Bicycle Built for Brew: The Red Hot Pint Pedaler and Spring Exposure Ride

By Ron Swarner on May 27, 2014

Over the years, I know I've made mention of this simple (if shameful) fact at least once before: There is nothing so wonderful and so free as riding your bike around Tacoma while loaded on beer. Yes, it is irresponsible and it is dangerous. But so is anything else that is part of your birthright of fun. It is with this moral dilemma in mind that I mention two bicycling and beer drinking events going down this week.

Wednesday, May 28

The Red Hot's "TRH Pint Pedaler: A Bike Map to Tacoma's Craft Breweries" made its debut during Bike Month last year, revealing the best routes for cyclists navigating their way to Tacoma's craft breweries, including the locations of the city's cool bike shops in case your chain slips. If you follow this year's map by numerical order, the route begins at The Red Hot (natch!), then leads to Wingman Brewing, Harmon Brewery and Eatery, Tacoma Brewing Co., Harmon Tap Room, Engine House No. 9, Ram Big Horn Brewing on Ruston Way, ending at the soon-to-open Pacific Brewing Co. on Pacific Avenue. That's a glorious circle of deliciousness. Each suggested brewery and bike shop will carry the maps, too. The map is printed on Rite In The Rain weatherproof paper, so beer spills/rain/sweat/nose bleeds need not ruin your copy.

The official launch of this year's map will be held at 5 p.m. at The Red Hot, 2914 Sixth Ave. Expect a raffle, limited edition spoke cards, Pierce County Bike Maps and plenty of craft beer for thirsty cyclists. The Red Hot will knock off 50 cents on all Washington-brewed beers all day. After 5 p.m., the Sixth Avenue hot dog and beer joint will knock off 50 cents on all its beers for those wearing a bike helmet.

Remember, one of the city's only bike corrals sits in front of The Red Hot.

For more details, call 253.779.0299 or check TRH's Facebook, which will list what's on tap for the day.

Saturday, May 31

Tacoma MOB Riders host another one of their glorious Bicycle Booze Cruz rides at 7 p.m. in front of Broken Spoke on Hilltop Tacoma. Titled the "Spring Exposure Ride," these adventurous folks will bicycle hop from bar to bar with the vague notion that this is a game/group hug/whatever.

Bike and beer culture go hand in hand, so the polyamorous Broken Spoke is a marriage made in fixed-gear, canned beer heaven. Ben Davis' Hilltop Tacoma hangout is a custom bike shop/canned beer tavern. It's perfect for working on your laptop or chatting while you get an axle fixed and, of course, sipping from a plethora of canned beers. Davis learned to build custom bikes at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Ore., before building bikes in Tacoma.

The biggest misconception about canned beer is that it tastes bad - specifically that it has a metallic taste. However, if you think about it, most of us drink draft beer from a metal keg at the local bar. The cans and lids used for most craft breweries are sprayed with a coating that protects the beer from this metallic taste. Beer is also better protected from two of its bitter enemies - light and oxygen, which can cause off-flavors of their own. Plus, you can stack cans into a pyramid or maybe a castle.

In regards to the Spring Exposure Ride, you can expect one or two crazy costumes, tricked out bikes, three people with rolled up pant legs, an itinerary announced before push-off and an awesome good time.

Everyone is invited to both bicycle events. Just don't forget to put your kickstand up ... and, obviously, drink responsibly.