Haggis, Cabers, and Kilts, Oh My…..

Mmmmmmm, Beer

Having a few cold ones after the competition

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

arrrhhhhh

Throttle heaving the 42lb weight for distance.

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.

Dont drop it, dont drop it

Notorious picking the Caber, this was as good as it got….

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

eeeeeeeyaaaaaa

Heather pulling the Weight for Height.

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.

 

 

 

SEAL Extreme Challenge 2013

544473_485061084893641_927427415_nOnce 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.

558128_485144268218656_101569830_n

Everyone standing in line to get some Big Dumb Blond

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.

The new Bikes n Beers / Geezer Brewery Rig

The new Bikes n Beers / Geezer Brewery Rig

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:

 

Devil Dogs running amuck in Knoxville

Bikes N Beers participated, once again, in one of our favorite races of the year, the Marine Mud Run.  This race is put on by the Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Marine Corps League, detachment No. 924 in Knoxville, TN.  They put on a fabulous race.

The race consists roughly of 3 miles of off-road running, which entails some obstacles, hills, and of course, mud pits. This off road 5K adventure takes you across scenic trails and fields, obstacles, and ends with a splash through refreshing water after crawling through several mud pits. The race is open to both individuals and teams.  You do not have to be in perfect shape to come and run this one.  There is lots of fun to be had for all ages and fitness levels.

The fun alone is enough reason to attend this race but even better this race is a charity event and all proceeds go to Toys for Tots.  Bikes N Beers will be back again next year…for sure   Enjoy the video.

Beer…Do I have your attention!!!!!

The 2012 Knoxville Brewfest sponsored by Bearden Beer Market was held on June 23rd at the Southern Railway Terminal.  This years event featured over 85 craft breweries with over 150 beers and believe me, Bikes n Beers tried to sample all of them.  This was the 2nd annual Brewfest and all net proceeds went to Cure Duchenne.  This years was hot but it did not seem to damper the patrons and at least there was an abundance of cold beer!

Spacial Beers

Throttle sampling some of the special VIP beers

This year we opted to spring for the VIP tickets and we’re well rewarded.  First you get a nice goodie bag at the door with some absolute essentials like bottle openers and the all important pretzel necklace, good for cleaning that pallet between tastings, or just devouring when you get them munchies.  Some of the additional benefits were a private VIP area with a canopy and fans.  The food provided was well stocked and very tasty, our hats off to those you provided that.  Additionally, there were some special beers provided for the VIP ticket holders that  could not be found elsewhere at the fest.

Having Fun

He appeared to be having fun

The Festival once again did sell out this year with over 1500 patrons who were rewarded with some of the countries finest craft beers.  There was also a nice representation of home brewers from the local area including Legit Brewing, Location X, and UBC.  Some of our favorite commercial brews included Sweaty Betty from Boulder Beer, an   IPA from Good People Brewing Company, and Georgia Brown from Sweetwater Brewing Company. It would be impossible to list all of the great beers that were at the event and if you were not there to enjoy, then I highly suggest you mark your calendars for next year.

As always we had a fantastic time, met some great people, and of course took a little video.  The video is just a sampling of the great times had by all.  Until next time keep your beers cold and the rubber side down.

Ridin’ the Skinnies

Sin City Geezers

The Sin City Geezer Team

What do you get when Bikes n Beers gets 11 people together to ride for charity?  Apparently a nearly flipped bounce house but more importantly $3500 in donations to the American Diabetes Association.  We were proud to be part of the 2012 Tour de Cure in Knoxville TN which to date has raised $90,000 for the ADA.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Tour de Cure it is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 44 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association.

And this was before the ride….

This years Tour featured rides appropriate for the novice to the expert with courses from 10, 28, 43, 63, and 100 miles. Various members of the  Sin City Geezers team rode in all but 100 miles course.  All the courses started at the Worlds Fair Park in downtown Knoxville and took us through some beautiful east TN countrysides before ending back at Worlds Fair Park.  The routes were supported by numerous rest stops stocked full of goodies to keep you fueled for your ride.  The courses were also supported by a number of local bike shops including Harpers Bike Shop, Bike Zoo, Cedar Bluff Cycles, and Fountain City Pedaler, to keep everyone on the road and in good repair.

The 10 Mile Crew

The 10 Mile Crew

The base camp at the Worlds Fair Park was also well supported with food and entertainment from Carrabbas Italian Grill, a DJ, and even belly dancers.  The event Manager Wendi Mullins did a great job creating a fun atmosphere and was warm and welcoming.  If you’re local to Knoxville I highly suggest you get involved next year or look for your local Tour de Cure most likely coming to your city.  You can search for your local event here: Where We Ride.

