Wha…wha..what?

AMBCThe 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.

jeremy

Jammin’ Jeremy

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…

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.

 

 

 

This is SPARTA! (well…Georgia)

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The Sin City Spartans

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.

Notorious likes mud!

Notorious likes mud!

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.

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Throttle takes the wall

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…

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Crash before her pants split

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.

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.

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.

 

Doom on You

As the morning fog settled in the small race valley, and the dew clung on various awnings; I smelled coffee and the anxiousness of a serious challenge brewing.  So I put on my War Face and headed to the check-in, to begin the most physically challenging 5K I have experienced here in the South.

This is the fourth time BikesnBeers has competed in this race, and the second time we have been a sponsor.  That meant at least one of us has run it every single time, and that one would be me.  You would think that I would get bored doing the same race over and over, but the event organizer, Outdoor In the Smokies, does an excellent job of continually adding to the event and changing up the course.  One year they started you out going through the water, another had you go up the 100’ rope climb twice; you never know quite what you have in store when you sign up to race.  This time the race added a second rope climb located near the top of Cardiac Hill and added some new features to the obstacle course.  This year’s event also provided concessions (homemade BBQ), beer to runners of age, and a band to complete the Smokey Mountain experience.

As part of the Sin City Geezers race team, my 10 year old son joined me to experience the pain; and after this race he now knows what it feels like to be a Geezer, even at his young age.  He had run some cross country prior to this in school events, but nothing that required the vertical demands this race put on him.  And that is part of what makes this race unique.  Typical cross country runners are not used to the steep climbs and scrambles up and down hillsides involved in this race, and like my son, they were in for a whole new kind of challenge.  It was also nice to experience the race again through the eyes of someone who has never done it, and doesn’t know what the next bend has in store.  That continual look and mutterings of “Are you kidding me” and “I hate this race”  and “When will this climb end” reminded me of my first time at this.  And even though we completed the race in the bottom half of the standings, we both ultimately had a great time, all mutterings aside.

For anyone looking to test themselves in the future this race will definitely do that, but keep in mind that the race sold out about 3 weeks before the event, so register early.

A Race for Brainzzzzzzzzzzz……..

We stood in the overcrowded darkness of the covered starting corral, I wondered what the world would look like in the zombie apocalypse, and whether I would “live” to see another beer in my belly.

As the gate crashed open and the mass of racers pushed through each other to get free and onto the course, I got my first glimpse of the undead through the smoke; framed in the stark forest and grey sky.  She appeared to have been turned on her way to a prom, or a dance, and was grey in complexion, covered in blood, and had a crazed, lifeless hunger for the racers.

It had rained heavily the night before, and every step out of the gate was a slide through ankle deep mud as several ghouls lumbered towards us looking for a meal.  I quickly moved out onto the course, planning to dart past the few zombies I expected; but many more had congregated near the corral as if they knew where to look for fresh meat.  I quickly avoided 1, then 2 more, and then lost my traction in the slippery mud just as I felt a firm hand grasp my shoulder…  It was Jason checking to see if I made it through the initial sprint unscathed.  That was the start of the best race I have done to date.

How do you take a standard 5K race an push it to the next level?  You add some obstacles.  How do you make it totally awesome? You make it a race for your “life” against a horde of zombies.  That is exactly what we experienced in the “Run For Your Lives” 5K race outside of Atlanta.

The event did a good job with the atmosphere.  It included a short maze, smoke, and people kind enough to really get into the role of being undead.  Adding the zombie factor to an obstacle race was a stroke of brilliance on the organizers part.  About 10 minutes into a normal 5K race I am already bored and wondering if it is all worth it.  Running a 5K with obstacles is more exciting, but if there are long distances between the obstacles I am back to being bored.  With this race, in between all the obstacles, for the entire race, are zombies looking to grab your flags (flags are used as lives in the race).  Not just 1 or 2 zombies here and there, but over 100 lumbering throughout the course in groups of 2 or 4 or even 10. This meant that you were always watching your back for what just came out of the trees, changing your speed and direction to avoid the grasping hands, and looking for a safe place where you could relax back into a nice jog.   This also definitely made filming more of a challenge for us.  The only way to make this race any better would have to been to assign us Nerf guns to “defend” ourselves with.

Also, it taught me a few things about the impending zombie apocalypse:

  • Slow zombies are only a preference.  Some zombies have watched “28 Days Later” (I know it is not technically a zombie movie).
  • As you slip and slide through the muddy trails to safety (and beer), it is sometimes hard to tell other racers from their undead brethren, so trust no one.
  • Friends make good bait.  Especially the slow or asthmatic ones.  Again, trust no one, since someone may view you as the slow one.
  • Zombies do not like being teased.  Imagine that.  Even the undead have sensitive feelings, and hungry zombie friends still lurking.
  • Have fun.  It’s not like it is the end of the…, well have fun anyway.

 

If it was easy, it would not be called EXTREME!

Bikes N Beers, once again, attended our favorite adventure race, The Navy SEAL Extreme Off-Road Challenge.  This race, put on by Smoky Mountain Endeavors, Inc., is in my opinion the best race you will find in the 5K adventure race category.  As one race participant said, “this is the hardest physical course I have ever done and I am still sore three days later!”.   Another participant described it like closing your eyes and unexpectedly getting kicked in the balls.      

