Southwest Idahoans have what some might call an irrational hatred of the goathead weed, a plant that, at first glance, looks innocuous enough: a dainty vine trailing innocently across sidewalks and through empty lots. But take a closer look, and you’ll see the reason for this passionate loathing: dozens of knobbly, viciously-spiked seed heads (technically “nutlets”) that somewhat resemble their namesake. They’re ugly and incredibly resilient; jabbed into a foot or paw, they’re extremely painful; and they can ruin a bike ride faster than you can say “patch kit.”
Enter The Boise Bicycle Project and Goathead Fest, an event that promises to combine eccentric, bicycle-themed fun with a particularly Boise-flavored community service: find and eradicate the pernicious goathead.
The Goathead Fest’s inaugural celebration kicks off this Friday, August 3rd at Cecil D. Andrus Park at 4 p.m., and continues through the weekend with a bicycle parade (beginning at the capitol steps at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the 4th) and continuing through the day at Cecil D. Andrus Park.
It’s a simple concept: during the month of July, individuals gathered their tools (gardening gloves, a digging tool, and a collection bag) and took to the streets, digging up as many goathead weeds as they could find. The weeds were taken to a collection site, where diggers were awarded with beverage tokens for this weekend’s festival. Individuals and teams who collected the most will be awarded prizes at the festival on Saturday.
According to Boise Bicycle Project’s Jimmy Hallyburton, “The Boise Bicycle Project donates about 700-800 bikes to kids each year. Chances are, fifty percent or more have flats within six months.” Since many of the bikes go to children in refugee communities, they can be important transportation. A flat tire might mean a morning absent from school, a missed checkup, or no way to get to soccer practice or after-school program.
The Modern has been proud of its many accolades and labels from the past ten years, but none more so than Original Goathead Business Ambassador. We support this effort to do away with flat bicycle tires in the city we love!
Register for the Parade
There is a $5 recommended donation, and those funds go straight to your choice of Bicycle Nonprofits. Your donation also gets you an Original Goathead Fest Parade Patch and enters you to win a New Belgium Cruiser Bike. If 5000 people register and show up for the parade, we’ll have momentum that is impossible to stop.
Volunteer and join the team
Boise Goathead Fest still need 150 volunteers! It used to cost New Belgium over $100,000 to put on TDF Boise each year. We’re trying to pull off something even bigger for under $40,000. The only way that’s possible is through grassroots volunteer help. We need you on Aug 3rd and 4th. You can make a massive difference by giving 2 hours of your time. Plus you get 2 beverage tokens and a BGF bandanna for volunteering.