Posts Tagged ‘beer’

A Winter Bicycling Day in Denver

Hello!  I am just back from a quick trip to Denver this weekend to visit Melissa.  Yesterday she and I grabbed bikes out of the garage (I rode her husband Chanh’s Huffy and she rode her Raleigh “Black Beauty”) for a relaxing ride around the neighborhood.





So, yeah, in Denver a ride around “the neighborhood” can be pretty darn amazing.

This beautiful scenery is in the city.  After leaving Melissa’s house and crossing a calm and well-marked street or two…


…Melissa led me down a lovely trail through a huge park.



As you can see, winter bicycling in Denver is not like winter bicycling in Chicago.  The bright sun and extremely clear sky were super bright, especially coming as I was from the dark and grey world of Chicago.  Good thing I had my big sunglasses.



A couple of details: the cool bell on my bike and Melissa’s cute biking shoes.



The park area where we were biking actually used to be an air force base, which this huge plane commemorates.


Some areas built up in place of the old base look a bit too suburban pre-fab for my taste, but overall it is a beautiful environment.


We took a break from our ride to enjoy a refreshment at a beer garden.  I love the beer culture in Denver!



Finally, we got a quick picture together before heading home.


The day before our bike adventure, we explored the town of Golden, Colorado on foot.


Where I guess they appreciate bicyclists!


This town is where Coors is brewed, but we chose to visit a couple of smaller breweries instead.  First, Golden City.  Their sign cracks me up.



Then an ice cream intermission for this little guy (his first!).


(He’s like – “Why are you poking me in the head, Auntie Dottie?”  Because I can, baby!)


And then a walk in the fresh air to the second brewery, Mountain Toad.




Good times!  We make a good bike-riding, beer-drinking, baby-playing team.  :)


As I write this, I am back in Chicago: snowy, freezing, and Melissa-less.  So sad!  I’m sure I’ll be back in beautiful Denver again in the next year.

For previous Colorado adventures, see Brewery Bike Tour in Fort Collins and B-Cycling in Denver.

Bikes + beer = FUN


The third annual Nashville Tour de Fat was on Saturday, and it was a blast. It was also a hot and humid 90+—the second day of summer and it totally felt like it. Major kudos to those who wore costumes. The best I could do was deck out the Bat.



After the parade, the bike valet set up by Walk/Bike Nashville was just a little bit popular…


After helping park some bikes, I was off to gulp down a squash fritter from Riff’s, and settle down with a beer and some friends to watch the craziness in the bike corral.


While walking around the festival, I overheard a few different people talk about how they wanted to get a bike and start riding around—one of the many reasons that the Tour de Fat is more than just a fun ride/day in the park.

tourdefatpicstitch Another reason: More than $30,000 was raised for local nonprofits. Is the Tour de Fat coming to your town?

{ Read about Dottie’s and my previous experiences at the Tour de Fat here, here & here. }

Brewery Bike Tour in Fort Collins

I’m back in Chicago! Can you believe it’s November already?

During my Denver vacation, I spent a day in nearby Fort Collins, Colorado.  Melissa, Chanh, Mr. Dottie, and I went on a bike tour of the city’s breweries. Melissa mapped out an ambitious plan to hit all seven, but a late start, early return time for the bikes, and a lot of beer sampling lowered that number to three.

Our first stop was the Fort Collins Bike Library to pick up free bikes. That’s right: free.  The Bike Library is a non-profit that lends out bikes like a library (get it?).

The Bike Library is located in a small hut in the middle of the downtown pedestrian plaza. Once we signed a waiver and provided credit card information, we were free to pick out the bikes.  Many were unrideable due to needed repairs, but lucky for us, several were left in good condition.

I scored a Jamis Commuter, the first bike I owned as an adult.  This was a very nice version, complete with 8-geared internal hub, chain guard, fenders and generator lights, although it made a crazy noise and the fenders were bent up.

Melissa tried out the bakfiets (awesome!)…

But went with a cute blue cruiser.

Chanh and Greg chose/were left with red single speeds.

Our second stop was CooperSmith’s Brewery, since it is next to the Bike Library and has a pub where we could eat lunch. Also, beer!

Then we set off down the road to our next stop, Odell Brewing. The ride was quick, but most of the route was along the shoulder of a two-way street with faster traffic. Someone with less experience riding among traffic may not be totally comfortable with this route (along Lincoln) but we found a more enjoyable back-streets route for the return trip.

The beer at Odell was AMAZING!  Easily among the best beer I’ve ever had, especially the Bourbon Barrel Stout.

I think we managed to taste them all.

Our final stop was New Belgium Brewery, which appropriately had a wide bike lane outside.

And its own small fleet of branded bikes.

I’m a big fan of New Belgium, both for its Tour de Fat/bike advocacy and its delicious beer.

Uh, yeah, we enjoyed our beer. :)

Fort Collins is not only breweries, though. Before heading out, we spent some time walking around the cute downtown area.

