“The bicycle riders drank much wine, and were burned and browned by the sun. They did not take the race seriously except among themselves.”
— Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, 1926
This is getting to be a habit. And it has to stop.
The past three weekends have involved bicycling and the support of local enterprises that produce adult beverages.
The drill at Martin House Brewing Co., as at other microbreweries I’ve visited, is $10 for a glass with the brewery’s logo and three pours of whatever is on tap.
It’s not a good idea, however, to drink the full complement and then get back onto a bike, especially when the temperature is hovering around 100 degrees. So says my wife.
The next weekend included a family wedding in Fort Worth on Aug. 24. Part of the program of festivities that day was a tour of Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., where the bridegroom works, on the near south side.
At the rehearsal dinner the night before, I had met a young urban planner from the groom’s side of the family who had come from Milwaukee to attend the wedding.
He happened to be a cyclist and wondered about the possibility of a bike ride the next morning. Easily arranged, I said. I picked him up at his downtown hotel, brought him to our house, put him on one of my touring bikes, and off we went on an 18-mile ramble around Fort Worth, which ended at the Firestone & Robertson Distillery.
Firestone & Robertson currently produces a blend of whiskeys gathered from throughout the United States and marketed with the brand name TX.
The distillery is also making its own bourbon, aging in barrels on racks in a gallery above the distillery’s ground floor. The first batches of bourbon will have to mellow for another 18 months or so before bottling and distribution.
We, of course, got to sample the blended whiskey already on the market. Very, very nice! But perhaps not good preparation for the wedding and the open-bar reception that evening.
The third, and latest, sampling of locally made adult beverages was on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend in Dallas.
Some Dallas-area cyclists whom a neighbor and I had met during our visit to the Martin House Brewery had invited us to come to Dallas to take in a coffee shop and a couple of microbreweries.
So we rode the Trinity Railway Express to Dallas, along with our bikes, hooked up in downtown Dallas with our new cycling friends and set off, first to the artsy Oak Cliff neighborhood in south Dallas for some coffee at Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, a local hangout.
Fortified with strong java, we set out to sample another type of brew at the Deep Ellum Brewing Co., just north of downtown Dallas, and then onto the Community Beer Co., a short ride from Victory Station at the American Airlines Center, where we caught the train back to Fort Worth.
It was an altogether pleasing bit of urban cycling, although Dallas is not yet as bike-friendly as Fort Worth. Dallas has a very good mass transit system and Fort Worth an excellent network of bike trails, a bike-sharing program and designated bike lanes on city streets.
It’s too bad that the two cities, about 30 miles apart, cannot have both in equal measure.
Thus ended the cycle of dissolute weekends. It won’t happen again this weekend. I promise. I’m getting too old for this stuff.