Oh, the days of the pub crawl are upon us. Heed this advice, and you’ll awake in your bed the next morning feeling good with minimal damage to you or your bike:
1. Plan to visit the pub farthest away FIRST. Not only will you get a good ride in while still sober, but you’ll not be tempted at 11 p.m. to go all the way across town and then back home again, risking traffic, tired legs and sloppy riding. It’s possible you’ll find some sucker to drive you home, but never count on it. Besides, after several beers you are not very likely to accept a ride home, because you think you’re George Hincapie at that point. However, it’s far worse if you think you’re Richie Schley and insist on all “shortcuts.”
2. Plan the detour through the Montford Park bowl or the stair jumps at UNC-Asheville for after the first or second pub, depending on your consumption. A little liquid courage is good for doing that jump you’re pretty sure you can land, but have been too chicken to do without a group of your friends cheering you into your stupidity. Plus, a little alcohol makes for a neater landing. There is a fine line between a courageous buzz and sloppy stupidity. Learn this line. Color it red.
3. Make fun of all riders who walk their bikes up the hills. Ride around them in circles calling them names. Begin riding away from them well before the top of the hill for fear they will chase and catch you, regardless of the harm it causes, on the way down the other side.
4. If you go to Dirty Jacks, be aware of high-gravity beer. Drink a glass of water between every beer, and as you wait for your first beer at any new establishment.
5. Bring a lock with a long cable. Somebody will have forgotten their lock. It also comes in handy when the obnoxious guy needs to be left tied to the bike rack until morning. Leave him water.
6. Wear a bright colored wig and glo-sticks. This ensures people notice you before they run you over.
7. Carry identification on you with a phone number of that special someone who is willing to meet you at the ER.
8. Have band-aids for the morning when mysterious burns and scrapes appear.
9. See if you can coerce somebody into being the designated trailer puller. This can be for those who can no longer ride due to drunkenness or injury, and it is also useful for schlepping home mangled bike parts.