The weirder, the better at Wichita bike event

Some members of the pub pedal group create custom bikes specifically for an event, group member Randy Van Scyoc said.
Some members of the pub pedal group create custom bikes specifically for an event, group member Randy Van Scyoc said. Courtesy photo

If you’re strolling by the Shamrock Lounge on the night of July 20, what’s parked outside might make you look twice.

Old bikes, rusty bikes, 5-foot-tall bikes and bikes with funky handlebars and extra seats will line the grass outside the Shamrock, 1724 W. Douglas, when a group of bike enthusiasts put on a “pub pedal” designed to show off unusual bicycles.

Randy Van Scyoc, who’s been attending pub pedals for more than a decade, said the event welcomes anyone with a “freak bike” or “rat bike” to come show it off.

What is a freak or rat bike? Van Scyoc said it can be just about anything – as long as it’s kind of weird.

“I can’t really tell you what will show up until it shows up,” he said. “That’s kind of what makes it fun. People may throw together bikes just specifically for this event. Who knows what their definition of freaky or ratty is?”

Van Scyoc said he’s contemplating pedaling up in his tall bike – which is about the height of two regular bikes stacked together.

“It’s kind of like getting on a horse. You put your foot up on the pedal and hop up,” he said.

Anyone with a freaky or ratty bike, or those interested in checking them out, can attend.

The freaks and rats should roll in between 7 and 8 p.m., Van Scyoc said, and the pub pedal will begin soon after that. The group typically heads east from the Shamrock, he said, occasionally stopping at places along Douglas, the “Keeper of the Plains” or the WaterWalk, but there is no set route.

“It’s mostly about just getting together at the Shamrock to socialize and talk bikes,” he said.

The pub pedal crew, Van Scyoc said, meets every Thursday year-round.

“It’s not any kind of formal group. We’re just basically antique and custom bike enthusiasts that meet up,” he said.

They’ve been meeting for nearly 15 years, he said, and many members also participate in Wichita’s Coasters Bicycle Club.

They hold various theme nights throughout the year, including a patriotic pub pedal for the Fourth of July and a Halloween pedal in which bicyclists wear costumes. The next theme pedal will be a funny hat night on Aug. 28, he said.

Delaney Hiegert: 316-268-6212, @Delaney_C