I'd like to give a special thanks to New Belgium Brewing and Beer Ranger Grant Dunstan for hosting another enjoyable Fun Ride on a recent Tuesday night. We met up around 6 p.m. at Altitudes Bar and Grill for a pre-ride beer - I enjoyed a Sunshine Wheat.
About eight of us pedaled through downtown Flagstaff and nearby to Francis Short Pond.
Will's ride was his New Belgium Cruiser, won this past spring at a raffle after another New Belgium Fun Ride. I love the red rims and the porters rack.
Grant was on one of his New Belgium Anniversary Cruisers. Yep, New Belgium Brewing rewards employees anniversary bike as part of their commitment to happy employees and bicycling as a legitimate form of transportation.
One of the things I really enjoy about the monthly fun ride is the chance to meet new people. Usually, the meeting and greeting begins right before we head out and continues while we're waiting at lights.
By the end of the ride, it seems like we're all friends, back at Altitudes, pulling together table where we share another beer or two over dinner. Proving that it really is a small world, I finally met Grant's wife, Melissa, who much to my amazement not only attended the University of Georgia at the same time as I did but also worked at one of Athens' perennial institutions for beer and good times, The Georgia Theater. We did not work there at the same time but shared a few laughs about common experiences from behind the bar. Athens was a big bike riding town when I was attending (and attending and attending and attending) UGA and I have many fond memories of pedaling around campus on my bright yellow Giant Iguana mountain bike. Athens was the home of the Athens Twilight Criterium, a pro cycling race runs through downtown Athens (or did back then). The Georgia Theater was located along the race course, always packed for that event, so those of us who worked there used to take turns watching from the race from the upstairs, the roof and out over the marquee. Looking back, I am quite sure we probably were not supposed to be watching the race from the roof or the marquee or drink beer while on duty but for some reason, it seemed reasonable at the time.