On some days it seems like the Near South is overrun with biker gangs — not the leather-clad groups of 50-somethings wearing skull caps and riding noisy luxury motorcycles. The area is host to several bicycle meet-up groups that ride en mass from bar to bar, spreading revelry and body odor wherever they land.
The longest tenured Southside beer-and-bike group is the Night Riders. The two-wheeled pub-crawlers meet twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday) at The Chat Room Pub and pedal into the night, jumping from bike seat to bar stool. Anywhere from 10-80 people show up for the bi-weekly ride. In addition to swarming bars, the group is also raising money for charity and doing its part to improve bike culture in the Fort.
Recently, the Riders held its second annual BBQ Fundraiser, and raised $500 for the West, Texas volunteer fire department.
“[The donation was] nothing extreme in terms of dollar amount, but substantial for a completely volunteer, non-official and free cycling group,” said George Gdovin, one of the group’s leaders.
The cyclists also successfully raised $900 through raffles and donations and installed a publicly accessible bicycle fix station, where riders can stop by and make minor repairs, pump air into their tires, and make minor adjustments to their bikes. The first such station is bolted to the bike rack of their home base at The Chat. Here is a picture of it on the Fortworthology blog.
Gdovin said the group is in talks with other bars and hopes to install more stations in the near future.
“We started talking to other bars that are going to chip in [towards the cost],” said Gdovin, “or we’ve arranged it that if we go to a bar, a certain portion of the proceeds [from sales] will go towards getting them installed.”
The Night Riders have also started a Fort Worth Bike Polo Group that meets once a month.The owners of Trinity Bicycles donated the mallets and balls, and a group from Denton came down and taught the bikers how to play.
The would-be players meet at Capps Park, and there is no fee to play. Contact the group through its Facebook page for more info.