It's been a few summers since we've seen heat like we are having currently this early in the "summer", which technically doesn't even officially start until Monday. Robin Williams has a great little skit called "Is it hot enough for you" that you should check out if you get a chance, not appropriate for all audiences but funny and totally fitting for the Tour de Brew LNK last night. Sponsored beer was from Zipline, their new Hibiscus Saison is a really good, light summer beer, and the charity for the ride was the Lincoln Bike Kitchen... still no food on the menu out there.
Cruised on down to Moran's to start it out there again for this months tour, mostly because holy crap is the whole 27th and Vine area almost impossible to get to from the north or east sides. Initially it looked like perhaps the heat was going to keep the ride a little bit smaller than previous months but that didn't hold true by the end.
I'm really digging the collaboration this year with the folks from A Street Market, who just happen to share the parking lot with Moran's, the sausages that they had there last night were pretty amazing.
We kept things pretty brief at Moran's, mostly because if you stood outside in one place for too long in that heat; you started to form a puddle below your undercarriage much like the A/C drippage from a car and nobody likes to stand in a puddle of their own undercarriage sweat. My all time favorite beer-mobile, need to get one of these mini-mini vans and come up with a cool wrap for it to haul bikes an gear.
Weird thing, once we got to Cycle Works everyone else is making a B line for the cookies or the beer and I'm stuck 5 feet in the door drooling over the new Salsa Bucksaw that they just built up. It's a good thing the frame is aluminum otherwise rust might have become a real concern, best fat bike I've ever had the privilege or riding. Of course the carbon version is probably more drool worthy but the aluminum version is more average Joe affordable with just a slight weight penalty. Ok, to be honest you still would need to be a Joe with a pretty good income to debt ratio but it's in the ball park anyway.
I eventually was able to pry myself away from the Bucksaw and on to the cookies and beer. These Cherry Limeade cookies from Kitchen Sink Cookie Company were amazing! I talked to the lady who brings here delicious cookies out to Cycle Works and you if you bring money to the back of the building on 27th and O Streets, she will sell you cookies in the alley... like a drug deal, which seems fitting because these things are almost as addictive as crack.
In addition to the great Zipline brews that were available, Rick brought back some barley pop from his trip out west. Bootleg Brewery knows how to do at least two things really well, make rad growlers and brew good beer! If you find yourself out by Taylor Nebraska (it's near Burwell), I'd recommend a stop for some cold refreshments; the one Rick brought back was their Cling On wheat beer and it was pretty darn tasty.
Speaking of Rick, he also had with him a little history as well in the form of a photo of him in 1976 bikepacking before bikepacking was even a thing. Funny thing about that sentence is my fingers kept wanting badly to type 1876 and who knows, maybe Rick was biking back then as well.
If Magnum PI and Tattoo from Fantasy Island had a love child it would look a lot like this I think. A few more gray hairs but he looks about the same now as he did then... I bet somewhere in a drawer that hasn't been opened in decades, those shorts still live just waiting to see the light of day again.
The crowds I didn't see earlier showed up in full force at Cycle Works, nothing smells better on a hot June day than a hundred sweaty cyclists all up in your personal bubble.
After drinking the beer, eating the cookies and rubbing elbows with the fellow Tour-ers, it was time to head downtown in search of food. It was a night of photographic gold, I had never before in my entire life seen Jamie in a skirt before... these kinds of things must be archived for prosperity. Especially when that skirt is a rad bicycle covered, purple skirt; I must admit that next to orange, purple is probably my second favorite color. I may need to borrow that skirt sometime.
We wound our way through town to the Haymarket and eventually found ourselves at Born In a Barn; they have really good food if you haven't been down there before. They are a little hidden almost below the Harris Overpass but they are well worth the search if you're a burger, beer, wing person.
All the usual suspects made it out for the ride again this month, still missing Kyle but it's a bit of a drive now that he lives in Des Moines so I guess we will excuse him.
The better half and I decided to split a burger and some wings, we originally wanted to try the Jucy Lucy but they were out of the Gouda cheese for it so we settled on the Smootchie which is their take on a chili burger and we were not disappointed.
We also decided to try the Hog Wild Pork Wings with the Maple Bacon BBQ sauce, they were pretty amazing. I'm not sure why pigs have wings yet they can't fly but I suppose if buffalo can have flightless wings why can their swine brothers. Oddly enough pork wings are larger than buffalo wings, so if either is going to figure out how to take flight one day the odds are in favor of the pig. So someday the expression "When pigs fly" might become obsolete, that is if they can keep people from eating their wings because they were delicious.
Once properly stuffed, it was time to move on to the last stop of the evening and some great beers from Empyrean. I opted to try the Carpe Brew'em Berliner Weisse with the Waldmeister syrup, if you like bitter/tart beers then you really should give this on a try. The Waldmeister is a plant used primarily in Europe for jelly, jam, sherbet flavoring and even used to deter moths because of the strong odor of the leaves. In the Berliner Weisse it has a sour apple taste to it, like a really tart jolly rancher... plus you didn't have to worry about moths, which might be a concern if you enjoy drinking out on the porch under a light. Bi-winning!
I think I found my next bike, it can carry a barrel of beer on the front and it has an umbrella to help keep my skin so smooth and alabaster.
The schwag was on point again tonight, lots of folks going home with some rad t-shirts, hats and glassware.
Even though I rarely win any, I'm a big fan of all the prizes... sorry, really bad pun.
Not everyone was as excited about the impending raffle and prizes however, I guess some people just don't like free stuff.
Time again for the prizes, Brian and his wife cleaned up last night; each with a t-shirt and also a aluminum Zipline growler. Score!
Vince picked up a bumpy pink ball thing and some sauce and seasoning from Dirt Nap Dip that looked pretty tasty.
Gary of course won because well, he wins... Every. Single. Time!
In one of those "even the sun shines on a dogs ass some days" moment, I even managed to win something this time around. The curse is over, well until next month.
In that glass was a Brewski's gift card.
A People for Bikes koozie and a free pint at Zipline! And just like that, another ride was in the books, it was all over except the trek home and a few hours sleep before work on Friday but being tired is just a little bit sweeter with some rad schwag in your hands.
One of the things that I'm finding to be somewhat increasingly difficult about these Tour de Brew blogs is trying to keep them from all being the same. The ride is in it's third year so it would be very easy to fall into a pattern but at the same time the rides are very similar with slight variances so they are actually a pattern of events repeated every month... it's a pretty difficult balance without making them carbon copies of one another. I suppose at some point it might come to a time when there really isn't much left to say on the Tour de Brew rides and the blog originality will dry up, bringing an end to the blogs on them. Not sure when that might be or if it's already at that point but for now I'll probably jot down my thoughts on them each month and hope not to bore everyone.