Before we wore heart rate monitors, $250 helmets, and had a mythical KOM to chase on every stretch of trail, we rode our bikes in the woods with our friends. We talked about everything while we rode - work, politics, and how the kids were doing. Sure, we laid the wood on each other from time to time, but each ride began and ended in a group, and usually a few excuses why some of us were finding it so hard to keep up.
For at least one ride during the year, we roll back the clocks. For one ride a year, Beers and Gears, it's about celebrating being healthy, active and on two wheels with 300+ of your spandex-clad friends. We meet at Timber Ridge, bundled up and bleary-eyed, and head east to Kalkaska to inevitably wind up the same place we left. On the way out, we roll at a semi-relaxed pace and catch up with people we ride with most every week, but are too on the rivet to say more than a few words to on most occasions. At Speed of Light, I'm too gassed to say, "Hey, Kyle! Congratulations on getting hitched! Tell me about the reception!" At Beers and Gears, though, I got to talk to Keegan Korienek and Cam Owens, the future fast-dudes of Michigan. I caught up with Brad White, who by rights has no business having to sully his name and reputation by riding with a chubby marketing director who isn't fit enough to shine his Sidis. But here he is, along with hundreds of other men and women there on an early October day to celebrate being outside, on bikes, and with friends.
A huge thank you to Cody and Einstein Cycles for organizing such a unique and special event. Also, thanks to Breanne and Craig at Breakaway Cafe for the food and lattes before and after the ride. And thank you to everyone who attended Gears and Beers this year. Fast or slow, we're all cyclists and we're all in this together. I hope to see you all in the woods again very soon.
Check out my Strava to see how many miles of fun we had.