In the blissful perfection of a cool October night the Sarasota County Off Road Riders assembled on the island of Venice for another of their fun, unforgettable fundraisers. The theme this time around was a Halloween scavenger hunt. Fifty participants assembled at Centennial Park on Main Street just as the sun was disappearing over the ocean. Each offered up their donation which would go towards the cause of building and maintaining mountain bike trails in the Carlton Reserve.
With the darkness falling and a light-hearted challenge rising, the fun began.
Riders arrived in all manner of costume and on every arrangement of bike that you can possibly imagine. Starting with the Road, Cruiser and Mountain bikes, people decked out their wheels with adornments, glow sticks and flickering strands. While everyone had bike lights for the night of riding, some bikes were positively pulsating in the darkness and could be seen a quarter mile down the street.
One resplendent design put on display was by group regular Thomas Obermeier who brought a Penny Farthing with the front wheel decorated into a pumpkin face.
If there had been a costume contest the big winner would have been the Executioner Trek which held a full size prisoner who, with the flip of a switch was violently electrocuted. The dummy shook back and forth shaking and lighting up with its mouth wide open. It was a terrifyingly brilliant creation (See Pic at top of article).
If you were hungry, they had it covered. One couple came as Bacon & Eggs, another as Salt & Pepper and there was even a Taco walking around with a backpack full of Jello shots. The creativity of these ensembles had no end. Among an array of tutus and wigs there was a Rodeo Cowboy, a six foot tall Bottle of Beer, a Werewolf, a Pirate and a cute red haired Raccoon as well as ET and Elliot.
The Scavenger contest itself was a well thought out game. Groups of riders were given a list of items or places that they were to take a picture with, on, beside or near. The list included word tricks that one would only know if they spent a lot of time on Venice Island. Mostly it was simple location shots like a lifeguard stand at the beach, posing with a giant turtle or placing green M&Ms up your nose.
Some challenges were sillier than others. Someone in your group would have kissed a frog, rode down a slide or done an intimate pose with a statue in the park. Facebook will forever remember these people and for that, we thank them.
Between searches there were stops at local bars where the music played and riders enjoyed craft beers. The evening streets were full of groups traversing the traffic in hopes of crossing off all the items. For some it took a mere half an hour, for others it was a more inebriated and entertaining 2 hours.
Passing information back and forth was one of the fun teasers. Some people held tight to the secrets they had obtained while others raced from one of end of Main Street to the other, often in a desperate attempt to find a tiny green frog hidden in a Banyan tree. That was a tough one.
The end of the hunt came at around 10pm at the Tap & Cork bar. Prizes were either given to those with the best pictures or merely thrown into the crowd of merry cyclists. Between riding, photos, karaoke, pizza, beer and laughs it was truly a night to remember.
Since every group had a different experience we don't have photos of them all. However Terri, myself and a friend completed everything on the list. Feel free to enjoy the pictures of our adventure. Photo Gallery from Terri & Alex's Scavenger Hunt
Watch for more pics on the SCORR Rider Facebook Page