It is time to blow out the cob webs and get ready for 2014. The BNB crew has been cleaning the brew system and planning our 2014 events. It looks to be our best season yet with some new challenges (like trail runs) and continued support for our favorites, like the Seal Extreme Challenge. Check out our event calendar and plan to come join us in a ride, run or beer festival. We will also be focused on getting the Geezers Brewery running with a goal of GB suds available at local hot spots by the end of the calendar year. Updates on our progress will be posted on our web page and Facebook and be sure to check out GeezersBrewery.com for more details. Cheers to a promising 2014!
The New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour is in its 4th fabulous year. In summary, it is a beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show that travels to 21 cities coast-to-coast. Taking their love for beer and fans New Belgium put them together in this one-of-a-kind event. This is the second year that the fest has made a stop at the World’s Fair Park in Knoxville and the magic number seemed to be 18…18 beer varieties on tap and 18 inspiring short films created by fans. It was also the second year the Bikes N Beers crew was asked to produce the Knoxville film for our home city.
The best part is that 100% of the proceeds from beer sales benefited the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC) our local non-profit bike club that works so diligently to improve our community by making many Knoxville area natural places accessible and trail worthy.
This year’s video is titled “Bike Shop” and is a parody of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”. The video stars some of our local AMBC folks, including Brian Hann, the AMBC president and all around great guy. Please enjoy our offering…we are very proud of it and it definitely couldn’t have happened without AMBC, the musical styling of Jeremy Walker, and Notorious’ pre-planning and witty lyric writing…
The downhill bikes were tuned up (thanks to TVB) and the protective gear was packed. On July 18 three BNB Geezers and one GIT (Geezer in Training) headed out for Snowshoe, West Virginia for some sweet downhill mountain biking action. After 6 hours of driving and a mandatory Waffle House stop we were there but alas the runs were closed for the day so we had to wait for the mountain but that didn’t stop us from a few bike antics in the parking garage and around the Village.
Come Friday morning we were chomping at the bit to get started. Crash, not having been DHing before, took class to get familiar with how it all works while Notorious, Throttle and Zark scoped the trails. Meeting back up for a burger and a beer we four were ready to hit the trails…Wow! What a ride! Berms, drops, rock gardens, bridges, teeter totters the WORKS! This place is a playground for MTBers and has almost everything. Best of all, the entire park is serviced by two high-speed quad lifts, so we never had to pedal back up the mountain. We mostly ran the Lucid to Raging Bull trek because we became addicted to the “big blue wall” which makes the one at Concord seem like stack of popsicle sticks.
Unfortunately rain was a reoccurring challenge for the whole weekend but if the lifts were open, we were riding. The foul weather kept the riders away and we basically had the muddy, snack pack, bliss to ourselves. A ranger did run us off the trails due to bad weather and we got stuck at the bottom waiting for the shuttle…waiting….waiting…two hours. Good thing we had some beers and cameras to occupy ourselves.
Now we know first-hand why the Snowshoe Bike Park is nationally recognized as one of the best in the U.S. With nearly 40 trails and 1,500 vertical feet of descent, the park has something to offer everyone and is a screaming good time. Additions are planned for this season and include a new family and beginner trail that is scheduled to open late this summer. An intermediate jump trail will also be constructed during the 2013 season and will be chock full of big flowy tables and monster berms. Can’t wait to get back and try that jump trail.
The Geezers have decided to go back every year…at least once…maybe twice…maybe more. “Hey, Throttle…How much vacation time do you have?”
As always a video of our adventure is in production and will be up soon…stay tuned to witness the awesomeness of Snowshoe. In the meantime check out the rest of our pics on our facebook page here.
For the second year in a row Bikes n Beers attended the Smoky Mountain Highland Games. If you’ve never attended a Highland Festival and wondered what it was like, just imagine a family (Clan) reunion with thousands of people dancing, telling stories, playing music, animal competitions, and of course taking a wee sip of scotch or ale. Clan tents re commonly set up around the athletic fields as the heavy athletics are commonly the center of the festival.
In their original form Athletics and Sports were central to Highland festivals and while other
activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about. On Saturday the Pros and Amateurs competed and provided some exciting moments as a few world records were challenged. Unfortunately the weather started to turn in the afternoon, so we decided that the beer tent would provide the most sensible cover. As the weather did not get any better we decided to call it a day and prepare for our competition on Sunday.
