3 and 4, Hallyburton said that New Belgium continues to support this new festival.
For mountain bikers, a challenge has been issued for the month of August by boisetrails.com that includes nearly all of the ridge to rivers trails in the Boise foothills.
Kirk Cheney the co-founder of the website said that this was his co-founder Jason Delgadillo's idea, the community lost Delgadillo to a tragic mountain biking accident back in May.
"One thing that people have kind of misperceived is that it is only open to hardcore mountain bikers," said Cheney. "That's not true it's open to runners, it's open to bikers anyone who wants to challenge themselves."
Cheney said it's a great way to provide a benchmark and improve on it next year, it's also a great way for new mountain bikers to discover new trails and the challenge has Easter eggs so that everybody has a chance to win prizes.
Mountain bikers can sign up for $20 and use the app Strava to upload their rides through the challenge, more than 150 people have already signed.
Whether it is removing goat heads, a bag of them will get people a free drink token at the festival or uniting the biking community Boise continues to showcase itself as a bike-friendly city.
Here is a link to the Boise Goat Head Festival, the hope is that this will continue to grow and in turn reduce the number of flat tires that riders get out on the road.