IPA school, bike riding and old friends

That night after the boat trip Charlie had gotten us tickets to IPA school. IPA’s are some of my favorite beers. The local Growler up the road was hosting it and it was put on by New Holland Brewing.

We tasted 5 beers altogether (which, upon later research I learned they were part of the “Hatter Day Hatters” series –I wondered why they all had hatter in their names – duh)  and got to take a Growler of our choice of New Holland beer home. Between the two of us we chose the Farmhouse Hatter and the Oak-Aged Hatter – two very nice IPA’s. They also are known for their Beer Barrel Whiskey and I highly recommend that, too if you’re a whiskey drinker.

The next day I was very happy when I looked at the clock at 5 a.m. and realized that I could roll over and go back to sleep for a few more hours. Later, Charlie brought me a cup of coffee in bed and the dogs bounded up to lay on top of me. (Over 100 lbs of canine) She cooked me breakfast and then took the dogs on a long walk because later we were going to go on a bike ride.

I wanted to ride my restored Bianchi that day. I hadn’t had it out since its maiden voyage where the handlebars came loose from the head and I took a nose dive.  When we rolled the bikes outside the air up the tires I noticed the head set was loose again so Charlie and I loaded up and drove down to our favorite bike shop first to have it checked out. It was a good thing, too, because the last time I had it in there they only tightened the nut and not the actual headset. Tightened with the proper air poundage in the tires we set out to find The Beltline trail.  

The Beltline is a bit of an enigma in that there’s a lot of talk about it but no one seems to know exactly where it is. When you go to the website and pull up a map of it it shows a green line entirely around the city of Atlanta. One would think “Wow, there’s an entire off-road trail that runs all the way around Atlanta.”  That’s the misconception. There’s only a few completed pieces of the trail currently constructed (yes, note to self click ‘completed trails’ on the map link and you will see the few pieces of already constructed trails) Charlie and I were fortunate enough to find the Eastside trail just off Krog street. In fact, right across the street from the way overrated and overpriced restaurant and wine bar. You can park in the gravel lot beside it and walk your bike across the street and get on the trail from there. It will take you past Old Fourth Ward (which, I have decided is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city) through Inman Park and eventually to Piedmont park.

Once we got to Piedmont, we rode around the park and through the Botanical Garden and finally got back on the trail stopping off in Inman to eat some great tacos. By the time we were finished eating I don’t think either of us thought we could pedal on our full stomachs if our lives depended on it but we managed (I really do think Charlie almost lost a taco on that first hill). On the way back we stopped off at this bicycle shop and looked around. Since rebuilding the Bianchi I admit that I’m a little obsessed with bikes. The man behind the counter even commented on it when we first walked in. I was even more obsessed then. He sold restored used bikes, too – obsession was really kicking in….

We found a small bike and we both had to try out laughing and cutting up. I took a video of Charlie and it that was so funny. We got back on the trail and to the car, hopping in and cooling off in the air conditioning. Once home we loaded up the dogs and took them on the trial for a long walk. Once back from that we had plans to meet up with one of my good friends that I hadn’t seen in over ten years. She was visiting from California and we met up with her and her new gf (who is a local but only so for another year). The drank beers, played pool and caught up. We shared funny stories and both Charlie and her girl, Gail cracked up. I had forgotten all the funny little stories we shared until we got together.

So, it was a very full and enjoyable weekend starting with last Wednesday night at the Mexican place. It was so much fun it really s*cked going back to work on Tuesday. I will close with some a video I uploaded of the dogs at the lake. (I tried to upload pics but my email is not cooperating with me today). More pics later.

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