Staff members will take safety measures in the event
Davis Odd Fellows and the Bike Campaign will put on the Zombie Bike Ride event on October 31st from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., taking place along the 12 mile Davis Bike Loop at nine different locations. This is a free event, and bikers can see zombie actors from Bike City Theatre Company. From 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. attendees can join the after party, hosted by the Davis Business Association, at 500 1st Street to enjoy a variety of food, drinks and desserts and hear live music by DJ Duc.
Aaron Wedra, the chairperson of the event, detailed that Bike City works with Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQIA+ individuals in their performances. Among the zombies, he mentioned there are three stations with drag queens.
“Everyone is invited; it’s family friendly,” Wedra said. “We don’t have scary zombies. They are comedy, comical theater sketches.”
Staff will follow COVID-19 safety precautions throughout the event.
“All of our volunteers and actors are going to be wearing masks, and the people facilitating the flow of traffic will have megaphones,” Wedra said.
Wedra emphasized the “grand finale” of the event where people will see zombie skydivers from Skydrive Skydiving.
During the after party, bikers can get free hot cider from the Davis Food Co-Op, while supplies last. Vendors will include Niknek Lemonade and Purple Tree Cafe. Another business, Handheld Sweet and Savory Pies, will be selling handmade pies with unique fillings.
Stephanie Maroney and Michael Sutton, the founders of Handheld, are serving pies out of their truck at Community Park during the bike ride from about 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.. Their menu includes a variety of items, including The Handburger, the most popular item on their menu, according to Sutton. It is a ground beef and chorizo patty with melty cheddar cheese and onions, wrapped in flaky dough, served with Carolina barbeque dijon mustard. The menu contains meat, vegetarian and sweet options; they noted that they are working on expanding options for those with unique food needs.
Sutton and Maroney have been at Davis for over 10 years. Sutton previously worked as a chef in Phoenix, and Maroney started her PhD in cultural studies in 2010. Maroney explained it felt like the right time to start their family business when food culture was changing during the pandemic at Davis.
“All of our food is cooked in the commercial kitchen in the Odd Fellows Hall, and then we serve out of the truck,” Maroney said.
Pete King attended the 2020 Zombie Bike Ride with a painted skeleton face, and his two friends dressed in Halloween costumes.
“It was my favorite experience for Halloween that I’ve ever taken, and I love bike riding. It was really great to get outdoors with friends,” King said.
King enjoyed the concept of the event, but he admitted that he felt a little disappointed that there were not enough volunteers and staff participating in the stations.
“It wasn’t quite as developed as I was expecting it to be, but I think that’s in part because of the pandemic,” King said.
Nonetheless, King mentioned a few memorable moments from the ride. He described the experience as a little spooky and not too scary; he said the staff was mindful of the kids riding the trail.
“There was a part where some people had set up a chained-down zombie and run at you but stop right at the last minute. There was a setup where you could stop down for a second and watch some people perform the thriller dance by Michael Jackson,” King said.
Overall, King would love to come to the event this year, despite any flaws he observed last year.
“I am imagining this year’s going to be way better than last year, and I still had a great time last year,” King said.
This Zombie Bike Ride takes place in an open area, and the chairperson and Handheld founders encourage students to join.
“We’ve been so fooled as to say we’re gonna save Halloween,” Wedra said. “People might not feel like going to parties where there’ll be crowds, but most should feel comfortable riding their bikes where there’s plenty of space outdoors.”
Written by: Ellie Lee — firstname.lastname@example.org