Pedal(ounge) up to the bar(s)

Anticipating the journey....

Anticipating the journey….

Picture from the Pedalounge website (http://www.pedalounge.com/index.php)
Picture from the Pedalounge website (http://www.pedalounge.com/index.php)

 

Thebeerchaser has seen the vehicle referred to as “Party Bikes” – in various cities ranging from Seattle to Denver to Amsterdam.  In each case, the riders were exuberant and obviously having a good time.

Thanks to the generosity of Kenzie Larson, a group of us hopped aboard this mode of transport on a summer Sunday afternoon to hit a few SE Portland watering holes.

Lloyd, our leader (front center in the gray shirt).  Owner of this small business.
Lloyd, our leader (front center in the gray shirt). Owner of this small business.

Lloyd  the erstwhile driver, owner (his company name is “Pedalounge“), cheerleader, safety officer and coxswain – after collecting our liability waivers, (much less onerous than what I signed before zip-lining in Alaska)  gave us a brief admonition to be cautious and obey the rules.

One of these was no partaking of alcohol while we were pedaling – something that made sense and is not the case in all cities licensing these vehicles.  Another was, “Pedalounge loves good friends, laughs and an ice-cold beer and does not believe that riding a big bike entitles anyone to be rude or annoying.” (emphasis supplied)

Thebeerchaser and Lloyd - an impressive small entepraneuer

Thebeerchaser and Lloyd – an impressive small entrepreneur

Lloyd barked encouragement and a lot of funny lines – some about his native state of Minnesota – he moved to Portland because his watch was two hours slow and he couldn’t fix it.  He measured our pace – at one time an impressive 5 mph – and urged us onward – we responded out of a sense of morbid curiosity.

His recitation of the rules was not necessary, because all of us – even though we were not wearing helmets –  as if anointed by the Goddess of Two Wheels, became subservient in our attitude toward automobiles, self-righteously obeyed all traffic signals and gratuitously wanted to share the road with autos while refraining from operating on sidewalks.

Portland_Pedalounge_ridePerhaps we were reflecting on HG Wells statement, “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race,” although I assume he might amend that assertion if he saw the Pedalounge that day. Lloyd asked us what bars we wanted to visit and helped us formulate a route, which both started and ended at the Green Dragon in Southeast Portland.

The Lucky Lab - first stop....

The Lucky Lab – first stop….

We then pedaled – drawing waves and cheers from envious passersby – to our first stop, The Lucky Lab Brew Pub on SE Hawthorne.   We spent about 30 minutes there and each bar thereafter.  The collaborative effort to develop enough thrust to push our conveyance generated a team spirit which was celebrated at Lucky Lab.P1020527

Rejuvenated, we mounted up and spurred on by Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty,” attained an impressive velocity.

We arrived at The Baerlic Brewery and Taproom – a new micro-brewery, like many, started by two gents (Ben Parsons and Richard Hall) who for years brewed our favorite beverage in their basement and opened this enterprise in 2013.

 

 

Kenzie Larson adding new meaning to the term, "of barley."

Kenzie Larson adding new meaning to the term, “of barley.”

“Baerlic” is an old-english adjective meaning “of barley.”  The selection is somewhat limited with only three of their beers on tap – and it is a small and sparsely furnished space, but the beer was good – most notably the Invincible IPA.

By this time, we all were thoroughly enamored with Lloyd and his enterprise and since we thought it might be imprudent to nominate him for elective office, we brainstormed ideas to support him.

One was to bring the Pedalounge to the Pendleton Roundup this fall Another was for a cross-country Pedalounge trip.

Sampling Baerlic's ____

Sampling Baerlic’s Invincible IPA

Jamie Magnusson, my son-n-law and an engineer with advanced math skills, started calculating.  It was like the old SAT math problem:  “If one Pedalounge started a cross-country trek from  Portland and another simultaneously headed West from Virginia Beach, when and where would they meet.”

Jamie figured, if the East Coast group, first headed south, they would meet in Salina, Kansas on Interstate 70 at the appropriately named Rendezvous Bar on Santa Fe Avenue.  There could be ceremony reminiscent of the Golden Spike in 1869 at Promontory Summit in Utah when the Union and Central Pacific Railroad tracks met to complete the first US transcontinental railroad.  Unfortunately, the only review of this bar was a 2010 Yelp one-star and this excerpt does not portend a good result.  “Reviews are obviously subjective. Some people clearly enjoy this bar. Due to my preferences, I simply don’t, and would never step in it again.”  (The references to the condition of the bathroom is omitted in the interest of prudence.)

The Rocky Mountains and bathroom stops - insurmountable??

The Rocky Mountains and bathroom stops – insurmountable??

We discarded the idea when he revealed that even assuming we averaged 3 miles per hour (probably not going to happen over the Rocky Mountains) and pedaled 12 hours per day with minimal bathroom breaks, it would take each Pedalounge 42 days to reach Salinas.  Although, based on one bike that caught my attention at the Portland Art Museum’s Cyclepedia Exhibit in 2013, one of us could make the trip solo on this bike shown below:

Solo cross-country trip??

Solo cross-country trip??

Lloyd, rounded us up and we headed for our third stop – Apex on SE Division.  He resisted the temptation to play some Gaelic tunes to increase our velocity.

