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I was surprised to arrive at the Art Museum in the wee hours of the morning to find people already waiting. In a strange turn of events, 12 riders were all up and ready to roll out right at 8am. Who said bikers are never on time?
The ride was pretty epic. It was a hot day, but fortunately most of the route was shady. And the quiet morning streets of the mainline almost made some of the harder hills enjoyable. Almost. It wasn’t actually a hard ride at all, and maybe I was the only one, but I’m far out of shape and found myself dropped quite a bit. Regardless, we all managed to stay together and roll up to the Victory Brewpub 5 minutes after they opened.
We took over the table in the corner, covered with a copper lauter tun top, and ordered up various flights of various beers. I went with a flight of special edition Pils brewed for the Craft Brewer’s Conference. Lunch, beer, air conditioning, it was the perfect Beer by Bike. We split up for the ride home, some rode back, some caught a train, and some were fortunate enough to hitch a ride (guilty as charged).
The weather is looking like its going to cooperate with us on Saturday, if maybe on the hot end. So I’ll see you all at the Art Museum steps a 7:30am. We’ll be leaving promptly at 8am, so don’t be late. We’ll decide on the route in the morning, though it will be some variation of one of these routes:
In my quest to convert the ride formerly known as “Beer of the Bike,” I’m going to start using this blog to announce upcoming rides.
And to kick it off, what better ride than a nice long one out to Victory Brewing Co in Downingtown, PA on July 25th. It’ll be a long ride, so we’ll be leaving early. I’ll post the times and details once I figure them out. But expect to meet at the Art Museum bright and early! And plan for some hills out in Chester County. For the way home, you can either ride back, hop on the R5, or arrange a ride. It will be about 35-40 miles each way.
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!
Victory Golden Monkey is one of my favorite local beers. In my years I’ve drank probably more of this beer than most others. Its a full flavored, interesting, and affordable belgian style tripel. In my exploration of aging beers, this is one of the first beers I thought of, and I’ve been sitting on a number of bottles for awhile now. last night I cracked open one to see how it was doing. Per the stamp on the label, it was bottled in July of 2007, so not quite a year and a half old.
I’m sorry to say though, that it doesn’t seem to be aging well. Perhaps my basement’s conditions are not ideal (my poorly vented dryer being the main culprit), but the flavor was a bit flat. While flavorful and carbonated, it was a little cardboardy and muddy tasting. Its a shame, but I’ll have to drink up my stock sooner rather than later. Ha, bummer! I suppose I will move them to a fridge to preserve what flavor is there. I also have a batch from July of this year I’ll have to tap into.
On a different note, the Bike Coalition and Dock St Brewery are throwing a Biketoberfest party this Sunday. Anyone going? I know its a benefit and all, but I’m having a hard time with there being a $25 entrance fee AND a cash bar.
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?
There are several bike and beer events coming up this month. A rider on Sat told me about the River Horse Hops to Hops MS ride that is coming up on Sept 7th. I won’t be able to do this ride, but it sounds like a fun one.
Then there is always September’s Beer of the Bike ride. If you missed Sly Fox this past Saturday, then you missed a good time! You won’t want to miss Sept!
In contrast to last weeks flurry of activity, this week has been a quiet mess. Even my weekly cell night at Skinner’s was skipped. On Tuesday night, our main server at work lost 2 hard drives. We basically lost all our data from the past 7 years, including every appraisal report I’ve done. I’ll spare the details, but its been a mess.
I didn’t even make time to get on my bike. Sad. Though I did receive a case of Victory Whirlwind Wit as a late birthday present from my in-laws. Summer’s here, drink wheat beer.
And this Saturday is the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and the Trenton Ave Arts Fest. I’m really looking forward to taking the kids there for the festivities. I think Phila Brewing Co will be there, hopefully bringing some Walt Wit. Bikes, beer, sounds perfect.