Sunday is the Masters Class (40+) and Women Division competitions. While it would seem sensible to compete with men your own age, we discovered last year that the “Masters” are guys with many years experience and are sometimes even pros who have retired. We probably would do better in the Amateur division but our experience last year taught us the Master are a great group of guys. Discovering quickly the we were no threat to them they are gracious and quick to offer tips on our woefully lacking technique. Heck we just like throwing heavy shite. We were slated to compete in all nine events; Hammer Throw (x2), Weight for Distance (x2), Stone Put (x2) Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss, and Weight for Height. Unfortunately, the skies open up during the caber competition. We attempted to carry on but lighting strikes while you’re holding a 20′ tall tree in an open field is a little dangerous. For the sake of the competitors the competition as called short but a great day was had nonetheless. We did convince one of our good friends (Heather) to come out and compete in the women divisions this year and she not only did great but had a great time to boot. Heather has a great story and you can find out more about her here: http://www.brokentobeastmode.com/
The Games always provide great video footage and we’ve put together a small sampling of
the fun and excitement that is the Smoky Mountain Highland Games below. Until next time keep the rubber side down and keep supporting your local craft breweries.
Bikes N Beers sponsored the First Annual Mudder’s Day Madness 5K in Maryville. The inaugural event put on by the Harmony Family Center was well laid out and well run with lots of mud for the more than 200 participants! The course was fast and challenged the BNBers to keep up to capture the video of all the obstacles and stages of the race. The course started with a run through a wildflower decorated meadow (cue Sound of Music) and ended with a chest deep plunge in the lake. In between were a few mud pits, pipe slides, mud mounds and log hurdles. We don’t often see chip timing in the early offerings of most events but chips were offered and demonstrated the desire for Harmony to do things right. Live music was provided by the Dishwater Blondes and yummy BBQ was available for those who ordered it with their registration.
Of all the races BNB has seen over the years this one ranks right up there for beautiful setting, great people and a good cause. The dedication of the staff and volunteers to provide a family atmosphere and a challenging course was apparent and we predict this race will continue to grow in the years to come.
Montvale is the former YMCA Camp and is located eight miles from Maryville TN. Nestled at the foot of Chilhowee Mountain adjoining Great Smoky Mountains National Park the woods are beautiful the trees are huge and there is plenty of water features to wash off in. Harmony plans to use the 364 Montvale acres for a broad range of uses. Therapeutic programs began with the Barn – Harmony’s program of equine assisted psychotherapy, and this summer Harmony held the first therapeutic family camps for families of children adopted from foster care. Plans are currently underway for a program of leadership development and an environmental learning center.
BNB’s sponsorship included providing the deuce, which was a a popular backdrop for the Mudder banner and participant pictures, capturing the video of the day, and producing one of our world class videos. We are already planning to sponsor next year, if Mike, Eric, Robert, Brenda and the gang will have us back…here is that awesome video we promised…
Why not? The Bikes N Beers clan had so much fun at our first ever Highland Games last year why not do it again? This year we know a little better what to expect and have actually practiced a little (very little) thanks to Dave “Butterbean” Summers. But it’s not just about competing it’s about spending time outdoors, stepping out of your comfort zone and expanding your horizons. Wow, I sound philosophical…Ever wonder exactly what a “Gathering of the Scottish Clans” is all about? It is one great big family reunion with lots of excitement, entertainment, and beer.
The word ‘Clan’ means family. Each Clan has a tartan with a plaid that is designed for a particular Clan. If you belong to that Clan, then you may wear their tartan. Clan Tents are set up around the main field where the families of each Clan gather to watch the competition. If you find your family name at one of these tents, there will be someone there to welcome you and tell you about your family history as it relates to the Clan.
True that none of the BNB Clan have very much Scottish blood but we feel like family and that’s close enough. We have adopted 2 tartans to represent what is important to us…the Marine tartan in honor of Notorious’ step-son who just returned from Afghanistan and the firefighter tartan to honor the dangerous work firefighters do everyday and Throttle’s past experience fighting fires in the west.
The Games are centered around a field of athletic competition which includes the well known “Caber Toss”. There is also competition of Pipe & Drum Bands, individual Pipers and Drummers. Lassies and Laddies compete in the Highland Dance as well.
Entertainment includes Country Dancing, a Dog Show, and Clan Competitions that can get pretty intense, not to mention several incredible Stage Performing Bands, Balladeers, a Comedian and Kid’s Playground & athletic competitions. Of course, there has to be ‘Education’, even if it is learning about the different types of Scotch. Can we help it if you have to take a wee sip?
Whether or not your ancestors hailed from the Highlands, the Lowlands, the Islands, the badlands, or any lands…come out and join us at the games May 18 and 19. Here is a video of the BNB guys competing last year…and remember, if yer failin’ then yer playin and playin’ is what it’s all about. Here’s tae ye!
Once again we participated in our favorite event of the year, the SEAL Extreme Challenge. The maniacal architect of this race is Dan Schreder, owner of Outdoors in the Smokies and in his own words “The SEAL Extreme Challenge is the most physically demanding 5k’ish race in the Southeast! Mountains, Creeks, Ponds, Obstacles, More!!! This is a race destination… we can’t bring Mother Nature’s challenges and beauty to a park or farm near you!”. To be sure he’s not kidding.
