(Good) Beer is much like a bicycle ride. They vary from good to bad while diving deeper into the good and the bad, some are ridiculously awful and some are just about perfect. Inside the good ol’ Illinois Valley, are two current breweries that are producing beer. Both, Radium City and Tangled Roots, have their headquarters in Ottawa, IL. Things are looking up for the Illinois Valley, quite possibly for the first time, since the early 1900’s. Nothing is more of a heartbeat to the Illinois Valley than the beautiful Starved Rock State Park, located just Southeast of Utica, IL. This park is unique and stunningly beautiful being beautifully shaped by prehistoric flooding. The landscape around Starved Rock is amazing, as well. Nothing will come close to being as dense of beauty in such a (somewhat) small area as Starved Rock.
Riding bicycles even at barely moderate level, consists of great ups and intense downs as literal as spinning so quickly to move so slow to climb steep elevation and descending in your drops with insane speed, tucking and straight rolling. Things do not always go your way. Sometimes your bicycle breaks. Sometimes you wreck. Sometimes you have a great ride. The wind always blows.
The Illinois Valley has great history and The I&M Canal is still in use by nature and outdoorsy enthusiasts, exercising or just wandering. As constantly riding on this towpath, I can clearly complain of the upkeep of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, but I am biased while continuously utilizing it.
I’m a modest person, however, I have enjoyed many of beers in my lifetime from all over the world. I know good from bad. I know unique from normal. I will not try and bullshit a review as if I have the nose and palate of Superman. Radium City makes good beer. Tangled Roots makes good beer with a higher lever of experimental qualities. Both brewing companies are given a push from me as if they were trying to ride a bicycle without their training wheels for the very first time. Eat, drink and love LOCAL. If you cannot do that, get the fuuuuu out.
I had a bad ride yesterday, yet strangely good. It was funny. I wanted to ride 100+ miles. The wind was strong and I couldn’t do it. My shoes were losing a screw to my right cleat. I was faster than a tractor. I chased a loose dog. I drafted a tractor to beat a bit o’ wind. I was chased by that same dog and his friend. Adrenaline motivation takes place when trying to out-sprint a fast dog(s). I have noticed that if you slow down and communicate with them, they do not assume you are a toy and mostly obey. I became lost and when I found my way (not even where I wanted to be) I could not get my shoe to hold one of my screws embracing my cleat. I took the screw out and threw it in my pocket.I have ridden like this before only to have a ride-ending flat tire. I found out this route would not work and immediately realized that my shoes screw came loose. I could not unclip from the right. I took my foot out of the shoe and tried moving my cleat the degree to disengage from my Crank Brothers pedal. Being a brand new pair, it wouldn’t budge. I spun my shoe free. My ride ended short as my cleat was (and still is) stuck on my pedal.
Today, I hired a dude to come ride with me. I do not own any friends. I payed him in Tangled Roots beers. We were heading back home when he biffed it hard and he could not continue. Luck comes and goes on this I&M towpath. Is it your day or is it mine. #RideOn #GoodPeopleDrinkGoodBeer