Tag Archives: beer

Merna ASE

Cold temperatures for 2016, but seasonal for any other year, mild winds and greatly appreciated sunshine greeted the 2016 Merna ASE (Another Stupid Event) crew. Following the run, folks enjoyed cold beverages, good food, great cookies and the 2016 version of the infamous ASE mixed drink. Great regrets for those who missed this annual tradition. Look for another chance to enjoy the ASE experience in February.


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Bob’s Bike Bet 2015: The “Decathlon”

For this, the 11th year of bets, Bob Brandt collaborated with Kirby Cheek in a desperate attempt to win a beer (Bob has only won one time). They created a nearly impossible challenge but, thanks to everyone who rode with me, Bob went down in flames again. It was a tandem “decathlon” where I had to accomplish ten feats out of a list of 17 (one of those was to ride with Kirby who said he would only ride “when hell freezes over”). I was hoping the Cubs would win the World Series so that I would have evidence that hell froze over and Kirby would have to ride with me.

One stipulation of the challenge was that a rider could only be used for two of the ten challenges. I used a spreadsheet to make sure all requirements were met. Here are the ten challenges we accomplished:
1. Get ten riders (I got 62 – a record).
2. Ride 1,500 miles on the tandem bike (rode 2,095 miles; 839 miles with Meg Anderson).
3. Get ten riders to ride twice (got 15).
4. Get ten guys to ride (got 25).
5. Get ten couples to ride (got 13).
6. Get ten new riders (got 24).
7. Ride from the NE corner of McLean County to the SE corner (thanks, Becky Roesner).
8. Ride 10 miles in nothing but the hardest gear (rode 11 miles thanks to Krin Schubach).
9. Get 5 non-family riders to ride at least 100 miles with me in 2015 (got six, thanks to Tom Crain, Carolyn Sutter,
Rebecca Payne, Becky Roesner, Emily Gomolchak, and Stacy Sheridan).
10.Ride as Santa in front with an elf in the back (thanks, Rich Beal for riding and costumes).


IMG_8133 IMG_8128 IMG_8104 IMG_7931 IMG_7737

To accomplish all this took 144 rides (59 rides with Meg and 85 rides with the other 61 riders). An 11th accomplishment was to accumulate 100 miles with Tom Crain in only three rides. We did that and then Carolyn Sutter one-upped Tom by doing her 100 miles in only two rides.

To keep this article at a reasonable length, here are all 62 riders listed in alphabetical order of first name: Abby Bokus, Andrew Hedges, Azsure Hedges, Becky Roesner, Bill Hahm, Bob Brandt, Brett Leifheit, Brigette Van Hook, Cara Sweet, Carolyn Sutter, Carrie Hymer, Christal Kneer, Cojo Aforiwa, Colin Blakeney, Dara Williamson, Dawn Dieckgrafe, Debbie Walmsley, Diana Brandt, Doug Oehler, Emily Gomolchak, Erin Furimsky, Frances Connolly, Gene Harding, Jasmine Safford, Jim Pelarske, Kathy Alexander, Keith Bowers, Kelly Bowers, Kevin Fahling, Kevin McCarthy, Krin Schupbach, Larry Schumacher, Laurel Schumacher, Lisa Sparks, Lori Hahm, Marge Ehlers, Marilyn Mapes, Marshall Watson, Meg Anderson, Meryl Brown, Michelle Masten, Michelle White, Mike Haas, Missi Adams, Nancy Thiel, Pat Sheridan, Perry Rock, Ray Maiden, Rebecca Payne, Rich Beal, Scott Weiher, Sharrie Pelarske, Stacy Sheridan, Sue Anderson, Tammy Knippenberg, Tanya Anderson, Tanya Gianotti, Tara Payne, Tod Williamson, Todd Schneider, Tom Crain, Tom Lauritson

Thanks for all the great rides! I think the 2016 bet will be to get riders that are citizens of different countries. Last year, I had only two countries: United States (of course) and Canada. Bob is still thinking about how many countries would make a good bet.

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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

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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