Friday, September 16, 2011

Beer and Bikes

Yeah, that’s what I always talk about around here. So, what’s different this time? Sunday is the 2nd annual (for Charlotte anyway) Urban Assault Ride from New Belgium Brewing. I didn’t do it last year, and I had all but talked myself out of it this year. Things have changed though.

It’s a little on the pricey side, and I just couldn’t see myself spending that much money on a “race.” I talked myself out of it last year for that very reason, and pretty much did the same thing this year. The original plan was to team up with The Chili Man, but I eventually decided that I didn’t want to come up with that much cash. After watching most of my cycling people around here (including Little Miss Sunshine) sign up for it, I started to have some regrets. The Dirty Party Cycle heard my bitching and had the same reasons for not participating, so I never asked him about it this year. Besides, I had already asked The Chili Man (and then I backed out due to the cost.) I know, the proceeds are going to a good cause, but I guess I wasn’t thinking about that.

I found out a little while ago that the DPC was interested, but I had already decided not to do it. Before I even had a chance to recommend him teaming up with The Chili Man (who probably still wanted to do it), he forked over the cash and team B-43 was all signed up. I couldn’t believe it. I guess he decided to take action, and wasn’t worried about me saying no since fees were paid and I had no other excuse. With only a few days until the event, we had to come up with a plan.

I’ll tell you a little bit about the ride/race. It’s basically a bicycle scavenger hunt around town (in this case, Charlotte.) Teams consisting of two people roam around the city to find checkpoints, which are local establishments that we should all know and love. When you reach a checkpoint it will have some kind of obstacle or other adventure, then you hop back on the bikes and find the next one. We can hit them in any order, and take pretty much any route we want (other than a few roads that have been named “off-limits”.) When we cross the finish line, there’s a big party waiting with lots of New Belgium beer. Sounds like a winner, right?

We started planning our route by exchanging e-mails and a few phone calls. We’re looking at about 20 miles or so, but there’s a twist. There are five checkpoints listed on the website, but there are two “mystery” checkpoints that haven’t been revealed yet. Well, a clue to the first one has been given, so we have to figure it out. Any plans we make can be ruined by the placements of these mystery checkpoints, so that adds to the challenge. We don’t know the city as well as some people do, but we should do okay. The main goal is to have fun, and of course drink a shitload of beer when we finish. That pretty much sounds like any race I do. Just to be sure it’s like any of my other races, I’ll be sure to start out really fast and burn out after the first mile or so.

Plans have been made, but I won’t share them here in case any of you locals are reading this. We have a good idea of where we’re going and how we’ll get there, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve. In case I drink too much beer and forget what we did, I plan on running my GoPro during the event. We’ll probably get lost a few times, but that’s all part of it. Hopefully I’ll be back on Monday with a report, unless the DPC and I are still wandering around in the city. There is a high probability of that, you know.

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