Torn up. Wrecked. Sauced. Bent. Or just plain drunk.
Whatever you want to call it, I had reached that lamentable state the other night during a SORBA (Southern Off Road Bicycle Association) event at Jack of the Wood in downtown Asheville. Imagine 200 mostly bearded, poorly dressed mountain bikers gathered together in a bar trying to win a sweet bike frame from REEB cycles and you’ll get the picture. Sounds great, but the problem was, Oskar Blues was a sponsor of the event, because Oskar Blues likes to sponsor events, especially if mountain biking is involved. So I proceeded to drink one Dale’s Pale Ale after the other in rapid succession. You would think that after 15 years of drinking craft beer, I would know better. But when you grow up on cheap beer—the kind of beer you can drink all day long and only hit the slightest of buzzes (I’m looking at you, Miller Lite in the can)—it’s hard to break those cheap beer habits. I don’t savor my beers. I drink them. Fast. And when you drink craft beer fast, you get drunk fast.
I didn’t even realize I had crossed the line until I was riding my bike home with a buddy, discussing the finer points of Jim Morrison (was he the worst song writer of the ‘70s, or am I being too harsh?) and I couldn’t keep my feet on the pedals.
Now for the disclaimer: You should never ride your bike drunk. It’s dangerous. Sure, you could argue that the only person you’re endangering when you pedal drunk is yourself–unless there’s a kid playing in the middle of the street at 1am and you happen to run into him, but then, why is that kid playing in the street at 1am? Is it really your fault, or perhaps the fault of someone’s lapsed parenting skills?
But I’m not here to argue the pros and cons of riding bikes drunk. I’m just going to say that I happen to like riding my bike after drinking a few beers. I’m not perfect. I take joy in that taboo.
I also like to challenge people to foot races when I drink. Chances are, if you come to Asheville and we have some beers, at some point in the evening I’ll take my shirt off and ask you to step outside for a sprint race to the stoplight. I’m not being aggressive. I just like to see who’s faster. Don’t worry, you’re probably faster.
But I digress. My point is, I’d like to thank Oskar Blues for sponsoring so many mountain bike events since opening up their brewery in Brevard. The brewery has made an honest effort to become part of the fabric of the local biking scene, and I appreciate it. I hope the other big breweries that are coming to town take the same approach.
I also appreciate the tasty beers. Sometimes, I appreciate them too much.
Check out all the fine work that Pisgah Area SORBA is doing here: pisgahareasorba.org