Tag Archive: burger


Have beer, will ride

 

At times, a fortuitous confluence of events will lead you to crack some hare-brained scheme that seems like a good idea at the time, when in the fact…

 

Since picking up a road bike in the late winter, I’ve been plotting different ways get more saddle time, either through frequency or distance.  Or both.  Right around the same time, I became friends with a neighbor down the street who’d been into home-brewing his beer, which alerted to me to the fact that these days, in the New York City area, there are more craft beer breweries than ever.

Now I, for one, have long held a particular disdain for this whole microbrew or craft beer movement.  Mostly because it seemed in the ‘90s that every other shitty microbrewery was bottling any manner of brown effervescent swill that seemed to taste like anything but beer.  You had beers that tasted like peaches, bubble gum, chocolate, you name it.  Fuck you, that’s not beer.  Beer shouldn’t taste like cherries.  Or bacon.  Or whatever the fuck they were putting in these beers and selling them to shitheads around the country who had an appetite for candy in a bottle that could also get them fucked up.

Fuck you, beer should taste like beer.  End of argument.

What’s turned it around recently for me is how these craft beer breweries seem to have abandoned the stupid fruity flavors, and have gone back to making beers that taste like fucking beer.

So, one day, I hatched a plan in which I’d ride my bicycle up 15 miles to Elmsford, NY to visit the Captain Lawrence Brewery to taste their wares, then shoot 10 miles eastward to the Craftsman Ale House – where they not only carry over hundred types of killer beers but they also brew their own – followed by a 10 mile ride home with a slight detour to the famous Walter’s Hot Dogs joint in Mamaroneck, NY.

I also knew the inherent risks of trying to do a 35-mile bike ride with two pitstops for beers.  I needed wingmen, so I recruited two buddies with equal senses of depravity to do this ride with me.

We chose a Saturday, and set off at 11am.  I figured it would take us about an hour to ride the 15 miles to the Captain Lawrence Brewery.  We kept a decent pace, around 15mph for the first 12 miles of the ride.  As we got towards Elmsford, the massive criss-crossing array of highways and winding country roads caused me to veer off the planned route, and we were suddenly – and painfully – faced with a hot and slogging climb up a mile-long hill.  It looked like an asphalt wall.  20mph speeds ground down to about 8mph.  Gears shifted to the smallest ratios, legs churned so slowly, and halfway up, all three of us were ready to puke.  And we hadn’t even had a drop of beer yet.

When I fuck up, we all suffer.

Hillside Avenue

When we reached the peak, we welcomed the downhill rush down to the brewery, which was set in some industrial park.  It didn’t look like a brewery in the traditional sense at all.  More like a warehouse with a picnic tables in the back next to a bocce ball run.

“Hey, are you guys here for the beer?” a portly fella greeted us behind a table at the entrance.  Was this the stupidest question ever asked?  Possibly.  We told him we intended to have a quick pint or two before setting off again.

“Sorry, today’s a pig roast event, and it’s $40 to get in.  You can’t get beer today without paying for the pig roast.”

Are you fucking kidding me.  If it wasn’t for that ludicrous hill we just climbed, I might’ve had enough energy in me to dish out a cockpunch or two.  We still had 20 miles to ride, the last thing I need is to stuff my fat face with pig and beer – we weren’t even halfway through our ride, for fuck’s sake.

After a lot of negotiations, they let us in to “discuss the matter with the manager.”  We walked into the tasting room, and were made to stand around for about 15 minutes before the manager graced us with his presence.  The whole while, pints are being poured liberally for pig roast patrons in front of us.  Not one drop came our way.  Not even a sympathy pour.  Fuckers.

After 15 minutes, some bespectacled hipster with a metal bar through his septum came to speak with us.  “Sorry, we’re only doing the pig roast event today.  Each of you have got to pay the $40 if you want any of the beer.  It’s all you can drink.”  Which would’ve been a stellar deal if we were going to park our asses at the bar and didn’t have another 20 miles to ride, fucker.  After going back and forth with the beer overlord, he relents – “Your only choices are to pay the $40.  Or if you want, we can sell you bottles to go.”

WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T YOU SAY THAT IN FIRST PLACE, DICK?!?!!  Why the fuck are you guys making it so hard for us to buy your fucking beer?!!

3 Captain Lawrence beers

After I calmed the fuck down, we grabbed three large bottles, some cups, and settled into one of the picnic tables outside to quench our thirst.  It didn’t take long for one of their staff to come harass us about sitting at the picnic table without paying for the pig roast.  What the motherfuck.  After a brief negotiation, they left us alone to finish our beers, then off we went to the next beer stop.

While this leg of the ride was along considerably flatter terrain, it wasn’t an easy ride by any means.  The humid, midday sun was beating down hard.  The three large bottles of hoppy nectar – on empty stomachs! – weighed us down.  We coasted slowly through the next 10 miles.

At the end of the 10 miles, I promised the lads a second oasis of craft beers.  Craftsman Ale House in Harrison, NY boasted their own collection of brews in addition to hundred of other primo beers.  When we got there around 2:30pm, the place was empty, and we were more famished than buzzed.

As a stark contrast to the Captain Lawrence joint, this manager couldn’t possibly be more welcoming.  We pushed our collection of carbon fiber and titanium rides into the bar, and pulled up to three adjacent stools.

