It's been a crazy two weeks, spent the last week and a half on vacation camping, riding and hiking in Glacier National Park and the great state of Montana (that's a blog post for later) with our first official day back at work being Wednesday. Not wanting to miss out on the Tour de Brew LNK ride but also not wanting to get fired for skipping out too early on the first day back to work, we ended up running a little later than normal getting down here from Omaha and had to skip the stop at Moran's and instead headed straight to Cycle Works.
On tap this month were offerings from Empyrean Brewing Co., the one pictured here is their light, refreshing, summer sipping, Lemon Weizen. It's another great offering from their Carpe Brew'em series of beers and one I am looking forward to finding in bottles in the near future.
It was another great turn out with all the usual suspects one had come to expect at these events, including the Kitchen Sink Cookie Company, which we of course had to indulge in again this month. I'm not sure if it was the vacation, the rush to get down to Lincoln or the driving version of jet lag but I felt a bit off of my photo game for this ride so there might not be as many pictures as usual.
After a few beers, a few cookies and some of the usual schmoozing it was time to head out in search of food and parking spots for the bikes.
Kyle and his wife, Jen, decided to bring their bicycle built for two to the ride.
Tandems have always looked like they would be a ton of fun... provided you are the person in the front or on a really short ride. Something about my hands, face and my me being that close to another person's sweaty hind parts and back side just seems unappealing to me but I'd ride the heck out of the front seat.
It was decided by the herd that we would head to LeadBelly for food, which was just fine with me as I haven't found anything there yet that I didn't like. We even got to sit in the way, way, way back of the restaurant so far back that we almost weren't even in LeadBelly but rather ended up in the section that is the caboose you can see from the street, the one that used to be The N Zone once upon a time. Ok, so it's not all that exciting to most maybe but I'd never been in there until now so I was digging it.
What I was digging even more was their extra spicy Large Marge Bacon Bloody Mary, the smaller one in the back is just the Marge Bacon Bloody Mary and it is in a pint glass for reference; the Large Marge is an entire quart mason jar of bloody, bacon-y, vodka goodness. I know it's supposed to be the Tour de BREW ride but I'm a huge fan of a good Bloody Mary and this one lived up to the name and the over the top size.
I suspect that there was a little bit of alcohol in the quart of Bloody Mary because while sipping on it and deciding on what to eat, I spotted this and thought to myself, "huh, just one push and we could practically be sitting outside, I wonder if that alarm still works?"
It wasn't until I caught this look that I realized I had also verbalized my thought process and so no actual pushing of the emergency exits were done, twas a shame as it was a nice night out. Fun haters!
Being someone who is always up for trying something new at least once, twice even if I don't remember the first time or am undecided on the results of the first occurrence, we decided to split the Fully Leaded Jacket and we were not disappointed in that choice either. If you've ever been to Leadbelly you know how large their portions are so finding something on the menu that we can agree upon to split is always a good thing, especially when you're downing a quart of vodka and tomato juice.
After drinking some drinks and eating some eats, it was time to head to the Empyrean tap room for more beer and to stake out spot and await the raffle. Gary got himself a fancy new camera that takes those highfalutin moving pictures or so I've been told as I've yet to see any actual video.
The camera wasn't the only new thing Gary got since the last ride, I'm not sure if you'd call it a hair cut per se as there isn't really any hair left to be cut but it's a change anyway, here's hoping the clouds don't go away any time soon for Gary's sake.
Luckily it was just a hop, skip and a jump across the road to the tap room where the Moran's crew was already posted up by the front door greeting people and handing out the last raffle ticket.
Never noticed this sign before, it's a cautionary tail to all the backwards cap wearing, beer drinking, flip flop loving bros of the world. If you get drunk and run over the ledge bad things might happen, you are not lemmings and it will hurt or worse... your hat might spin around the right direction and that little plastic Y strap might pull out of the bottom of the foam rubber sole of your flippy floppy. It'll be total bro-micide so act right!
If however, you manage to survive you will land somewhere near this sweet fat bike... light at the end of the tunnel and all that.
Do you know the secret about most tap rooms? The secret is that they have taps and inside those taps is beer and for a small monetary donation they will give you some of that beer, this tap room was no exception and soon the libations were flowing.
Never a lack of awesome prizes at these rides.
Something pretty cool were all the thank you cards on the tables from the kids at the Malone Center, this is what the rides are really about. Everyone who participates and donates during these rides should be proud of the funds that we are raising for the community.
Random picture time.... The crew for the ride.
Bob and his friend... whose name I am sure I was given but have since forgot, sorry Bob's friend.
Empyrean brew dudes doing impromptu fry inspections, quality starts with you.
A group of little people or someone lied on their waiver, they look a bit like minors and not the coal, gold, silver or other such ore extracting individuals.
Eric and the GF.
All the Bahms.
2nd Bike Pedalers t-shirt in as many rides, it's retro hip.
Custom painted storm cloud helmet, pretty fitting for the weather we have been having.
Support your local... hind parts? Good advice I suppose, don't nobody want saggy buttocks.
Alright enough with the random pictures, it's everyone's favorite time of the night... LETS GET REEEAAAADDDDDDYYYYYY TOOOOOOOO RRRRRAAAAAAAAFFFFFFFFFLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEE!!!!
Because we skipped Moran's we only had two raffle tickets for the evening but fret not, one of them was a winner.
I left the soiree with an awesome Moran's t-shirt and sticker.
Vince also scored a Tour de Brew LNK t-shirt and a sticker.
Kyle kept the t-shirt trend going with an Empyrean shirt.
Bob stepped up the game by winning a t-shirt, a hat and he got photo bombed... show off.
Michaela scored a Empyrean visor and a really sweet bottle opener.
Chris went home with a hat, an opener and a sticker. Gary had my roll for this ride and went home empty handed, I'd almost feel bad for him but he generally rakes in the prizes so one time without will help to keep him humble.
And just like that, the ride was over, goodbyes were said, plans were made for the next ride and all that was left was the cleanup...
Hard to believe that we are already at the end of June and that there are only three more Tour de Brew LNK rides left for the year, say it ain't so.
Also if you're unsure of the title of the blog, Google Empyrean, not the brewery but the meaning of the word and it will all become clear. See you all next month.