The post-ride buzz

“Reporting from his couch, for mtshredward.com, I’m Andy Beach for mthredward.com…oh wait, I already said that, the Shredward part. I’ve hadda couple. Anyway, I’m Andy. Peace.”

Yes, I’m out on the beat. Let the pretty, empty-headed puppets, anchored to a laminate-covered and light-bathed set get all the glory and pay by mindlessly regurgitating from the prompter. I’m a true journalist, risking life and brain cell to give you—the readers who demand the grittiness and honesty that comes with uncensored, on-the-scene reporting—the real story.

I’ve been meaning for a while to do a piece on the glory that is the post-ride buzz. So, like the legendary war correspondents whom are rightfully hailed by journalism historians, before composing this article I did a nice little ride at Waterdog in Belmont, Ca and then some post-ride drinking. You can trust me, dear readers. I wouldn’t have written a piece about running over human shit unless it had actually happened. Nor would I betray your trust and write a piece about how much I enjoy drinking after a ride on a day I didn’t actually take to the hills and was sober. The results may be poorly written and disjointed, but they will be authentic.

And as this is a special occasion, this particular drinking session features a special guest: a 22 oz bottle of Hop Stoopid Ale from Lagunitas (my all time fav brewery). Before today, I’d never actually bought a 22 ouncer (which I’ve affectionately dubbed a “Yuppy 40” seeing how the bulk of those 22 ouncers cost way more than most six packs). But my wife had texted me during my ride, asking me to pick up some stuff at the store after I was done. I went to the beer cooler at Lanardi’s, saw a Lagunitas brew I’d never tried before and put it in my basket next to a can of black beans, a white onion and a bag of frozen corn nibletts. Along with the fact that my palate was a virgin to this brew, it had the word “Hop” in the name (I love hops!), so I was sold. It did not disappoint. Petaluma’s most well known creation is probably Winona Ryder, but I’d argue that Lagunitas’s body of work has brought the public much more enjoyment.

Now that the Hop Stoopid is in my belly, I’m currently working on an “import” I brought back from my recent trip to the east coast (NYC and DC). A Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale, brewed in Michigan. Nice stuff I’ve never come across in California

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the post-ride buzz and how great it is.

I don’t know what it is. Maybe the combo of having your body feeling beat down, but also up beat with booze fueled humming. Some kind of S&M thing. It could also be the elimination of guilt. It’s no secret that alcohol has very limited long term benefits for the body. And you may be surprised to learn that conventional wisdom actually leans towards the effects being negative. But if you’ve ridden your ass off and left it all out on the trail, well, what’s it going to hurt? At worse you’re back to square one. I’ve definitely noticed that the harder I’ve ridden and the more dead I feel after a ride, the more I look forward getting home and cracking open a craft brew. So maybe my body, in its infinite wisdom created by millions of years of evolution, is saying, “Hey bud, you’ve done me a solid with that ride. Give me some microbrew or one of those fine anejo tequilas you’ve got and I’ll make it worth your while.”

Or maybe I’ve got a problem. Uh oh.

Nah. Far from drinking being an issue, I’ve always considered myself a “buzzaholic” at worst. Fortunately I have no problem stopping once I’ve started, and actually have rarely been totally fucked up. I just don’t dig it. And even on those rare evenings when I have been really drunk, other than the occasional stumbled-over word, it’s pretty difficult for people to even tell I’m impaired, so I don’t cause trouble. I really like drinking, but don’t need it (although my wife, who is living in Squaresville, likes to tease me otherwise). But post-shred libations, if I chose to fight the urge, it would be a bit more of a struggle. There’s an alcoholic dwarf in my head that always chimes in when I think about a ride, and he’s got those really stocky, strong arms that I just don’t want to tangle with.

“Oh, maybe I’ll do Skegg’s Point. That’d be nice. It’s amazingly beautiful down in that canyon, and there’s a ton of climbing that would be great for me,” I think to myself.

“And man, how great will a few beers feel moving through those tired legs. Nice! Let’s do Skegg’s,” says the little guy.

And I agree with him. For one, he’s right. Also, he’s like a Tolkien dwarf: super wise, bearded and not to be fucked with. So why fight?

Man, mountain biking never ceases to amaze me in its salt-like tendency to enhance stuff that’s already pretty fucking good. Experiencing nature. Not working. Hanging with friends. Moving fast. (And smoking out. Though I’ll have to take my riding buddies’ word for that, as I don’t enjoy the herb like I did in my younger days, which is kind of a bummer). Exercising. On and on.

Oh mountain biking, is there nothing you can’t do?

Okay, I’m empty. Time for another beer.

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