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I was unable to make this ride, unfortunately, so Stephen is providing this recap. Thanks for heading this ride up Stephen!!
The seven of us (John, Phil, Linda, Ellis, Stephen, Tim and Jared) departed about 40 minutes late as the Broad Street Run prevented some people from arriving on time to the meet-up spot. The ride out was fantastic, though, and with little incident (I even found a pair of cycling gloves!). It was pretty sunny and riding alongside rivers and creeks most of the way out to Phoenixville got us all talking about a dip on the way back. Although the Sly Fox event was basically in a strip mall parking lot, we found some grass to lounge in for the afternoon. The beer was abundant and the crowd in high spirits. A few of us took advantage of the adjacent Dairy Queen. The ride back included a quick swim in the Schuylkill near the Valley Forge park and none of the predicted rain. Two thumbs way up!
Our April ride will not technically be in April, but it will be awesome nonetheless. We’ll be riding out to the Sly Fox Goat Race and Bock Fest. This event is one of a kind, and not to be missed. It will be a longer rider, about 30 miles each way. But there will be very few hills, and lots of off road paths. There is a train station nearby, in case you want to hitch a ride home. The fest starts at 11am, so to get there in a timely manner, we’ll be leaving the Art Museum at 9am. Get ready for an awesome ride and an awesome day!! See you then!
Life is busy these days. I’m weeks away from being father to a third girl. I’m working way more hours than I want to. And I’m sleeping far less than I should. But I suppose I should get used to that.
But I am finding myself often in the country for work, which I’m making the most of. I’ve been able to schedule lunch at Sly Fox one day and Victory another. I hadn’t been to Victory before, so that was a treat.
And I’m in the car much more than on my bike, which annoys me to no end. But there’s no avoiding it right now. That is, until I’m able to ride a couple hundred miles within a couple hours, then maybe we’ll see.
Expect some changes in both sites soon, Beer of the Bike will soon be known simply as Beer by Bike. The fate of this site is still up in the air.
And speaking of which, check out the awesome birthday gift Lo got for me!
I have a personal tradition. In the dead of winter, on the coldest night, I bundle up and head out to a local bar for some beers. I’ve never thought of it as a “tradition,” but looking back, its something that I’ve consistently done for several years, so I’ll name it as such.
So last night, in 15 degree weather, I braved largely unplowed icy roads on a charming 1/2 mile ride to Johnny Brenda’s. I thought I was going to see some friends bands play and I was grateful for a fun night out.
Funny thing, though. I paid the $10 cover, found a friend at the bar, and cozied up with a glass of Legacy Bruin (delicious, though maybe not as hearty as such a night called for). I realized that other than Alex at the bar, whom my meeting was a happy accident, I didn’t recognize another face in the place. I didn’t even see my friends who were supposed to be playing. I finally got suspicious enough and checked out the band list for the night, and realized that I was totally at the wrong show. Oops! For the record, don’t trust Facebook invites, they often have the wrong dates.
So I took my Weyerbacher Fireside ale down to the main bar and spent the rest of the night there. Despite the show confusion, it was a great night. The tap list at Johnny Brendas usually bores me, but there was quite a selection last night. Besides the Fireside ale, which was sublime, the Dock St Imperial Stout was impressive. I don’t remember the Sly Fox Gang Aft Agley being so smokey, but I loved it. Overall the beer selection was perfect for a frigid and ill planned evening.
Saturday was supposed to be our monthly “Beer of the Bike” ride. The plan was to ride out to Victory in Downingtown. But as the date approached, I realized that no one was really letting me know they were coming. I suspected it Saturday morning, and as I sat enjoying my coffee at the Art Museum steps, no one showed up. The rain and the longer distance likely scared people away. No worries, I switched to plan B.
