beer slaloms and other shenanigans. Meet Your Maker part two

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-It was 10:30 in the morning and someone yelled “Beer run!” And so the ride began. Yeah we had already been riding our bikes for some time but it felt a bit too much like a sunday stroll to nowhere. Off the group, a short adventure to the nearest liquor shop, then an 18-pack of bud heavy in my basket and we are on our way to a good time, the only destination we needed.-

This installment of Meet Your Maker Tour was hosted by Mike from Paragon Machine Works and we hit up Pass and Stow rack shop as well. Starting in Richmond, I thought we were going to make a loop, turns out we were heading due south until we hit San Leandro, to fucking far for shitbike. The attendance was unbelievable, our group stretched through intersections for minutes to the great dismay of many automobile operators.

As we meandered south through the less ghetto portion of Richmond and along the bike path in Berkeley I realized there was something different about this ride. A couple months ago on my first visit to MYMT I was super stoked to be riding with a group of people on some dirt and appreciative of the opportunity to drink a beer with the best frame builders in California. You could say I was a little star struck and didn’t really know how to interact. This time ’round, a couple of good friends in attendance and a better knowledge of the bikes around me, it seemed like human connection and community portion of riding a bike was present. Almost everyone here has a custom bike, almost everyone has Chris king set up will Paul components, so nobody sticks out. There is no competition to be the best, everyone appreciates great bikes and nobody hates on another for having something less. This makes it easy to have a memorable time. Strolling through the parking lots and back roads, one can move through the group judgment-free as you shoot the shit with countless guys and get a quick rundown of their setup (all of which deserve a day on notsoshitbike).

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So about that beer run. I was hesitant to start so early but I simply can’t say “no” to beer. We set up camp on the bike path leading up to the Bay Bridge bike path, or as someone called it “the longest bike pier ever built”, and sat while the others went to see the gate at the end. In our small beer group existed four shitbikes that were tossed aside as we sat down to enjoy our first morning brew. Darin decided the best way to recycle our cans was to set up a slalom course on the bike path. He also said his plan included 18 cans, so we sacrificed our sobriety for the betterment of the Bay Bridge bike path. Soon the riders came, zig zags were made and heckling ensued. Time check: 10:45am.

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Cruisin down some unnamed road past the freeway and through strange tunnels. I have no idea where I am, completely lost, and I love it. I’ve never seen these streets and never even sought them out. The new perspective is very real. Every observation seems more detailed. I’m trying to learn the places we ride by. A left here, a right there. Soon enough we end up at a warehouse covered in graffiti accented corrugated metal. The bikes take their place on the wall and we all gather inside for some chips and salsa.

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Pass and Stow racks are made in one corner of the shop, a space Matt shares with a couple other builders and artists. The set up he has is efficient and mastered, the only way one guy can keep everything running smoothly. His racks are clean and strong and I wouldn’t mind having one for shitbike. Also, we saw some pretty sweet wooden fenders but I cant really remember who made them, if you know- let me know.

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Back on the road. More beer in my basket. (Does that sound weird to anyone else?) Under more Oakland freeway, through more sketchy alleys with dead dogs and broken glass. Pedal pedal pedal, less shenanigans and more riding. It’s time to have a beer. Brett and I crack a couple open and cruise intoxicatedly through the poles on a bridge and around the corner on a dirt path. On the left you can see trails leading up the hill. This was one of the hardest decisions I have made in a while and time seemed to slow down for me to make up my mind. Beer or dirt? …

Then, like a guru on a bike, the guy to my left sees the pain of my two choices and leads me to enlightenment. “Dude” the guru says, “chug the beer and fucking go for it!” Beer and dirt! I’m mashing up a hill burping uncontrollably and loving it. Thank you guru.

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A little while later we arrived at the great Drake’s Brewery. More beer! The brewery is very well designed space but too small for a group our size. We cleaned them out of their pitchers and filled up their outside and inside seating. The sun was bright and sitting on the porch soaking it all in was just what I needed to end my winter break.

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Thanks to all the great people who put this on and all the great people who come from all corners of the bay to have a good time on two wheels. It was another adventure, as memorable as the last, looking forward to the next one.

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