Working on a charity cycling event has already started to teach me a ton about the cycling world. There are elite cyclists who are power athletes and could easily kick my ass. There are also the “messenger” cyclists who one sees on a day-to-day reeking havoc on the streets (aka not abiding by the rules of the road) and could easily kick my ass via running me down. Then there are the spinners – confined to the gym on stationary bikes listening to thumping music and adjusting resistance to simulate hills etc. They could probably kick my ass too, or at least find a big weightlifter to help out. I used to be a spinner, and have been seriously reconsidering getting back into a class. Anyway, while the pedestrian in me will always carry some sort of a grudge towards bikes and those who ride them, I have also found that I have one thing in common with all of these cyclists: beer.
While I do not condone riding under the influence, I do enjoy imbibing with this crazy group. One of the first events I worked while trying to recruit riders for the Audi Best Buddies Challenge was a time trial at the Harpoon Brewery. Basically, a time trial brings in the top cyclists to attatch their bikes to a stationary machine which also simulates a particular course, hills and all. The cyclists race each other in various heats, and the winners qualify to ride in a special Harpoon event. They also get to take home a glorious case o’ beer. The spectators, riders who have finished their heat and even the Best Buddies recruiters (hehe) get to visit Harpoon’s beautiful tasting room to test some of the freshest brews one can find. Personally, it was a Cider and a seasonal Celtic Ale for this cycling-world-newbie.
Beer is a fantastic way to strike up a conversation with people. It is an existing connection between people who seem to have nothing else in common. I think this might be one of my favorite things about my beverage of choice – the promise of a good discussion or a good laugh that comes with every pour.
I am fairly certain that this is just the first of many of my intersections of brews and bikes. Here’s a Stella Artois commercial that seems all too appropriate…Cheers!
Oh and just in case you were thinking about cycling in either of the Best Buddies Challenges, check out the Web site and we’ll get you signed up.