It is very pedestrian friendly.  ;)

We played with the interactive street art.

Surely, this fish was meant to be ridden.

Definitely this bike piano was meant to be played.

Fort Collins is an awesome little town.  We had so much fun and I’m happy we spent a day there.

I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. What could be more fun than bikes and breweries?

Precious Cargo Fail

What I learned today: 24 bottles of beer can fall from a bike rack in transit and not break.

Tis true.

The heavy cardboard box of Two Brothers brew I strapped to Oma’s rear rack crashed to the pavement as I peddled out of the Costco parking lot. I have successfully biked home with cases of beer in the past, but the problem here was that I could not center the box on the rack because my full pannier had to clip on the left side, so the box was flush on the left side but hanging over quite a bit on the right side. Bad idea. I know this now.

After I thanked the barley gods that the bottles did not break, I repositioned the box in the center of my rear rack, placed the pannier on top of my filled basket, hung a bag from my handlebars, and proceeded to walk my haphazardly loaded bike home, one mile in the misty sleet, mumbling cuss words under my breath.

I really needed a beer by the time I got home, which was convenient.

That was pretty much the perfect end to a difficult week.

A bright spot in the past seven days, though, was a happy hour with some of the women who bike and brunch – and drink! Good times. I did not have my camera, but Ash came through with her phone as she and I prepared to ride home in the wet snow.

Ash and her Batavus Old Dutch

Me and Oma

The happy hour and Darcy’s – I mean, Colin Firth’s – best actor win were the highlights of the week.

Here’s to hoping this coming week is better.

Bikes, Beer and Books in Sevier Park

Though we’ve already penned our odes to fall and tights, and recapped our fun-filled summer, I left work this afternoon to find an overcast morning had brought forth one last glimpse of summer sun. So of course, Le Peug and I headed off to enjoy it. Our destination: Sevier Park, starting point for the  LGRAB Garden Party Ride, home of Sunnyside Manor and less than a mile from my house.

Le Peug, Sunnyside and some very green grass.

Le Peug, Sunnyside and some very green grass.


Together Again

This week I am in Nashville, vacationing at the Trisha Resort and Spa. Highly recommended, as it includes a pool, cats, bikes, alcohol and delicious home-cooked meals. Except for the ride from the airport on Tuesday, I’ve yet to get in a car. Here we are last night setting out for a Yazoo party in celebration of its new beer, Sue, a high-alc, cherry-wood smoked porter. Yumm.

To the beer party!

To the beer party! Special thanks to photographer C

I must say a bit about the hills. And the humidity. Ugh. Very articulate, I know, but that pretty much sums it up. Trisha is a Southern warrior, I tell you!

Biking in the ‘Burbs

I spent Sunday in the suburbs visiting Melissa. I took the local L train to Union Station downtown, then took the Metra suburb train the rest of the way. Betty Foy wanted to come with me, but bikes were not allowed on the trains this weekend because of the Lollapalooza music festival, so Melissa picked me up from the train station in her car.

Bike path beauty

Bike path beauty Melissa

When we got to her place we parked the car, picked up the bikes and set out to the liquor store. (more…)

Saturday in Lincoln Square

Another beautiful spring day on bicycles. We enjoyed a few hours in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, visiting the bookstore, music store, Italian restaurant, coffee shop, and running store. Cycling there makes the whole day 100 times more fun, since it’s so much faster than driving or the el train, plus it’s impossible to find a car parking spot and the el is always sorta depressing. On bikes, the journey becomes part of the day, instead of a hassle to get through.

In Lincoln Square

In Lincoln Square

This morning I put the front rack and basket on my bike (it’s been off for a while to help combat the headwinds). The basket was stuffed full and the Oma handled like a charm. Thank goodness for those rear rack straps, which can hold pretty much anything, including my new yoga mat. The front rack is rated to carry 50 lbs and the rear rack 75 lbs, so I still have a long way to go before I run into cargo problems.


What’s in a Name?

After our first happy hour

After our first happy hour

In  my imagination, my French mixte was a girl. Her name would be Simone,* and she would be the perfect thing to ride to cafes to sip coffee, or to bars to drink gin martinis or sidecars while discussing feminist theory, boys, bikes, existentialism, travel, politics and our cats (what do you talk about at happy hour?). On the off chance the bike was more scientific-minded, she could be a Marie (Curie); or, if she had a more artistic temperament, Camille (Claudel).

Imagine my surprise when Le Peug showed up and was…a boy. We get along just fine, but I don’t have a name picked out! I’ve tossed around Baudelaire, Balzac, Napoleon (top of the list, but not perfect), Voltaire, Louis (too generic), Moliere (too lighthearted) even Charlemagne, but nothing feels quite right. So for the time being, he’s Le Peug (Puhzh). I’m thinking it will take a few more days to take his measure and figure out his personality. Any bright ideas? Leave them in the comments!

* A fascinating interview with de Beauvoir can be found here.

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