The Ride – Bandy Loop

Death by Hops

Death by Hops

Before one earns the right to die by hops — one must do the requisite ride. In this case one of my favorite evening jaunts.

On many nights, after anchoring the 6 p.m. news -when the weather is reasonable and there is enough daylight for people in cars to see me, I do a local 20-miler I call the Bandy Loop. (Click here for a link to the route on Strava. )The course takes me along the Roanoke River Greenway for a five-mile warm up, then breaks into farmland. It’s peaceful with few vehicles, flowing creeks and lots of deer.

There’s also about 1400 feet of climbing.

The climbs occur during the middle 10-miles. Using my index that a ride is “hard” if there are a thousand feet of climbing every ten miles, this loop more than meets the standard.  Add in the summer heat and humidity, and you have a pretty solid workout.

In other words, I earned my beer.

Death by Hops

On nights like this one – Mary and I often grab a post-ride bite at a local restaurant. As we walked into the Wasena Tap Room in Roanoke, my mind was on their freshly fried pork rinds.

When we sat down on the outside patio, I saw the evening’s list of beers on tap, and the words, Death by Hops jumped out at me.

The night was getting better and better.

It was hot. The temperature was over 90 when we started the ride at 7 p.m. and though the patio was comfortable by 9 p.m. we were still feeling the effects of the evening’s effort. What a great rationalization to enjoy a cold one along with the still popping pork rinds.

As you might expect, with an IBU of 108, the beer was hoppy and bitter. Olde Hickory Brewery, of Hickory North Carolina, says the beer was born of its first Olde Hickory ProAm. It contains five different west coast hops including Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, and Cascade.  Hoppy indeed – and bitter to match.

John and Mary

John and Mary

Here is the description from Olde Hickory’s website:

Winner of the first Olde Hickory ProAm! Alex Buerckholtz, owner of Hops & Vines in Asheville, NC, was the winner of the First Olde Hickory Pro-Am competition with this very fine beer. Our brewmaster says:

“71lbs of high alpha hops were used to make this beer. That’s just over 20 grams of hops used for each pint! DBH was brewed with 2-row barley, Carapils, and Crisp Crystal 45 malts and fermented to 7% alc/vol. DBH was hopped with 5 different West Coast hops including Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, and Cascade. Additionally, DBH was twice dry hopped with different combinations of these hops. The net result is an amazing aroma of ripe juicy fruit mixed in with a bouquet of spring flowers. DBH was brewed to a level of bitterness of 108 IBU’s, and leaves a lingering bitterness; it is, after all, a double IPA!”

A lingering bitterness perhaps.  But a lingering, happy memory as well.


Love Bikes and Beer?

I love to find a nearby brewery after a bike ride.  Sometimes it’s local riding, and often it involves travel.  Check out other Beers I have Ridden

If you are looking for an excuse to earn your beer, the blog has lots of write-ups about interesting places to ride your mountain bike or your road bike.