SHERIDAN — In most circumstances, beer drinking and bikes is not a suggested mix. However, next Saturday, the two will be safely paired for a fun afternoon of celebrating bikes and bike culture in downtown Sheridan.
The Freedom Machine Vintage Bike and Art Show will make its debut May 10 at 50 N. Main St. (site of the recently closed Hallmark Store). The show is being sponsored by two local bike enthusiasts, Dave Carter and Jordan LeDuc, owner of the new Sheridan Bicycle Company.
“We just want to promote cycling and cycling culture,” LeDuc said.
The show will be a drop-in event between 4-8 p.m. and will feature a variety of bike-related items on display, as well as locally-crafted beer from The Black Tooth Brewing Company.
Carter and LeDuc have been scouring the community, sorting through their own bike items and soliciting friends for donations of bikes or bike-related art for several weeks. One unique find is the locally famous ice cream trike.
“We got Eddie Quinn’s ice cream trike,” LeDuc said. “He has passed away but he was a local cycling legend. He took this old trike and built a big cooler on the back and he would sell ice cream out of the bike in the park in maybe the mid-to-late ‘90s. Dave and I have been trying to track it down for years.”
Though the pair knew about the bike’s existence, tracking it down was a difficult endeavor.
“It was like looking for Yeti,” Carter said.
The bike was eventually found and will be on display at the show, likely stirring some good memories from adults who maybe purchased ice cream from Quinn as a kid. And these types of reminiscences are exactly what Carter and LeDuc are hoping to inspire with the show.
“Come share stories, tell us your worst crash, your most epic bike ride, your fondest memory on a bike,” LeDuc said. “Anything bicycle, that is what we are all about.”
Carter and LeDuc decided to create a local bike show after seeing a similar one in Billings.
“They did a vintage bike show at the Yellowstone Art Museum Visual Vault,” Carter said. “I went to that show and it was fabulous and it brought a huge demographic of people, cyclists and non-cyclists alike. They just got together and talked about bikes and the Schwinn cruiser they had as a kid or the race bike they had just purchased or any number of other things. So it had the feel of being in someone’s house or garage. It was the same spontaneity that leads us all to enjoy bike culture so much. It is such a kid-like passion. It was a very infectious experience and we wanted to recreate that in Sheridan.”
The show will feature items such as old BMX bikes, tandems, Schwinn cruisers, road bikes and mountain bikes, as well as vintage bike parts, art made from bicycle parts and cycling apparel.
Vintage bicycles, fat bicycles, fancy bicycles, utility bicycles, beautiful bicycles, ugly bicycles, bike art, bicycle photography and more will be on display.
“We are just going to have random, classic, obscure, expensive, weird bikes….just bikes,” LeDuc said.
The show will also have speakers, including Sheridan resident Randy Stout.
“He traveled Europe by folding bike,” LeDuc said. “It can fold into a suitcase and you can take it on the airplane with you. He is a photographer and he’ll have a corner with pictures of what he did.”
The duo planned the event to coincide with and hopefully spark local interest in national Bike to Work Week, May 12-16, and Bike to Work Day, which is set for May 16.
“I would just like to see more people on bikes; more people cycling, commuting, doing it for recreation, doing it for health and just doing it for fun,” LeDuc said. “It is so easy to get around in this town on a bike. And you are starting to see more people commute by bike.”
Carter and LeDuc also hope the show will encourage more folks to join in the burgeoning bike culture in Sheridan. That culture has been helped by the formation of the Bomber Mountain Cycling Club, which has attracted area cyclists of all types.
“We have a really diverse demographic of people who are showing up and are active in bike club meetings,” Carter said. “You have people that travel and tour or just ride pathways recreationally or have interest because they are trying to convince their kids to move back here after college. It is funny the different reasons people are enthusiastic about cycling. It is really diverse. It is like any portfolio. As you are trying to create something sustainable that has long-term interest, diversity is the key. That is kind of that nature of cycling anyway; it draws lots of people together.”
Carter and LeDuc are still seeking bike-related items for the show and anyone wanting to temporarily loan an item for display can bring the item to the Sheridan Bicycle Company at 33 W. Brundage St., or call the store at 763-4481.