As for the Sin City Geezers, we of course had a great time and never miss and opportunity to get some video.  Please check out our events calendar and joins us at our next event.  Our next event is Knoxville Brewfest where we’ll be sampling some great local, regional, and national craft beers.  Until next time keep your beers frosty and your rubber down.

 

SEAL Extreme Challenge

On April 7th 2012 Outdoors in the Smokies once again presented the SEAL Extreme Challenge.  The course was of Course Challenging as only Dan Schreder can provide.  A description of 5.6 kilometers of gut wrenching, character testing, pain inducing fun would not do this event justice.  Of course Bikes N Beers were there to provide video coverage and tasty brews.  Presented here is a small snippet of the fun, Enjoy!

2011: Ridin, Runnin, Dancin, and Drinkin…..

At our finest

Ringing in the New Year

This post marks the 1-year anniversary of Bikes n Beers.  We had a great year and need to thank many people for making it so.  First and foremost are the Sin City Geezers, who’s antics, raw athletic ability (or possibly lack of), and spirit gave birth to Bikes n Beers one year ago.  The Geezers have grown over the years and now include Alex, Tom, Steve, Bob, Jason, Zack, Wendy, and Derek.  Each Geezer brings their own unique character to the fold and has provided terabytes of outstanding video fodder.

Next we would like to thank Dan and Colleen Schreder of Smoky Mountain Endeavors, Inc. (soon to be Outdoor in the Smoky’s).  Smoky Mountain Endeavors has a fantastic outdoor venue in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains that caters to anyone with a rugged spirit and a love of the outdoors, please check them out and support this great local business.

We would also like to thank the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC).  AMBC is a chapter of the South East regional division of IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) located here in Knoxville, TN.  We’ve recently had the privilege to get to know AMBC and participate in a few of their organized events.  Their vision has and is rapidly turning Knoxville into a must-ride destination for the Mountain Biking Community.  We hope to continue to grow our relationship with this great organization.

Finally we’d like to thank the eastern TN mountain biking/trail running community for the great reception of this (Bikes n Beers) endeavor.  Being Las Vegas transplants we’re amazed at the caliber and friendliness of the people here in Tennessee.  Nearly everyone you meet on the trails here are eager to share the great trails and spirit of Eastern Tennessee.

Bikes n Beers has big plans for 2012, trail reviews, bike shop interviews, brewery interviews, video production, and of course lots of Ridin, Runnin, Dancin, and Drinkin.  Of course we’ve put together a 2011 year end recap video of some of our finer moments this past year.  We hope you’ve enjoyed our first year and hope you continue to join us in the next.  Everyone at Bikes n Beers wishes you a fantastic and prosperous 2012.

AMBC Fall Festival….a leg burning/beer drinkin good time

Throttle & Notorious

Doing our best to carbo load after the ride

On Saturday November 12th we had the opportunity to attend the 2nd 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.

The festival started in the early afternoon with 4 different guided rides, a 30 mile ride that highlights the entire trail system they are building/maintaining in south Knoxville, a 16-18 mile ride, a 9-10 mile ride, and finally a 5 mile ride.   In the interest of preserving our drinking time we

Dirty South

The trail system in south Knoxville (Click to Expand)

opted for the 9-10 mile ride.  The ride consisted of the William Hastie trails and a smattering of the trail system around the festival site (I’m not sure what they call that system).  The entire ride was fun but the highlight for me was a short section around the festival site that had 6 bridges that traversed a small cut leading down to a stream.  After returning to the Festival site we of course had to immediately do some carb replenishment and fortunately they had numerous options to do just that.

New Belgium beer was on hand and included Fat Tire and Snow Day, a Winter Ale with chocolate/caramel flavors and moderate hoppyness.  We were additionally treated with some local home brew from the Underground Brewing Company.  They had a nice crisp light bodied Pale Ale and a German Alt that seemed to be medium bodied with moderate hoppyness.

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 and in some cases providing some friendly impedance to the racers.  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 (including the Stolen Sheep, Big Bad Oven & The Wild Gifts), a blind auction, and lots of great raffle prizes.   There is some night time riding but we did not stay to partake in those activities, although watching the forum boards it appears to have been and smashing, arresting success.

