First some stupid dress breaks the Internet and then Spock dies. What a week! How does any sensible cyclist respond? Fill a flask with whiskey and go for a ride. Not just any flask but a Surly stainless steel flask. Not just any whiskey but Johnny Drum Private Stock 50.5% ABV from this past Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville. And not just any ride but a 30-mile road ride in 20°F weather just before a snowstorm on 23cm tires. What could go wrong?
I should've known it would be a great day when the zipper broke on my shoe covers. I should've known it would get even better when I found my road bike had a flat in the back. So I did what any sensible cyclist would do and replaced the whole rear wheel with another one. Yeah, that tire was nearly bald but it had a working tube! Three double espressos later, FM Pryor and Matt Morrison roll up and we're off. We head out Vera Cruz Rd down Oakhurst over Rt 78, across Rt 378, down Black River Rd and through Lehigh University campus. In Hellertown, we jagged onto Easton Rd then soft pedaled a couple miles. Hills were coming. By the time we got to them, I really had to piss. At the top of the first climb, I whipped it out and a car came up the hill from the direction I was facing. Oh, hello. My dick was frozen so I couldn't tell if I was pissing or not. Whatever. 5 miles later, the snow started. It was just supposed to flurry this morning. But it came down hard. The roads got slick fast. And they already had a shitload of black ice. So we pedaled another 10 miles or so until the roads were pure white. Glad I switched to that bald tire.
After gliding gingerly over a wet metal grate bridge, it was time to do what any sensible cyclist would do. We found the nearest bar, the Braveheart Highland Pub in Hellertown. We banged on the door, but it was 11:15am and they were not open. White snow accumulated conspicuously on Pryor's orange POC helmet, and then a golden-haired angel of mercy came to the door. She let us in. Thank you Braveheart Highland angel. We ordered a Guinness, a half-and-half, and a not-shitty IPA. A few minutes later, a Scottish guy with a thick brogue took a bar stool next to us. It was now 11:30am, Braveheart’s official opening time on a Sunday, and Pryor was 3 beers in. The snow was getting deeper outside. Hmm…how would we get home? Not quite sure. I texted my wife, Christine, to see if she could pick us up at some point. Just then Morrison's friend, Charlie Gilman, shows up. Morrison looks out the window and sees that Charlie’s 4-door pickup truck has bike trays on the roof. Score! The day was getting as amazing as predicted. Time for more beer. Oh, and a double order of Scotch eggs and boxty from the kitchen. Just like that, the food, beer, and bikes marshaled in a field day.
Until we got out to Charlie’s truck, which was actually a little Scion sitting behind the 4-door pickup. Six wheels came off, 3 frames went in, and we crammed all 6 wheels and 3 drunks around the bikes. Off we went laughing as Charlie told us the story of how he snuck a remote fart machine into his dad’s casket during the viewing. Crazy!
Glad to end the week on a high note. Goodbye February – Hello March.
Drunk tip for your next snow ride: keep your water bottle unfrozen by popping in a tab of Nuun and a 1/2 shot of your favorite likker (FM Pryor rolled with lemon-lime Nuun and mezcal – I rolled with caffeinated cherry Nuun and whiskey).