Apex, like the Green Dragon, has an impressive selection of beer (50 on tap) -my favorite was an innovative and very spicy Diablo Rojo En Fuego from Bend’s  Boneyard Brewing ( Poured deep amber/red with a thin head. Great chili pepper flavor without being too heavy on the spice and heat…” – “ratebeer” blog) 

Apex has been named multiple times  (2010 -13) as one of the five Portland bars to make Draft Magazine’s “100 Best Beer Bars in the United States:

“Whether you’re inside the sleek aluminum bar eyeing the real-time digital tap menu or out front tipping back pints on the fleet of picnic tables, Apex’s hoppy list of 50 brews is the perfect intro to the IBU-centric taste of the Pacific Northwest.”  

Over 50 beers on tap.

Over 50 beers on tap.

While the beer selection is memorable, Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Portland’s Bars, Pubs and Taverns primary focus is the environment and character of the watering holes.  And Apex, like Bailey’s Taproom (Beerchaser review in April 2014) another one of Draft Magazine’s finest, doesn’t have a lot of ambiance and serves no food.

No need to have a Coors Light here.....

No need to have a Coors Light here…..

 

With heavy hearts and full bladders, we headed towards our final stop – the Green Dragon with thoughts about the Circle of Life.  The Green Dragon is a neat pub with a robust selection of beers.  After making the 2011-12 Draft Magazine 100 Best lists,  it fell off the last two years, but this 2012 description still holds:

“……the urbanesque Green Dragon tempts patrons through its garage door entrance, and keeps them hanging around with more than 50 ever-rotating taps—probably none fresher than offerings from Buckman Botanical Brewery, a small-batch brewery set up inside the Dragon. From regular meet-the-brewer nights to the annual Great American Nano Fest, this bar is one of the most craftbeer-centric venues you’ll ever find.”   

The Green Dragon

The Green Dragon

A robust selection of beers at the Green Dragon.

A robust selection of beers at the Green Dragon.

 

 

 

 

While the Pendleton Round-up still might be a possibility for the Pedalounge, the cross-country trip is not, so help us support Lloyd – the epitome of humility – “I owe everything to my parents – especially my mother and father…”

Check out his website below and get a group of friends and reserve the Pedalounge.  The website shows a calendar with available dates,  informs you how to sign up and everything you will need.  And bring some of your own music to play on the journey.  Although avoid certain artists.  For example, Lloyd told me, “I kind of wondered over the years why none of my patrons ever wanted John Tesh numbers.  And then I realized it was because John Tesh sucks….!”

You can pick the bars in Southeast Portland you want to visit although Lloyd’s recommendations were very good.  Thebeerchaser has also found after reviewing over 70 Portland bars and pubs in the last three years, that the SE area served by Pedalounge houses some of the premier establishments in our city.  The Pedalounge price is a great bargain, the camaraderie is memorable and you will want to pay Lloyd a return visit to explore new watering holes.

Pedalounge

 P1020525P1020544

 

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Pedal(ounge) up to the bar(s)

  1. For sure…“environment and character” are exactly what you seek to capture and convey in your travels…but I thought of the words “human texture” as soon as I read that…or, maybe, “human embrace.”

    As The BeerChaser, you are actually Dr. BeerChaser who applies an invisible stethoscope to the human fabric of each place.

    If the whole world can be contained in a drop of water, then entire galaxies can be contained in a drop of beer…as long as the drop of beer is not light beer, “light beer” being a foul contradiction in terms.

    • Thanks Jud – one of the primary “inspirers” for this enterprise. After all, if I model after someone with enough creativity to initiate the Gulf Coast Humanities Consortium, I can have some fun and hope the readers do as well.

      And while on our Beerchase on the Central Oregon Coast, we had a dialogue that would interest you:

      Dirt: “I like that Sessions beer.
      Steve: “Yeah, it’s kind of like Coors Light with a little body…..”

      Stay tuned….!

  2. It would be a shame to have Jamie’s calculations go to waste. (I speculate the Chamber of Commerce in Salina, Kansas, would feel the same.) Therefore, I move that we form a Coalition of the Willing, in teams of PedaLounge-mounted beer chasers who perform a relay, say, pre-calculated time blocks of 3 days per team. We would need only15 teams for about 3 days each. I’m sure there are east coast beer enthusiasts who would sign up for their respective relay teams (and – I would emphasize to them – they wouldn’t have to sweat the Rocky Mountains). Jamie could calculate the “hop on, hop off” locations for each 3-day relay team. I’ll sign up for western Wyoming. How hard could it be? Who’s with me??!! Awareness and/or donations for a charitable cause? Health benefits of social cycling? Let’s form the People’s Revolutionary Junta to Reenact the Golden Spike !! (“The Golden Spoke?”)

    • This idea could gain traction and go viral. I will pass it on to Thebeerchaser Advisory Committee (currently only me and a guy named Irish Mike at the Old Oregon Saloon in Lincoln City, Oregon). While Kansas became a free state in 1861 and we are too late for their Centennial, it could be one of the biggest events in Salinas in years and a chance for the revitalization of the Rendezvous Saloon. Thanks Dave for your vision and insight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s