No matter your current fitness level the SEAL Extreme Challenge will test you. With over 2000′ of elevation changes, water features and obstacles, this race is as tough as they come. Limited to 200 racers the field fills up quick, and is composed of extreme obstacle racers from all over the southeastern US. The race is also developing a loyal following and we see the same great folks year after year.
Bikes n Beers is a proud sponsor of the SEAL Extreme Challenge and of course brought a sampling of our Geezer Brew. For the Friday night festivities we debuted our newest creation, an IPA called Panty Dropper, and with 72 IBU’s (International Bitterness Units), it sure to make those taste buds hop. For Saturdays after race refreshment we hauled our our long time favorite, Big Dumb Blond. It was either really good or this batch of obstacle racers are big drinkers because we ran through 20 gallons in 1.5 hours. And finally for the few that hung out later Saturday evening we hauled out our American Pale Ale called Pale Bastard, we may have drank most of that one.
We also debuted our newest acquisition for our Brewery in planning, Geezers Brewery. Our M35A3 (Deuce and a Half) seemed to be a big hit and with the kickin sound system we lit up the Smoky Mountains that day.
As always we brought an army of cameras to catch all the
agony, oops, I mean fun, and we also debut a few new toys in that arena including a couple of cable camera, and a quad copter aerial platform, o hell, your tired of listening to me, just enjoy the video:
Why Spartan? Because the “Spartans were tough as nails. Why race our obstacle course races? Because we all thrive under pressure, survival of the fittest.” At least that’s what the Spartan web page says about their events. Spartan races have been the global leader in obstacle racing since 2005 and are designed by seven ultra athletes and a Royal Marine.
They go on to say “Our goal is simple… to get you off your couch, throw you in the mud & trails, and feed you one tough endurance event day that will be the adrenalin rush of your life”…just like BNB likes it!
Now, the BNB crew has completed trail races, mud runs, and warrior dashes and we and we don’t shy away from a challenge so we thought it was time to step up to a brutal Spartan Race obstacle course. Being Spartan newbies we decided to tackle a Spartan Sprint out of the box and on March 9 the Bikes N Beers team (aka Sin City Geezers) headed to Conyers, Georgia to test our skills. We had nine insane-iacs on the largest BNB team ever, including guys from Men of Action and Heather Christopher who blogs Broken to Beast Mode.
The course was over 4 miles of trail winding through the woods and fields just east of Atlanta. Fourteen obstacles delivered brutality as promised and ranked close to being the toughest obstacle race we have ever done, second only to the Seal Extreme Challenge in Cosby, TN. The Team endured barbed wire, freezing mud pits, 8 feet wall scales, spear throws, climbing ropes, tractor tire flips, and a cargo net crossing elevated 30 feet in the air. Judges watched each obstacle and any failed attempts resulted in the delivery of 30 burpees..good thing we carb loaded at the Waffle House on our way…
Actually the burpees were minimal as we performed better than expected. Notorious and Skid Mark were the rulers of the day clearing all obstacles with no penalty. Crash gave a little extra entertainment when she ripped her pants on a mudslide and Throttle put hours of footage into one of the most engaging videos he has ever produced. Here it is..hope you enjoy.
Bikes n Beers made hit the 3rd annual AMBC Fall Festival. AMBC (Appalachian Mountain Bike Club) is a Knoxville based chapter of the South East regional division of IMBA. According to the AMBC website, their mission revolves around conservation of open spaces, mountain bike rider education, and protection of the natural environment and experience for other trail users. Now I’m not sure about all that since my normal modus operandi on the trails involves breakneck downhill speeds with my hair on fire doing kick-outs over small woodland creatures screaming YEEE HAAAAAW. But I will say this; the AMBC puts on a kick-ass fall festival for the third year in a row.
The festival started in the early afternoon with 3 different guided rides, a 30 mile ride that highlights the entire trail system they are building/maintaining in south Knoxville, a 16 mile ride, and finally a 5 mile ride for the beginners. In the interest of preserving our drinking time we decided not to ride any of them.
New Belgium beer had plenty of their tasty suds on hand. We also brought some of our own stuff, a traditional Scottish Ale we call Skelping Bahookie (that’s Scottish for Ass Slapper). Note the ass slapping taking place in the video.
Next up was some spectator friendly short track racing; the format was a 4-lap 1 mile loop and while the racers were surely burning their lungs and having a great time, I believe the spectators had even more fun harassing, I mean cheering on the riders. Following the short track races the party really began to ramp up. The night time festivities began with some outstanding food provided buffet style and included lots of carb rich foods that hit the spot after a day of riding and drinking. The bonfires were lit and people began settling in for some great bands, a blind auction, and lots of great raffle prizes.
We are looking forward to returning next year.
We spent the day at Noris on some very boring trail. Today’s ride was more about the new toy we got to play with and less about how fun the trail was. Today Bikes N Beers gave our new cable cam a test drive. Special thanks are owed to David Green for sharing his design with us. We can’t wait until he comes out with the powered version. Hurry up Dave…will beer help????.