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Bike Olympics at a brewery


We all know that craft beer and bicycles are the new PB&J, and if you’re trying to deny it, you haven’t been in Des Moines very long. Firetrucker Brewery decided to take this combo a step further by adding a little competition to the mix. Enter the Alempics.

“The idea was first to hold a cyclocross event here at Firetrucker Brewery, but we learned that we did not have all the space needed for that. So, in brainstorming with fellow cyclists, we still wanted to do a fall event and came up with this skills challenge,” said Dan Heiderscheit, brewmaster/owner at Firetrucker Brewery. “We wanted a fun fall event that involved biking that you can do at a brewery. Think of this as the Bike Olympics held at a brewery. We had so much fun the first year that all past participants are asking us to hold it again.”

The Firetrucker Brewery Alempics will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10:30 a.m.

The Firetrucker Brewery Alempics will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10:30 a.m.

To get the bad news out of the way: This year, unfortunately, due to construction, there will not be the large-format obstacle course and bike pulling events. (They’ll be back next year, though!) Fear not: New events are still being formulated.

“One that I want to try but haven’t rolled out yet is the Death Match,” Heiderscheit said. “Bicyclists are in a marked square area and can ride around and can’t put a foot on the ground but can force others to put a foot down. Once a foot touches the ground, you are out, and the last rider standing wins.

Prep Iowa

“We also thought about a wheelie contest that hasn’t happened yet and adding a set of mechanical skills events.”

Events this year include:

Slow Race: A 100-yard course with a slalom section. The last person to reach the finish line is the winner in this race where no feet can touch the ground.

Bike Limbo: Cross under the limbo bar without knocking it down while riding a bike.  Both rider and bike must fully pass under the bar and not knock it off.

Track Stand: Stop the bike, balance it and do not touch the ground. Timed event and longest time wins.

Don’t Spill Your Beer Obstacle Course: A concrete course with small obstacles. You ride with a beer in your hand. The even is timed and the beer is weighed before you start and after you finish. Your beer must be in your hand for the complete course.  Combination of time and most beer remaining wins.

Bike Jousting, Bags Skills: Ride a bike with a jousting stick and pick up a sack of cornhole bags on the end of the jousting stick. This part is timed. Then, one bag at a time, throw while riding your bike to score points on giant bags set. Combination of time and points wins.

Ghost Ride Bicycle Roll: Push a bike down a straight course with no rider. Participant cannot cross the start line. Longest rider-less roll wins.

There will also be a couple of non-cycling events like the Backwards Steering Bike (turn the handle left, the wheel goes right and vice versa) and Bike Rim Bowling. Each individual event will have medals awarded.

Whether you compete or just cheer on a friend, one thing is for certain: This looks to be a whole lot of fun.

“I think it is the free, easygoing attitude that ties craft beer and cycling together,” said Heiderscheit. “Cyclists like exploring and finding new relaxing places to ride. What is better than biking to your local brewery and discovering a new beer or an old one that you love?” CV

Firetrucker Brewery Alempics
Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10:30 a.m.
Signup for events until 10:45 a.m. or online at

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