There was an Oktoberfest beer fest going on in Center City that day as well. I figured I’d make the most of my free day and head over there. I met up with the Beer Lass and joined her for a bit (many thanks Suzy!!), pouring samples of the Sly Fox Oktoberfest, first to the “VIPs”, then to the drunken masses. In between I had a chance to sample some of the beers. I kept it light, as its easy to go overboard at a beer fest. But of all the beers I had, I really think that the Sly Fox version was the best. Spaten, Harpoon, and Oskar Blues all had solid offerings. I was a little underwhelmed by the Dock Street, unfortunately. And of the 4 rare beers at the Monks/Shelton Bro’s table, I only tried the Klosterbier, which had a lactic acid/Berliner-weisse-y tartness to it that I wasn’t quite sure if intentional or not. The sign indicated it was from a pitch lined cask, but I didn’t get anything of that nature in the flavor.
I spent the remainder of the day, and most of the night, at the Lehigh Ave Arts Fest. I was really there to see our good friends Adam and Dave’s Bloodline play, with Lois on backing vocals. It dragged on into the evening, but with the kids at the grandparents for the night, it was all good.
Except, perhaps, for the 2 flat tires on the way home. But it was after a late dinner at the Memphis Taproom. So really, after a day filled with beer, music, and biking, can I really complain?
I’m recovering after a roller coaster week of bachelor living and Jersey Shore extended family “vacation.” I’m taking things slower this week. But here’s a couple thoughts.
I love shrimp and scallops. I tried to beer-brine and grill some this sunday. The brine was a bit too intense for the little shrimpys, but the scallops came out awesome. I used Victory Hop Devil with some sea salt and spices. I really like the idea of marinated/brining in beer. I hope there will be much more of such things in the future. I just need to get my Lucy Saunders book back from my brother in law for more beer cuisine ideas!
This Saturday is our monthly “Beer of the Bike” ride. We had to change the plans at the last minute, and honestly, I like the new plans better. We’ll be riding out to Sly Fox (Edit: I found out that the Sly Fox site was just redone, check it out, it looks great!) . I’ve been really enjoying their beers lately, and I’m looking forward to trying to grab some growlers at the brewery! It exciting to me that a silly idea I came up with, as a new years resolution of sorts, has taken on a life of its own. I’m expecting close to 20 people to ride with us on Sat. I can’t wait!
Le Tour De France. Its probably easy to argue that this race is past its prime, with all the controversy and bad press. But its still the only cycling that gets decent TV coverage in the U.S.
So for three weeks every summer, we camp out in front of the TV every night to watch it. Its not live, and we have to bear the commentary of Bob Roll (the Roll-factor, as Bike Hugger calls it), but its great nonetheless.
Its also a chance to drink beer. Our Tour brew of choice last year was Sly Fox Royal Weisse, and we had some last night. But I’m thinking maybe we’ll take this year’s Tour and make it a chance to try something new. At the Foodery yesterday I saw so many new and interesting beers, many I had not even heard of. If I can manage the project, I’ll update here.
Regardless, the one thing that the Tour manages to do every year is renew my desire to move to France. Or at least visit it. The towns, the countryside, the cliffs and ocean, it always blows my mind.
Lois and I had a chance to run out for some drinks Thursday night at Johnny Brenda’s. Beerlass posted a tip that there may be a newly tapped keg of Sly Fox Jasper Mai Bock there. There wasn’t. But we had some nice alternates instead. We had a pair of Sly Fox Ichors to begin. A bit cloying, and perhaps unbalanced, but it was fine with me. I wasn’t sure what it was when I ordered, but as a quad, it made alot more sense. For round 2, I got a Stoudt’s Mai Bock, since the Jasper wasn’t there. Classic, well balanced, though I was greedy for more than a 10oz pour. Lois tried the Dogfish Festina Peche. She wasn’t much into the tart (a peach sweet tart, in her words), and I can’t say I blame her. It tasted fine, but a full pint would take some dedication. Or, as Lois suggested, it would have gone much better with some pie (in contrast to the Ichor, which she likened to a dessert in and of itself).