The Punishers...SEAL Team 6

Navy SEAL Dan gave everybody a dose of what it means to be a Navy SEAL right off the bat.  He sent the racers through the course’s water feature at the start of the race.  As you can imagine the water was a shocker on the cool Tennessee morning and even more so when your body has not had the chance to build up some heat from the run.   The screams and gasps and thoughts of WTF echoed through the Smoky Mountains.  Not to worry though, as always, the course went up Cardiac Hill…so everyone did eventually get plenty warm.   Cardiac hill is a scramble best made on all fours.  Those who attempt it on two feet usually end up spitting dirt out of their mouth once their feet slide out from under them.   

Dirt Divas

The best men’s time 0:49:03.  The best women’s time 1:03:26.  The best team’s time was 1:03:39.  The most inspiring time came from a team called the “Dirt Divas”.  This was a group a ladies that came from Dandridge TN.  All of them married with children and rumored to have 14 kids under the age of 12 between them…wow.  They came because they were ready for something different.  They finished the race, together, in a time of 3:04:30 to the cheers of all involved.  This is one of the elements of this race that makes it so special.  Everyone at the race is there to see you through and help you succeed in this grueling endeavor.  When you’re done you feel a phenomenal sense of accomplishment and a sense of belonging.  Check out the Bikes N Beers video below.

We brought the beer!

Bikes N Beers had the privilege of being one of the race sponsors and as such we brought 20 gallons of our premium beer to let the crowd consume for free.  We floated all 4 of our kegs soon after the race was over to live blue grass music from Outta the Blue.  The favored beer was our imperial blonde, we named “Big Dumb Blonde”.  This beer is big at 8.8% alcohol and as we like to say….she is a beautiful full figured blonde that goes down easy but will leave you as dumb as a bag of hammers if you don’t leave her alone.   Lots went home stupid!  We also had a Milk Stout we call “Bitch Pudding” (everyone got a taste…blam), an Irish Red we call “Kasasinator” after my crazy red headed daughter and a Kolsch called “Chamois Sweat”.  After hard days run there’s nothing like getting out of those sweat soaked shorts and enjoying a frosty brew.   

Event photos can be found at cjwoodsphotography.photoshelter.com.  Check them out.

It's true!

  The next Navy SEAL Extreme Off-Road Challenge is scheduled for this coming April.  Sign up if you dare.  Bikes N Beers will be there with the beer and lots of it.

The Unveiling of the “Race from the Devil” Fat Tire Shootout

The “Fat Tire Shootout” is a one of a kind mountain bike race.  This race takes the road bike race (devil take the hindmost) rule and applies it to the dirt.  It is also non-traditional in that it is a short course.  It is a stout 1.75 miles.  The mountain biker should be prepared with legs, lungs, and the desire not to be put down (I have at least one of those three).  You better be in shape to win this fast paced, win-at-all-cost kind of event. This course is punctuated with tough climbs with some technical fast paced decents.  The race is not true single track, but its close.  The additional width of most of the trail allows for quick passing at the opportune time.  In addition the course has four bridge crossings and there are a couple of areas requiring dismount, giving just a hint of CX action for fun.

This is the first mountain bike race sponsored by BIKESnBEERS.  Come to our canopy (after the race) and get a free beer (until we are out).  The way Notorious pounds beer they will go quick.  We will be setting up camp the night before so come on out and enjoy the campfire with us.  You can register for the race at www.smokymountainendeavors.com or just hit this link

Navy Seal Dan stands in between the founders of BIKESnBEERS.

.   The race is located in Cosby TN.  The address is 462 Middle Creek Rd Cosby, TN 37722.  Direction:

From the North, West, and South via I-81, I-40, or I-75

Proceed to the junction of I-81 and I-40 (East of Knoxville, TN). Exit onto I-40 Eastbound. Proceed to Exit 435; take a right at the end of the off-ramp onto Hwy 321 South. Follow 321 South to a stop sign; take a right onto Wilton Springs Rd (Hwy 73). An immediate stop sign appears; take a left, back onto Hwy 321 South. Proceed about 1/3 mile and take a right onto Middle Creek Rd.

From the East Via I-40 westbound from Asheville, NC:

Proceed on I-40 to exit 440. Take a left at the end of the off-ramp, onto Hwy 73 (Wilton Springs Rd). Go under the interstate, follow signs for Hwy 73 or “To Hwy 321” (right turn). Proceed on Hwy 73 to a stop sign at the intersection with 321 South. Take a left onto Hwy 321 South. Proceed about 1/3 mile and take a right onto Middle Creek Rd.

For all travelers, once on Middle Creek Rd:

Proceed 1.45 miles, and veer off to the right onto a gravel drive. Look for our race/direction sign and company logo on your right. Follow parking coordinators direction please.

Navy Seal Dan puts it bestNo hiding in the back to just “finish” this race… you will be visited by the Devil! This is a ground breaking MTB adventure unseen before! Don’t be a sissy and be scared away. All BS aside, this is a tough course. Just bring your stones and lay down your best.  Are you up for the challenge? Hope to see you there.  This is a very spectator friendly course so bring your friends and family.