The Beer-SIG

A few days ago, the New York Cycle Club opened registration for its spring programs, including the SIG and the STS. The programs are the crown jewels of the club. The volunteer leaders run an instructional series, known as a SIG, for novice cyclists on how to improve their riding skills and a separate training series, known as an STS, to help more experienced types get in shape for the season. As a “B” rider, I did the B-SIG back in 2008, and have done the B-STS over the last two years…and again this year. If you find this interesting and want to signup, you’re probably too late. They fill up fast.

In addition to each SIG and STS at A, B, and C levels, the club president has added a new-for-2015 R-STS series for randonneurs. If you know me, you know I like to ride my bike for long distances and extended periods of time, but randonneurs are a whole different breed. It’s one thing to ride for twelve hours, from dawn to dusk, but it’s another to ride a 300K for twenty hours, mostly in the dark. That’s not for me, even if the final ride in May is only 200 km, because I know I’ll be beating myself for not having done a 600K in August.

But do you know what would be more to my liking? A Beer-SIG!

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Although one club member led an “Autumn Leaves and Seasonal Hops” series, a Beer-SIG would probaby never happen as an official club series, but let’s make believe. It’s Friday the 13th; it’s a February day with a temperature of about 8° F outside; and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I say “bleh” to all these things. Instead, let’s imagine some places we would ride our bikes, in warm or even hot weather, with the intent to visit brewery tap rooms within our region.

In no particular order, let’s consider…

  • Peekskill Brewing. As I’ve said before, it’s the new Nyack.
  • North River Hops and Brewery. I learned of these guys when they liked one of my photos on Instagram. Located in Wappinger Falls in Dutchess County, their brewery is a short ride to the New Hamburg Metro North Station, where I can greet three mysterious ladies.
  • Vault Brewing. This brewery is in the quaint town of Yardley, Pennsylvania in an old bank vault. It’s made for an excellent finishing point on the ride when I had a bad allergic reaction in October. It could also be a great lunch stop on the Cheesesteak Century because not only do they serve food, they serve a four-ounce pour for $2 to power you through the remaining thirty-five miles to Philadelphia.
  • Second Story Brewing. There’s a ton of places to choose in Philadelphia, but this one was great because it was big, they let us bring our bikes inside, and it was a short ride to SEPTA at Market East Jefferson Station.
  • Two Roads Brewing. We stopped here in November on club’s ride to New Haven, but it’s easy enough to make a ride that ends at this Statford, Connecticut–brewery. For one thing, the Metro North station is only about a mile away.
  • Crooked Ladder Brewery. Located in Riverhead, this was supposed to be the finishing point for the North Shore ride that I led in November. It’s easy enough to get home, if one doesn’t mind taking the 6:45 PM train home and getting back to NYC around 9:00 PM.
  • Greenport Harbor. One of my dream rides is a midseason Greenpoint-to-Greenport ride. It would be about 110 miles, and it would rule!
  • Blind Bat Brewery. This brewery is moving to Smithtown, Long Island from Centerport, and could be part of a short ride from Jamaica or a longer loop from Port Jefferson or something.
  • Captain Lawrence Brewing. Located in Elmsford, New York, it is sadly not near any train station, but it is about a mile or so away from junction of the North and South County Trails in Westchester County. From there, one can do a hilly five-mile ride to either Tarrytown or White Plains. Or one could head south on the trail and finish at the Bronx Brewery and take the 6 train home.

And these are just the ones that immediately come to mind.

In the meantime, I’ll have to content myself with an old fashioned and the fond expectancy of spring.

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