Free Beer, Free Food and the Gum Wall

Recently I did post comparing present day Tony with college Tony.  As you might imagine, there are many differences in this 50-year-old version of myself, as compared to the 20 something.  We don’t need to go into that again.  However, there is one thing that has not changed in the last 30 years.

Telling me there is free beer and free food ALWAYS gains my attention!


Now sadly it wasn’t Rogue Ales providing the beer (I might still be there if it was!), but it was for a good cause!

May, at least in Seattle, is Bike Month!


And once again, I am the captain of the team for the Mighty P! I am excited this year.  Where in the past, only bike commute miles counted, this year has a completely different focus.  Any miles on a bike during May count, which has allowed some (one who has just purchased his first big boy bike at age 60 or so) to join the team! (plus my 4 century rides will add to the teams total!)

But I digress a bit.  Being captain, I was invited to the Captains Bash at the Pike Brewing Company.  Now I know, frequent readers know I am anti-social and try to avoid crowded events like this



But they reiterated with every email “A free beer and free food!” OK I had to go!  Now this is at Pike Place market, which is much further downtown than I usually travel, and not the best place to park a bike. Cascade Bike club, knowing this full well, provided the bike corral to help us out!



There were at least 10 of these in Post Alley, and a slew of volunteers keeping an eye on them!  (I still locked mine though).

Now, I had never been to this part of Pike Place Market, so as I got there I was surprised to see the infamous Seattle Gum Wall!



This stretches for almost half a city block, on both sides of the alley.  I had heard of it, but had never found it.  While I was there people came from miles around to take selfies in front of it!  We are a little different up here…

Well I got in, grabbed my one free beer, and snagged a table.  I met Lenny from Intel, a fellow captain, and we talked for a bit.  Then I bounced over to be one of the first in the food line.  Not a bad spread at all.  Pizza, humus, pitas, veggies and a few other things.  I heaped my small plate and planned to go back for seconds.

Sadly, the line never dwindled enough for me to jump in, and then the crowd filled in and separated me from my easy access.  I never did get seconds!  I  talked to a few other captains instead.  We compared our teams, and routes to work.  It was fun taking bikes with other bike geeks!

Well I nursed my free beer until 6 when there was a drawing for prizes.  I have to admit, being dimly lit inside, I honestly was having trouble making out my winning (or not so winning as it turned out) number.  So I reverted to taking a picture so I could enlarge it.



20 something Tony could damn near see in the dark! Oh well, I fell back on higher intelligence and superior technology!

Well with the one free beer done and no winnings, I was off for home to get there before dark.  Unbeknownst to me, though, was a protest going on between me and the trail home.

Editors note:  I am about to spout off here, so forgive me! feel free to skip the next two paragraphs.

For some reason, protesters lately think its cool to block traffic so people who had nothing to do with what they are protesting can’t get home to their families.  Parents are late for day care, or miss sporting events for the kids, people waste gas, pollute more, and get frustrated, miss time with their families and generally are punished for doing nothing wrong.

Personally speaking, if someone makes my commute worse than it already can be (in a car) I start supporting the item  they are protesting against! I am all for and will defend the rights of people to protest.  But do it at city hall, or on the sidewalk, or the governor’s mansion or police headquarters. Somewhere that might have some influence on what you want to change.  But for the luva gawd stay the HELL out of the roads!!!

All clear, feel free to continue!

Had I been in a car, I might have never gotten home.  But, one of the advantages to a bike is we don’t get stuck! I had a bike lane that was open for a bit, that got me two blocks. Then I was able to use the bus only lane for another block.  Then for the last hurdle, I got off the bike and pushed it on the sidewalk and used a cross walk to get past the last bottleneck.  It took every trick I knew, but instead of being stuck forever, I lost about 5 minutes!  If that doesn’t add yet another reason to bike commute….

With it being later in evening than normal, the ride home was perfect.  Trail traffic was non-existent, the weather, which had been rainy earlier, had cleared.  The air was fresh, and I had a tailwind.  I made it home about 15 minutes before dusk!  All in all a good day! I am glad I went!


10 thoughts on “Free Beer, Free Food and the Gum Wall

  1. What a great day — free beer, free food, and your first time at the gum wall!

    As I haven’t been connected to the work world the last few years, I had sorta lost sight of Bike-to-Work Month. Reading your blog was the first I learned that Bike-to-Work Month has been watered down to Bike Month. While I’m all for encouraging bicycling in every way, shape, and form, it’s sorta sad that the biking-to-work element is no longer at the forefront. Damn, we had a fun, competitive team back in my working days!

    1. You? Competitive? PSHAW!!! 🙂

      In my team I was the backbone as a few others rode some, but not regularly to or from work. I do agree though, I liked the fact it got others out bike commuting,

      I never asked, what did you do back in your work world life?

      1. Most of my Seattle work life was at Amazon, in various roles. My B2W team was called the “Butt Monkeys.” 🙂

      2. No way would I have guessed you were an Amazonian! And I understand even more now how much freer you must feel(from what I have heard)

        Butt Monkeys rocks!

      3. Hooters girl for sure :). I had you pegged as a business person, probably supervisor or higher In a corporate office, possibly bank or insurance. The amazons I’ve met have been less than friendly and not bike riders 🙂

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