Biking for Beer (or, my most expensive beer)

by Merlin Anderson

Bob Brandt found yet another way to challenge me to get tandem bike riders. In the last seven years, I won a beer from Bob six times and only had to buy the beer once. The previous bets were:

2005 – get 20 riders (I got 30).
2006 – get 2000 tandem bike miles (I got 2001).
2007 – average 16 mph on the tandem (I lost).
2008 – get 20 riders to ride at least twice in 2008 (I got 24).
2009 – get 15 guys to ride (I got 17).
2010 – get 15 couples to ride (I got 15, finishing the challenge on December 31).
2011 – get 25 NEW riders (I got 32 new riders).

Even though Bob bought the beer for the 2011 bet, it turned out to be the most expensive beer I ever consumed. You see, I was parking the car in the lot near Outback Steak House and on that dark, foggy night in January, I saw a shopping cart in the middle of the lane. I veered left to avoid the shopping cart but scraped the side of my car on the concrete barrier that surrounds a street lamp. So, here’s the cost analysis:

  1. Auto insurance deductible = $1,000
  2. Increase in auto insurance premiums = $500
  3. Tandem bicycle repair expenses for 2011 = $212
  4. Extra food consumed to offset calories burned while biking = $200
  5. New bicycle jersey and shorts = $88

TOTAL COST = $2,000
BEATING BOB = PRICELESS!

For 2012, Bob got really creative and challenged me to get three different riders each month. Bob figured that bad weather, darkness, or slick roads would prevent me from getting at least three riders in at least one of the winter months. Thanks to global warming or climate cycles or whatever, we never had a real winter and Bob owes me another beer. Thanks a bunch to everyone that rode with me in 2012. Here is the list of riders by month:

January:  Nancy Falk, Emily Gomalchalk, Tom Crain.
February: John Traynor, Roger Aukerman, Deb Aukerman
March:  Meg Anderson, Rosie Hauck,Lisa Sparks, Rebecca Payne
April:  Dan Marek, Stacy Brandt,Carolyn Sutter
May:  George Farnsworth, Becky Roesner, Senthil Ramasamy, Brigette Van Hook
June:  Tammy Knippenberg, Kristen Dixen, Kirsten Pieper, Lisa Ehlers
July:  Erin Furimsky, Laurel Schumacher, Imara White, Michelle White
August:  Marta Mason, Tom Lauritson,Missy Adams, Jasmine Safford
September:  Betsy Drillon, Kathy Alexander, Jennifer Funk
October:  Azsure Hedges, Karen Dudek,Dawn Dieckgrafe
November:  Andrew Hedges, Raymond Sevier, Leann Steidinger, Luke Eaton
December:   Sharri Pelarske, Tim Rood, John Kastigar, Bob Brandt

It was another memorable year in which I was lucky to ride with so many good friends. Every ride was great. Here are just a few examples of the variety of rides in 2012.

January 18, 2013

  1. 24 miles with Meg in the Grand Tetons National Park (above on a rented tandem bike).
  2. 37 miles with Stacy Brandt, including a run at Moraine View.
  3. 56 miles with Nancy Falk, including a watermelon break in Lexington
  4. 7 miles with Luke Eaton, from Australia (he was here visiting our daughter, Tanya)
  5. 5 miles in the snow with Bob Brandt on December 31 (Bob completed his 13th consecutive year of riding the tandem. Becky Roesner also has 13 years. Meg has more than 20 years).
  6. 5 miles with Leann Steidinger & Ajani (the 1st time I ever had a 3rd rider in tow)
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