click for flickr album of Reverse Keg Ride)
As I sit here with the last of the Snow Melt growler from East End Brewing in the glass and look back over the weekend I see that things have changed. I know that I have talked about this before but it seems that I keep learning just how much I have changed. Since I began riding with all the cool people from Bike Pgh I have felt like cycling has taken on a whole new life. So here is the story of Peer Pressure - The Good Kind.
Saturday Morning dawned clear and rather cold, colder than I would normally even think of going for a ride. Still a ride was just what I had planned, and not just any ride and not just one of my solo rides that I would take to get away from everyone. Saturday morning was the Reverse Keg Ride this was a charity ride and the charity in question for the Reverse Keg Ride was Southwinds a non-profit agency which provides quality residential care and life skills training for adults with developmental challenges through out Allegheny County. (Confession I had to look up the charity on the website)
The ride started out good with a quick ride across the Hot Metal bridge and into panther Hollow. This is where I hit the spot I knew I was going to end up in. Lets face it folks the name of the Blog isn’t Fat Guy on an Orange Bike because I think it is a catchy title, but because it is an accurate title. The hill from Panther Hollow up into Oakland made me want to die. In the end I had to get off the bike and walk up part of the hill. Once again I was the one at the back making everyone wait for me. (Can’t say i like that feeling)
Here is where the whole peer pressure thing starts. As I huffed and puffed and felt like I was going end up with an aneurysm (or well I was hoping I would get one just to get out of going up the hill.) During all of this I wasn’t alone. Several of the riders who I know could of blown up that hill but instead hung back and encouraged me to keep on going. Even when I got up to the top of the hill, I was ready to turn around and head back to town, throw the bike on a bus and go home and feel sorry for myself. (one of the things I have gotten good at over the years) Still this group of riders kept on encouraging me until I got back on the bike and rode on to the brewery.
I made it, and the ride made the beer taste that much better. As we all hung out behind the Brewery and enjoyed the glass of Snow Melt (a wonderfully hoppy dark beer) and at 7% ABV the beer did have a kick that snuck up on you. We drank, talked, laughed and for once I didn't feel like the odd man out.
Sometimes Peer Pressure is a good thing