I really like beer.
I may go so far as to say that I love beer. I love my bike even
more. After some deep soul searching, I realized that many cyclists
out there are in the same situation. The love for beer and bike run
strong. It is a bond that is stronger than some marriages I've
witnessed. I've even noticed that beer has been mentioned in some
bike magazines (BIKE Magazine, mostly). Are the publishers finally
getting hip to the fact that bikers like beer or are we all
becoming just a bunch of drunks?
This is the question that I posed to all CyberCyclists around
the world (through the magic of the Internet) and some of the
answers I got surprised even me. Of all the requests for responses
that I have posted, this one garnered the most by far. That ought
to tell you something.
The most often repeated answer was simply the fact that beer is
food. Not only that but it is high in carbohydrates. Both things
are needed in large amounts by any cyclist. If you look at the
ingredients of any beer you will find it is made out of water,
malt, rice, corn, hops and brewers yeast. At least that's what my
can of Rolling Rock says. And no additives or preservatives. An all
natural, high carbo food. What more do you want? I think the dude
who invented fermentation deserves a national holiday in his name.
And on that day we will all ride bikes.
The love for beer and bike was repeated in almost every e-mail
that hit my screen. Nobody could really explain why this is, and
I'm sure it will go down as one of those unanswerable questions of
the universe, right up there with "If I have to put the toilet seat
down when I'm finished, why can't my girlfriend/wife put it up when
she is done?" My theory is that connected to the Cycling Gene there
is a mutated strand of DNA that closely resembles that of barley. I
could be wrong, but what if I'm right?
There is something to be said for an ice cold beer after a long
ride (or any ride for that matter). It sounds better than a glass
of wine or a shot of vodka. Only because who wants to mess with a
cork or cocktail shaker while you're all sweaty? Can you i magine
after a long, hard, dirty ride you go over to your friend's house
and he breaks out the SHERRY? How fast would you be on your bike
and on your way to the nearest pub for a pint of the good
Most replies seemed to fall into two categories when asked to
name their favorite beer. There was the Cheap-whatever's-available
group and the Good-dark-preferably-micro-brewed group. I personally
can drink any beer but I do seem to buy all my beer by the twelve
or twenty-four packs. And I almost always refuse to pay more than
$5 for a twelver. But there is something to be said for a Guinness
or Bass now and then. My favorite, though, is Rolling Rock, mainly
because it has the words "rock" and "roll" in the name.
I suppose bikes and beer will always go together and there is
nothing any of us can do about it. One of the best letters I got
was from AlsworthG. He wrote that during the Tour de France, his
local station did a retrospective each day. One of them showed an
old photo from the 20's or 30's of two racers resting with glasses
of beer in their hands. ". . .so I presume that it's always been
true," he writes.
And I hope that it always remains that way.
Ed Note - You do realize that anytime alcohol is mentioned we're
required to tell you some things. First of all. Never combine
drinking and driving, drinking and riding your bike, or drinking
and any activity that can in any way shape or form hurt you. Don't
forget, just like with mountain biking, knowing when to stop can be
the most important thing.