We really couldn’t be more proud of the guys in the brewhouse. Across the board, we’ve got some great people back there: not only are they dedicated to producing the best beer possible, but truly, hand-to-God good people.
When they all signed up to ride BikeMS: City to Shore, we weren’t terribly surprised. Grateful and delighted, certainly, but not surprised.
And, again: these are great guys. We love them. They’ve got hearts as big as the great outdoors. But. Well… when you get these guys together, crassness transpires.
As a brewery, we sponsor a team to raise money, but a lot of the riders do it to have a good time. And these guys know how to have a good time.
And this interview was definitely a good time.
Consider yourself warned.
Luckily, with their intent to ride 100 miles, none of these guys are strangers to biking.
“Ehhhh….,” Mike says, “I used to a lot, but in the past few years, not-so-much.”
Mike’s done some long-distance biking in the past, and he’d tested his mettle with a 40-mile ride about six weeks ago.
“It went pretty good,” he says. “My ass hurt a little at the end, but as long as I kept walking after I got off my bike, I was okay.”
“It’s called your ‘perineum’,” Eddie corrects him.
“Oh, is that what it’s called?” Mike asks.
[This section of the conversation is redacted because our mothers read this blog.]
Eddie was always a runner, but Andrew convinced him to give riding a try. His fiancee’s been doing triathlons, so it had been in the back of his mind to buy a bike. He got one off Craigslist about two months ago, and now he’s going to ride it for 100 miles.
Kevin averages about 50 miles a week, sometimes biking to work and cruising around town. Along with Andrew, he’s a member of the now-infamous Cape May Hustle.
Biking in the summer presents a host of challenges, but these guys are used to the heat. At the height of the season, temperatures soar in the production brewery, so that hasn’t been as much of a challenge for these guys.
“We’re all used to the heat,” Mike says, “but it’s really just making sure that your legs can go for 100 miles.”
“Getting the seat time,” Eddie says.
“Yeah,” Mike agrees. “Everyone’s been on a bike for 20 miles or whatever, but being on a bike for eight to ten hours? Mentally and physically, I think that’s going to be the tough part. You can drive for a hundred miles and it’s no big deal, but on a bike it’s a little different.”
Nonetheless, there is safety in numbers. Knowing that they’re not going to be out there riding solo, that they have the solace of friendship, is going to fuel them for the hundred miles.
Kevin did a hundred miles last summer.
“I was going to do a charity ride in Delaware,” he tells us, “and I woke up at 2am to drive there and I decided to go back to sleep. Then I woke up at 8am and biked by myself from Cape May to Atlantic City and back.”
He wasn’t training too hard for the ride last summer, but he found the 100 miles that he did to be “kinda easy.”
“You really have to get your ass used to sitting on the seat for eight to ten hours —
“Perineum,” Eddie corrects, quietly.
— versus, ‘Oh, I gotta go ride 100 miles this week.’”
The guys agree that if you have the right seat, it’s not bad. A pair of padded shorts help, too.
“Nothing too flashy,” Mike agrees.
Andrew rides quite a bit, but “nothing too crazy,” he says. “I’ve just been trying to get my ass ready.”
“Literally?” we ask.
“And figuratively,” he responds.
“As long as you’re relatively healthy, you can pull off a hundred miles. It just depends on how fast you go. If you go slow enough, you can do anything,” Kevin said, eliciting laughter from everyone in the room.
“Kevin’s life motto,” Andrew jokes.
“That’s what I said at my job interview,” Kevin says.
Mike lives out in Gloucester County, near Glassboro, and his training has brought him out to see some of the farmland in the area that he hadn’t seen before.
“Different areas that I’ve driven by, but on a bike it’s much slower,” he says. “On a bike, you see new things and go down new trails. You notice things you’ve never seen before.”
“I like exercising, working out,” he says, “and it’s another vehicle…”
“…of radness,” Andrew finishes.
