Risk/Reward – The Other Week in Bikes & Booze

Riding a bike in the rain sucks. Yeah, whatever; I have all the necessary gear for wet weather riding, except fenders, but I still don’t like it, especially when it’s cold.

There’ve been many times when rain will catch me and I’ve had to dive into a barn or a garage or under a bridge to escape the downpour or perhaps the hail. Sometimes you can’t help riding in the rain and you just have to soldier on despite how light or heavy the sky is deciding to dump on you at the moment.

I will not begin a ride in the rain unless I’m forced to, like many days on RAGBRAI. I find it extremely demoralizing when beginning a ride in the rain, already soaked to the bone having packed up wet, soaking gear and now you’re faced with riding for hours upon who knows how many hours in the rain. Here’s when I want my couch and an endless supply of beer and naps throughout the day.

Not long ago in the late afternoon of a cold autumn day, a steady mist was floating around, making a general mess of things. I’d wanted a beer and thought I’d take myself off the beaten path of my regular watering holes and this required a short bike ride on wet streets and spitting mist.

Standing on my deck, looking over the parking lot at the wet streets, all geared up with bike locks and some suitable rain wear I wanted to put my bike back inside, get into cozy sweats and order delivery pizza or come up with some dinner rather than get out on my bike in a cold and wet afternoon. I can find it easy to talk myself out of almost anything.

For a change of pace I got out of my brain and took my bike downstairs and I may have theatrically shaken a fist skyward in an act of meager defiance or anger but I rode the long ten minutes to the bar, beginning my ride in a heavy mist which quickly had become a light steady cold rain.

The Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing. Lots of breweries brew a version of imperial stout but I think the best I’ve ever had is a Yeti.

There are 5 Yeti variants and all delicious. My favorite of the five variants, the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti happened to be on tap at my destination. Imagine if a beer could be a cozy, fleecy liquid blanket of hugs wrapped around your mouth, it would be this beer.

The Yeti erased all trivial pain from the ride to the bar. I had several more draws to gain the courage to ride home through what promised to be a heavier cold rain.

Had I allowed myself to talk myself into staying home, to not taking that risk of beginning a ride in the rain, I’d not been able to experience that superior imperial stout that rarely appears on tap.

Risk a little something, never know what you might get in return.

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