Inside the Basket - Craig Degenhard, Co-Team Leader, Bike Valet
Craig Degenhard is the Co-Team Leader of Balloon Fiesta’s Bike Valet. Read this month’s Inside the Basket for his advice on why and how to use this service, available to Balloon Fiesta guests.
1. Give a brief overview of your Balloon Fiesta position.
As part of Balloon Fiesta’s Bike Valet team, we make sure that bicycles have a secure place while our cycling guests enjoy Balloon Fiesta. We arrange for fencing, team members to park and watch the bikes, and safe place to be while we watch the bikes. In seven years, we haven’t lost a single bike!
2. What is your favorite part about being involved with the Bike Valet?
Meeting the happy people that have pedaled up to the Balloon Fiesta. They are in a good mood after their ride and are excited about seeing the balloons. Sometimes the bike traffic is heavy but nowhere as congested, crowded and frustrating as those stuck in the cars on the roads. Fresh air, fellow cyclists, beautiful views, and no smog! That’s what greets cyclists when they pedal up the no motors allowed North Diversion Trail right to Balloon Fiesta Park. The best part is meeting the people from all over the world that come to Balloon Fiesta. Some have pedaled all the way from Florida just to enjoy our Balloon Fiesta.
3. For out-of-town guests, how easy is it to take your bike to Balloon Fiesta?
Get an Albuquerque Bicycle Map
Find a Hotel/Motel near a bike trail
Get up before dawn, put on your helmet, turn on your front and back lights, mount your bike and pedal on up. Remember the altitude is over a mile high so pace yourself with the thin air. It also makes the stars shine bright! Enjoy the day’s flights, pedal back. Repeat. Easy as pie!
4. Do you have a favorite balloon?
I really like the Bees when they launch holding hands and then drift apart. So special! Otherwise any balloon floating over my head is my favorite ……for that moment.
5. What advice do you have for Balloon Fiesta guests visiting for the first time?
Visiting for the first time? Ride your bike! It can actually be faster than driving your car!!!Have lights both front and back, wear a helmet, cycling gloves, and use Bike Valet! Bring extra memory chips to hold all the pictures/ videos you’ll be taking. Be sure to go out onto the field where the balloons are launching, it’s one of the few places in the world where you can do that. Just be careful of the Zebras!! They’ll stampede right over you!
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