Kevin likes to go out at sunset, cruise up the beach on his beach bike, and get a few hours in. He uses his beach bike frequently, but he won’t be using that for City to Shore.
“For a ten hour ride,” he says, “you want to be as light as you can be because all that weight adds up at the end of the ride.”
Andrew’s been riding Cape May’s newly-completed bike trail.
“I’ve been wanting to ride it for a long time,” he says, “but it’s never been connected, and I figured I might as well just ride on the road.”
Aside from their rides with the Cape May Hustle, Andrew and Kevin have done a handful of rides together, usually hitting some of the area breweries along the way. But trying to get everyone together to do a ride is difficult.
“It’s tough to do with work,” Eddie admits. “Everyone’s on different schedules, and Mike and I are an hour away.”
“But I gotta get the shorts,” he says. “My ass would hurt.”
“Perineum,” Eddie mouths.
And Eddie has some… interesting… plans.
“I plan on shaving every single piece of hair off my body before the ride to make myself as aerodynamic as possible,” he says.
“Unrelated to the ride,” Andrew jokes. “He’s just gonna do it.”
“Eyebrows, too?” Kevin asks.
“Yep,” Eddie says. “I’ll look like a naked mole rat.”
[There were a few perineum jokes in here, but we’ll go easy on you.]
The guys all agree that one of the most difficult things about training is finding a safe place to ride.
“I feel so uncomfortable riding down Route 9,” Eddie says. “Even Long Beach Island the other day was sketchy in some parts.”
Mike says that it’s important to find a place with a good-sized shoulder.
“There’s no shoulder on those farm roads in Gloucester County,” he says. “You’ll get that one guy flying past you doing 90.”
All of our guys are on the lookout for flat tires, but Mike always brings his phone, and Eddie brings along a minipump and spare tube.
“I’ve got a minipump, a spare tube, tire levers, a multitool, a 20-dollar bill…”
“…eight ounces of Galaxy hops,” Eddie jokes.
“Yeah, I always travel with Galaxy hops,” Kevin laughs.
Andrew literally has no concerns about riding 100 miles. None whatsoever.
“I think it’s gonna be fine,” he says.
Generally, not much concerns Andrew. He’s the most laid-back human on the planet.
One of the questions we usually ask during these interviews is if anyone has any interesting or funny stories about things that happened to them while training. Let’s just say that they had some stories, but none of them are even remotely printable.
Most of these guys decided to do the hundred-mile ride because everyone else was doing it. It seemed like the thing to do.
“And it’s something to say,” Mike says. “‘I rode a hundred miles.’ That’s pretty crazy. 80’s cool, but…”
“It’s just 20 miles more,” Eddie says. “Might as well.”
“I don’t know how people are going to do 80 the next day,” Mike says.
“It’s like the bike version of running a marathon,” he says. “If you bike a lot, you want to be able to say that you biked a hundred miles. It’ll make City to Shore taste even better at the end.”
At this point, the conversation was derailed a bit when Hank popped in and Kevin wanted to share one of his homebrews.
“So what’s this meeting about?” Hank asked.
“City to Shore,” we replied. “The ride, not the beer.”
“Ahhhh,” he said, knowingly. “You guys aren’t gonna walk right for a week.”
“The perineum,” Eddie said, laughing.
Fundamentally, these guys have signed on to do this ride for a multitude of reasons, but Andrew said it well:
“I couldn’t think of a good reason not to.”
Kevin’s been considering doing it since he moved here three years ago and since the rest of the guys were doing it, decided to bite the bullet.
“And, like Kevin was saying earlier, it’s cool to say that you biked a hundred miles. When I started, I did 40 and surprised myself.
“City to Shore will taste awesome at the end,” Eddie says.
These guys are doing pretty well with their fundraising: both Eddie and Andrew have surpassed their goals, but Mike and Kevin are trailing very far behind, with $60 and $35 respectively. Click their names to donate.
“Does anyone have anything to add?” we ask.
“Perineum,” Eddie says.