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So if you’re bummed about the ride not happening tomorrow, there is plenty going on this weekend instead.
Obviously there is the Gathering of the Gourds at Iron Hill in West Chester, which will happen without us.
Also on Saturday, there is Bloktoberfest. Looks like a great beer list, and sounds like a great time, rain or not.
On Sunday there is 2 awesome events going on, both raindates from last weekend’s washout. At 10am, get your mountain bike up to Pennypack Park and get ready to get muddy for the Pennypack’s Revenge Poker Run. I just rode up there for the first time this week, and it is a ton of fun. This is going to be an awesome race/ride/funtime.
After a hose down, head down to Dock St for the 2nd annual Biketoberfest. This year the price is more than reasonable, so you have no reason not to go.
If you plan your weekend well, you could very easily have an epic 2 day stretch of bikes, beer and awesomeness. Hopefully I’ll see you at some point this weekend, preferably with a beer in one hand and a bike in the other!
As of Friday night, it was looking like our ride might be rained out. Even Saturday morning, I was all ready to get drenched en route to the Art Museum , expecting to wait in vain for anyone to show up. But though the skies were ominous, the rain was holding off. So starting with two friends who met at my house, we snowballed across town, meeting several people at Honey’s, and more on Spring Garden St. By the time we left, we were 13 strong, ready to brave the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Camden streets.
Though the roads were bumpy, and there was one flat, the ride wasn’t really bad at all. A leisurely pace, traffic played nice with us, and before we knew it we were there. We were fortunate enough to have Chris Lapierre, the head brewer of the brewpub and cyclist, on the ride with us. Many thanks to him for several pitchers of his beer, and for a special tour of the brewery. Other than the tour, the highlight of the afternoon (for me at least) was when Chris shared a couple bottles of sour beers he was working on. I love sour beers, and both of these were delicious and complex.
The ride back was more of the same, only hotter. And there was no rain on either part of the ride. So it ended up being a great day. About a 30 mile ride, some great beer, and awesome views of the city. Lets do it again sometime!
As is my usual style, I’ve neglected to announce this month’s bike ride. Never fear, however, this August will find our thirsty little legs taking us once again into the Garden State. Next Saturday, August 22nd, we’ll be riding to the newly opened Iron Hill location in Maple Shade, NJ. It should be a relatively flat 15 miles each way. However, it will be a high traffic ride, so be sure to bring your helmets and quick wits. To keep the plans consistent, we’ll be meeting as usual at the Art Museum. 10am. August 22nd. See you then!
There was 25 of us, starting and ending the day at Yards Brewery, with 3 stops in between . First we took a quite ride past some Chestnut Hill mansions to get to the General Lafayette Inn. We had a quick pint and got right back on the road for a hilly suburban ride to Iron Hill in North Wales. But this point I really needed the lunch and longer break. They were expecting us, and thankfully had a table waiting. A flight of their seasonal beers was a refreshing accompaniment to a filling and greasy fish and chips lunch.
We set out again after lunch, back towards the city. Not far into the ride, the beer made its way to my bladder, making this leg of the ride perhaps the most uncomfortable. I eventually had to pull over and relieve myself before getting to Manayunk Brewing Co. The beer at Manayunk was just barely drinkable, but the riverside deck was wonderful. From there, the group split up, as we all tried to drag our tired legs back across the city to Yards for some celebratory samples.
The weather was wonderful, the first real spring-like day, with highs in the 60’s (maybe even 70s?) and just enough cloud cover to keep the sun from beating us up. And as my first real big ride of the year, I couldn’t have asked for a better time!
I was at a bar last night that brought back memories of college. I was there with Chris from Iron Hill, and he commented on the glaring lack of anything American on draft. The English/Irish quasi-macro tap list reminded me of my college years. Of my first beer ever, a Bass ale somewhere in New England at 22 years old. Yes, I didn’t have a sip of alcohol until my 21st had come and gone.
We got talking about such things, and the conversation included, at times, the bartender. It turns out he tended at my old college watering hole, Floods, in Stroudsburg, PA. The place where I learned to love beer. I had my first Samichlaus there. My first Thomas Hardy’s. I don’t know if the place is still as good as it is in my mind, but memories can be sweet.
Chris relayed some stories about drinking belgian beer at Brigids in the mid-90’s, before Monk’s was even opened. About meeting various stars of the Philly brewing scene before they were stars. The good ole days. I enjoyed the stories, and wished that I had been there.
All this looking to the past serves only to distract from the real reason I was out at a bar on a Monday night. The future. You’ll just have to wait to find out what I’m talking about.
I managed to pull off 2 fancy dinners, flowers, chocolates, and beer for our anniversary. Yea, I’m bragging. But really, I’m thanking. We have many good friends who were more than generous. If you haven’t before, you need to go have dinner at the South Philadelphia Taproom. Have Adam serve you some beer, on Joe’s recommendation, while Zach cooks you a delicious meal. Seriously, do yourself that favor. And if you’re ever in West Chester (or anywhere else that has one), stop by Iron Hill for a meal. And afterwards, stop by Eclat for some amazing handmade chocolates. You won’t regret it.