Hipster Ale

Polite banter, perusal of the massive beer list, three even more massive cheeseburgers (including one unceremoniously and viciously halved), and quick brew samples ensued.  Here’s when our next installment of downers took place: turns out that while the Craftsman Ale House brew their own beers, they do not sell their brew.  What the fuck.  So we were left with their confounding list of beers brewed by other folks… and this fucking thing on the right.

Time flies when you’re having fun and before you knew it, all three of us were getting buzzed on our phones.  Text messages galore, each with similar queries from our old ladies – “where the hell are you guys?”

Over an hour after we settled into that bar, we grabbed our bikes and started the final leg of our ride – the 10-mile slog home.  10 miles is nothing.  Correction: ordinarily, 10 miles is nothing.  It’s a ride that most cyclists can do on autopilot and barely break a sweat.  But 10 miles on belly full of hearty craft beers, cheeseburger and fries – that’s a different story.

Fuck, was that a sloooow slog home.  In our opening leg to the first brewery, we averaged just under 15mph.  On the final leg home, we average 8mph.  That is some pathetic decline in pace.

So, 6 hours later, we all finally returned back to the spot from where we started our ride.  6 hours later, we had made 2 lengthy stops for beer.  6 hours later, we had no interest in that final detour for hot dogs.  6 hours later, nothing had worked out as planned.  6 hours later, we were 3 hours late because I’m such a fuck up.  6 hours later, each one of us was in the fucking doghouse.

6 hours later, we decided we’re gonna do it again.

 

 

Day 28:  The final week.  Good, ‘cause I’m so tired of this shit.  I really am bored by the whole thing now.  No weigh-in today – we’re going to end the week with the final weigh-in and crown the winner.  One winner, while the rest of us can go on to feel completely dejected, and wallow in our self-loathing for having gone through hell for the last five weeks for fuck all.  Oh, and we’re totally allowed to hate the winner forever.  Because he or she will be skinny AND will have a pile of cash.

Day 29:  I fly out to lovely and balmy Scottsdale, AZ today.  As I’ve said, travel will be my undoing.  Traveling by yourself is one thing, traveling for work is completely different.  I’ve got colleagues who are not in this contest who will not be dragged down by my own constraints stemming from this contest, and why the hell should they.  Clients need to be entertained, fed, boozed up, and usually that’s quite delightful because I get to be entertained, fed, and boozed up along with them in the process.  The catch here is that I’m in the final stretch here, and everything I do – everything I consume, every minute I work out or don’t work out – will have some impact on me when I reach the end zone at the end of the week.

Why the fuck couldn’t this trip be to some place else?  I dunno, like DC or Atlanta or wherever.  No, it’s gotta be to Arizona.  What’s the fucking problem with Arizona?  Only the fact that in Arizona they have In-N-Out Burger out here.  This is so completely stupid, but I’m not at all lying when I say that I am completely powerless against In-N-Out.  I HAVE to have In-N-Out when I am within, say 20 miles of one.  I have done some stupid shit just to get my hands on In-N-Out.  I have, on more than one occasion, booked flights leaving at terribly inconvenient times when I’ve had to fly out to L.A. just so I could arrive with enough time to stop at the In-N-Out right by the airport before I needed to get to where I was going.  I once declined a lavish dinner at Nobu because it was my last night in L.A. and I hadn’t yet gone to In-N-Out, just so I could In-N-Out that night to get a Double Double Animal Style with a side of fries and a milkshake into my fat jiggly belly.  It is sad and pathetic how much of a slave I am to In-N-Out.  But then again, if you’ve had In-N-Out, you can probably understand why.  Maybe.

Going to Arizona today is going to be fucking disastrous.

Day 31: As a general rule, I loathe TV.  I used to watch the entire primetime line-up five days a week.  How the fuck I used to do that, I have no idea.  It’s all shite, and I lost all patience for shite a long, long time ago.  The only shows I don’t immediately turn off now are The Daily Show, Colbert, and Bourdain – that’s it (OK fine I’ll give Mad Men one more season, but I’m fast beginning tire of that shit, too).  This past month has been the WORST time in the world to watch any Bourdain show.  Here is this smug douche, going all over the world, doing all sorts of fun shit, and eating some of the most insane foods.  Needless to say, I’m usually starving when I’m watching No Reservations or The Layover.  And each time, Bourdain is indulging in glorious pork belly, wonderfully rich bone marrow, piles of shaved black truffle, the list goes on and fucking on.  The other day, there was some episode on Azorean food, and I just about licked my TV screen.

Day 32:  The finish line, thank God.  I damn near killed myself getting to this point.  I worked out at the crack of dawn in Phoenix yesterday, then hopped on a plane to fly home, and when I got home, I hit the gym one more time.  This morning, I cranked out another 45 minutes in the gym – I was going to burn off as much water weight as possible this time.  This is it, I’ve done all I can do.  So I get to the office and weigh in.  And…

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!

Holy fucking shit, I WON!!  No fucking way!  I never fucking win anything, and I fucking won this?!  Holy shit!  Net loss: 26.6lbs in 32 days.

And after 32 days, we all headed over to Hill Country BBQ, stuffed our faces with many, many pounds of meat, then went on an 8-hour bar hopping spree.

Thank God this whole thing is over.  This was by far the most ridiculous thing I’d done in a long time.  Now, on to pigging out during the Super Bowl.