I’m not gonna sit here and say that I’m a big fan of New Belgium beers. For me, they make good beers at a great price point. I buy ’em sometimes, and I enjoy ’em always because … The brewery is: employee-owned, and they seem to truly care about energy consumption, even going as far as charging themselves an internal energy tax.
That pretty much summed it up for me, with regard to the well-known beer-makers, until this past Saturday. I went to the Tour de Fat in town, even volunteering to help set up on Friday afternoon. Yeah–2 free beer tokens were attractive, and the volunteer water bottle was a really nice, unexpected gesture. From the time I arrived on Friday, helped out and then all day Saturday, I was highly impressed with the organization of the event, the overall positive cheer of the volunteers, New Belgium staff, and the fest-goers. It was a top-rate event.
Hanging out with friends who’ve attended numerous bikes fests and crit mass rides over their years (a handful beyond mine), they said it might be the best event they’ve been to. I was happy to hear that, as I was having a good time too.
Beer-makers and merry-makers, they are, that support local biking communities and their efforts, not losing sight of their roots. (I’ll buy New Belgium a little more often now.)
Hanging out in the shade at the Lips of Faith tent with other friends was highlighted by lotsa bike talk over pints of Cocoa Mole and Hop Stout. The buzz set in, stumbly bumbly rumbly … more pints … and then cashing in those blue tickets for 2 free slices of volunteer pizza.
Up the next morning at 5:30, on the road to the Cuyamacas around 7:00, we parked at Paso, jumped onto the single track across the street, rode up to Kelly’s Ditch, and climbed up and over and then down to Julian to meet up with the organizer of a new southern California bike packing “thingy” that has a beach loop and mountain loop. (Stay tuned for that one.)
Easy conversation and a simple plate of rice and beans carried me back to Honduras. I was content.
Kelly’s Ditch: good, rocky, strenuous fun on the way up, and going down too, minus the strenuous. A view: