Tag Archives: beer

Spin Up in a Brewery

Saturday saw the second ever ‘Spin Up in a Brewery’ event, hosted by Dark Star and supported by Kinesis Bikes and Morvelo Bicycle Apparel. They had me at ‘bikes and beer’, so when I was asked to come along and have a stall at the event, I was pretty chuffed.

Sadly I had to drive over (the options for transporting a table full of bike-art goodies by bicycle are limited) but two groups of cyclists rode over from Brighton to the brewery in Partridge Green – one by road and one off-road. The hoards of thirsty riders were greeted by free beer and a huge BBQ – there was also plenty of coffee, crepes and homemade cakes if that was more your thing.

That’s my ‘I’m having fun’ face. I’m also modelling my new Morvelo tee.

Once people had filled their bellies there was still plenty to do. Of course the ideal activity post BBQ and beer is to spin your guts out (hopefully not literally) on a bike: that’s where South Coast Sprints came in with their roller racing. Prizes and shouting galore! I am massively gutted that I didn’t get a go – it was so popular that by the time I went to add my name to the list, it was full. Next time.

If you didn’t particularly fancy sweating your arse off on a bike, you could instead plonk it on a hay-bale and watch some live music…

David Osborne, aka ‘Puncture Kit’

For those with a bit of pocket money weighing them down, there were lots of other nice things to buy including bicycle clothing and some awesome up-cycled jewellery and accessories. I bagged myself a Morvelo t-shirt and some bike chain link earrings from Judy, aka Beer Babe.

Wisdom

It was great to see some familiar faces, as well as lots of new ones. It’s always fun playing the ‘match the face to the twitter profile picture’ game. Thanks everyone who came and said hello.

A big thank you to Dom, James and Oli for their work organising the event, and to my partner in crime Leesi for helping me out all day. All in all, an ideal way to spend a sunny Saturday. My only regret was not trying to steal a Kinesis Race Light bike (just kidding…).

Oh, and since quite a few people have asked, I’ll be putting some badges on the online shop very soon.

The Claud & I swag pile

Damp and muddy, but still smiling.

When I woke up this morning, the last thing I wanted to do was go outside. I could see the rain on the window from my bed, and getting out from underneath my cosy duvet took a vast amount of effort.

Eventually, fuelled with espresso and porridge, I made it out the front door and onto the road with Claud to meet a friend in Lewes. It was drizzly, damp and grey…and these continued to be the themes of the day. We had coffee in Lewes before setting out (putting off the inevitable, us?) and then headed out of town through Offham.

At this point I was still wishing I’d stayed in bed. Before my legs warm up everything seems like twice as much work. Most of my rides start like this – I keep telling myself I must be mad: why do I ride a bike?!

10 miles in, and I remember…

Legs warmed up, I’m free to enjoy the views. The hills are a challenge, but they don’t make me want to give up and go back to bed. The rain still falls and I’m covered in mud, but it’s invigorating – not disheartening. I’ve remembered why I ride a bike, and it’s making me smile.

The route we took went through Plumpton, Streat and Chailey into Barcombe. Having cycled through this bit of Sussex for Cycletta a few weeks ago, I wanted to go back and explore a bit more. Much of the ride was on single track roads, with vast fields either side and framed by cloud covered hills. We didn’t see many cars, just a few horse-riders, dog-walkers and cyclists.

It wouldn’t be a perfect Sussex ride if we didn’t go to a pub – so we headed to The Anchor in Barcombe for a pint and a roast dinner. We’d covered 30 miles by this point, so we were ready to wipe the mud off our shorts and rest our soggy legs for a bit. It is Sunday, after all.

Another 12 miles or so and we were home and (not very) dry. I made it back to busy Brighton: damp and muddy, but still smiling.

Day 29 – Dark Star Hop Fest ride

This morning I dragged my hungover body onto my bicycle for a bike ride…to a brewery! (Hair of the dog and all that.) The ride was organised as part of the Dark Star Hop Fest.

Brighton must have known I was suffering because it kindly surprised me with a beautiful, sunny morning. A whole bunch of us met at The Evening Star pub, in whose cellar Dark Star first started brewing beer in 1994.  We set off in two groups (one fast and one slow, I’ll let you guess which I was in..)

The route we took was along the coast to Shoreham and up through Steyning and Ashurst to Partridge Green. It was a route not short on pretty views, including the River Adur, the Sussex Downs (of course), the old cement works and limestone quarry in Shoreham, and a whole bunch of green, green fields.

On arrival at the Dark Star brewery there was FREE BEER and a free t-shirt. Perhaps I am easily pleased, but I think that’s a pretty sweet deal. There were a load of guys from the brewery around if anyone wanted a conversation about the complexities of brewing, or the differences between Centennial, Liberty, Cascade and Citra hops…

It was good to chat to some other cyclists over lunch at The Partridge, just down the road from the brewery itself.  After lunch (and a few more pints for some) we all headed home in various directions. My route was 33 miles all in all, which I’ll take as a warm for tomorrow’s 50 miles at Cycletta!

In conclusion then, beer and bicycles were born to be friends.

Not a bad Saturday at all :-)

The ride there

Freebies!

Posing with my pint and t-shirt..

Beer!

That’s actually a pint of coke. I didn’t want to wobble off my bike.

Hopfest banner at The Partridge

 (Thanks to @themanfromicon for a few of the pictures and for keeping me company on the ride back to Brighton!)

Oh and kids – don’t drink lots of beer and then ride a bike (vice versa is fine..)