It's summer in Charlotte and the Bike & Brew rolls. On this day a 10 mile Pint route and a few cold beers after the ride.
Let's face it - it has been a tough couple of months for the police. Which is what made the Bike2DC ride this year particularly special. The four day 500 mile ride honors fallen policemen and starts in Charlotte NC and ends in a Candlelight Vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. The ride has gone on for a number of years and raises money for a high school scholarship fund. It started at the request of the families of Officer Clark and Shelton who were killed in the line of duty in 2007. Each year it raises about $20,000 for the cause.
The ride starts at CMPD headquarters in downtown Charlotte. A small set of instructions and then we are on our way. About 150 riders led out by a 10 motorcycle police escort. Riding out of Charlotte they closed all of the intersections just like they had done for President Obama a few weeks ago. In the picture above you can see the escort as well as the large American flag that the Charlotte Fire Department put out to show #respect for the event and police. Police and firemen may notoriously compete and fight when playing hockey or at other times but not on this day.
Officer Joe Scalise - in the right side picture - chose to ride all four days wearing his full CMPD uniform on a mountain bike that he uses patrolling downtown Charlotte. It was very hot and there was a 10-20 mph headwind - but Joe persisted rode through the day. I later picked up just his police belt and it weighed about 20 pounds with tasers, gun, and radio (more than my 16 pound bike) then add the vest and other clothing and I realized what a disadvantage he had in the same conditions that hurt me in my light spandex and on my aero-designed Italian racing bike.
During the first few miles we also had CMPD police helicopter flying about 100 feet over us also looking out. It was our first ever helicopter escort. I really enjoy rides that have police escorts closing intersections. You feel safe and special if only for a few moments - maybe because they go to that trouble for me, the regular person, in the same professional manner they do for a president. I get chills I have to admit. You keep saying to yourself - "boy I wish they had escorts on all of my training rides."
The day one ride itself was windy and covered 95 miles and 5,000 vertical feet to Asheboro NC with most of the climbing at the end. We found a great group of police officers and friends to cover the wind in rotating pace lines to make it bearable to each rest stop. The volunteers and people supporting this ride were exceptional and riders especially friendly. We lingered at each rest stop and took it all in while we waited for slower riders, riders with kids, and the tandem blind rider. Except for our muscles shutting down the rest stops were a great part of the day.
The Highlight of my Day
At the end of the ride I had the pleasure to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. In particular - Trisha Norket shown in the picture above. Ms. Norket is the mother of John Burnette who was killed in an end of watch incident in 1993. Her chilling story of how a multiple felon bad guy, who has confessed to his crime, is still on death row 21 years later. On Mother's Day today it is particularly hard to contemplate the loss of her child in the manner he was taken. On that day in 1993 Officer John Burnette and Officer Andy Nobles were shot by a thug who was very much wanted for his long list of assault crimes. The story is well-known in the news so I won't get into the details. While hearing the story and then reflecting on it - it helped me realize that meeting Trisha was exactly why I was on this ride.
Unfortunately, There are other stories like hers and including more this month in New York and now Mississippi.
I have a lot of respect for the police and what they do. It is not easy. Taking the time yesterday to support a cause for them and reflect on these issues was very good. Riding our bikes and then drinking Unknown beer on a perfect Sping day made it even better.
The Bike & Brew was great today with the Bike Luck and Beer Bike Ride in attendance. Bike Luck is a popular well-run charitable ride May 2, 2015 that supports Camp Luck - a camp that provides a healthy worry-free (medically supervised) camp environment for kids with cardiac-related issues. Unknown Bike & Brew is becoming a favorite training ride for big event rides. This year Bike2DC, Bike Luck, 24 Hours of Booty, and MS Breakaway to the Beach will be training with Unknown Bike & Brew. These event rides are able to reach new riders as well as support the excitement leading up to the larger event ride. Bike & Brew is free but riders that ride and train with Unknown Bike & Brew help support the fight against MS as the Unknown Brewing Company makes a donation each time a rider attends the Bike & Brew ride. So come out and ride with us Saturdays at 2:30PM.
The 42nd Annual Dilworth Criterium took place Saturday April 11, 2015. In that event Unknown Brewery, Unknown Bike & Brew and Craft Tap Room sponsored the Primes and Podium prizes. It was a great day on so many levels. Thanks to Neal Boyd of Charlotte Sports Timing, Kerry Humphries and the Carolina Cycling Team for putting together a great event.
Unknown Bullets were given ad Podium Prizes to the top three contestants in all races where they were 21+. This was an exciting prize and many started enjoying their craft beer in celebration even if at 10AM. Other Primes, awards for fastest lap, were given gift certificates to use at the Unknown Tap Room and to Craft Tap Room and Growler Shop in the Charlotte Southend.
After the Dilworth Crit the weekly Bike & Brew ride was held on schedule at 2:30PM. A short video of that ride is below. This ride benefits MS by donating money for each rider that attends. Come join us every Saturday at 2:30PM from the Unknown Brewing Company.
What a windy great day on the Unknown Bike & Brew April 4 2015. Fifty people took to 10, 25, and 35 mile routes with 30 mph winds to enjoy the Spring day in Charlotte NC and help fight MS - just by showing up. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it a great day.
Short video from today's Unknown Bike & Brew. Thanks for supporting the ride and cause.
Everything you need to know about the Bike & Brew is here. The ride starts at 2:30PM on Saturdays. Riders should arrive at the Unknown Brewing Company fifteen minutes in advance and make sure to have completed a waiver - see Links.
Below is a map and turn by turn for the three marked Bike & Brew routes used in the weekly Bike & Brew ride. The ride starts at Unknown Brewing Company - see the map below.
Group bike riding requires some preparation. It helps to be comfortable on a bike and have ridden in groups before. If you are new to group riding please check with ride leaders for guidance and instructions. Prepare to ride by doing a safety check on your bike and repair kit as the ride is not formally supported. Participants should be able to fix a flat and other common bike repairs. Bring a cell phone and always dial 911 in an emergency.
In the summer bring plenty of water. After the ride water is available as is great beer at the Unknown Brewing Company. Bike racks are also available to make your post-ride stories as safe and fulfilling as possible.