We will definitely be returning next year and plan to do some camping to fully enjoy the entire experience.  Of course we have put together our traditional video of the event which you can enjoy below.  If you’re interested in learning more about AMBC you can check out their website here.  Until next time, keep the rubber side down and your beers cold……

15th Annual Knoxville Brewers’ Jam….Yes We Got Annihilated!

It took a while to get sobered up enough to put this event review together; however, we are not really sure what happened.  With that said, let us just apologize in advance or perhaps say you are welcome for our awesomeness (pulling for the later).  The 15th Annual Knoxville Brewers’ Jam was held on Sunday, October 22, 2011 (well, actually Saturday) at the World’s Fair Park in Knoxville, TN.  Those who came to this sold out event were exposed (hoping BnB did not expose themselves) to a great assortment of handmade American craft beer, music, food and our on the spot (somewhat inebriated) reviews of all the beer we could get our hands on.   A special thanks to those of you who did some pinch hitting for us out there and a big shout out to the Bikes N Beer girls for all of their obvious talents.  They were especially adept at using the video cam (with dead batteries) to get up on stage and shake it.

This year’s event was absolutely outstanding.  Although the beer stopped flowing at 7 PM the live music continued until past 8.  Some of the high points included the overall quality of the beer, the interaction with the brewing companies, the phenomenal live music ( Kelsey’s Woods, Barstool Romeos, Black Cadillacs, and Cutthroat Shamrock), and the crowd that came to have fun.  Hope to see you all again next year.  We will definetely be there and are planning to showcase some of our own home brew.

The Village People Invade the Warrior Dash

The village People

Damn we're sexy......

On September 17th Bikes n Beers ran the Warrior Dash in Manchester, Tennessee.  If you’ve been living under a rock and are not familiar with the Warrior Dash you can check out their website here.  We ran the Warrior Dash in Mountain City, Georgia in May of this year and had a reasonably good time.  This Warrior Dash was a different experience.  For those of you unfamiliar, middle Tennessee is a flat as a supermodel on a diet.  The event was held in the same place that hosts the Bonnaroo music festival and while flat topography is advantageous to that venue it makes for an extremely boring race course.  The obstacles were typical for a Warrior Dash but also lacked water features, barring the mud pit at the end.  As always the Warrior Dash is set up as a costumed party and that portion of the event did not disappoint.  As for us we decided to really display our manhood and go as the Village People.  This was the right decision since not only did we get numerous compliments we were invited on stage to display our dancing and singing prowess to the tune of YMCA.

Yea Baby.....

That's some fancy footwork.....

Everyone seemed to enjoy our rendition and were dancing,  pointing, and laughing which we took as affirmation of our manly nature……Warrior Dash does provide decent live music, big screens to view portions of the race course, overpriced beer (about $1 per ounce), and a limited pricy food selection.  Now for the not so good stuff.   My word of warning is that this is not a family friendly event, let me explain.  The first unfriendly rule is that you are not allowed to bring outside coolers, which means that if you have kids, there is no way to keep them in drinks, at least cold ones.  While I understand their rule for no outside alcohol to maximize their income potential, this no cooler rule seems unreasonable and definitely family unfriendly.  They also have an unwritten rule that you are not allowed to have any type of shade, so leave the kids at home because standing in full sun all day long will not go over well with kids.  Since this rule is not written anywhere on their website we, and several other people brought a canopy to get a break from the sun.  The workers, who were just enforcing the rules, unfortunately had to tell people to tear down their canopies, stranding a few people with infants to stand in full sunlight, that’s downright mean.  Associated with that drawback is the lack of water even for purchase, we looked but found no clear area to purchase water.  For the competitors, who traverse a large 200’ mud pit at the end of the race, there was a pathetic showering capability provided.  We ran in the 4th wave of the day (waves leaving every ½ hour) and they had already run out of water for the participants to clean off.  They did retrieve some additional water which was then dispensed through something slightly better than a garden hose to the 500 people plus standing there to clean off which then forced some competitors to attempt to clean off in the muddy runoff.  But yet again the Nazi-like rules of the promoter required the staff to run off people from attempting to do this.

Our experience with the Warrior Dash in Georgia was decidedly different.  So I suspect that each event has its unique circumstances, but as for the Manchester Tennessee venue it will not be one we return to.  The Warrior Dash can be a very fun event, the people who participate are commonly fun-loving,  and the feeling of camaraderie following the race is enjoyable.  We will return next May to the Georgia event and probably stay the night since the rumor is there are several post event parties.  As always we did take the opportunity to document the event and put together a video of the festivities, enjoy.  Until next time, keep the rubber down and the beer cold!