Bikes and Beer: A Natural Match

By Jeffrey Stern

What started as a simple, off-the-wall, one-time-only proposition has turned into a passion. A passion born in the gritty, adventure driven sport of mountain biking and washed down with what’s surely the greatest recovery meal to ever come out of a draft’s tap. And by recovery, I mean the best way to combat the lower back aches, sore buts, bashed shins and bruised elbows. Don’t be confused by the pro’s sciency mumbo jumbo, 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein recovery meal requirements. That’s just foolish and silly. We’re talking mountain bikes after all, right?

Yes, damn right. Now let’s make this a regular thing. Enter ride and pint night.

It’s even alright to call it ‘PRP’ or Pint Ride Pint, alluding to the fact that the smartest, most well-trained regulars begin the evening ride by showing up early. That’s right, starting your ride off with a pint and finishing it with one, or maybe two is encouraged. Again, all for the recovery benefits of course.

Where’s the spot?

Top of my list is Pedaler’s Fork, a restaurant, bike shop, coffee, beer (and whiskey) drinking establishment in Calabasas, California nestled against the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains, just a stone’s throw north of Los Angeles. Cycling enthusiast and co-founder of Pedaler’s Fork, Robbie Schaeffer, saw an opportunity to create a hub of activity for bike riders of all types when he and Tim Rettele opened their one of a kind, hybrid location just off Highway 101 in the Fall of 2012.

Fast forward five years and business is booming, from hosting private parties to throwing their own gravel grinder event and naturally the weekly Thursday night ride and pint. Robbie and his crew offer Tuesday morning sunrise rides and even team up with local shops like Topanga Creek Bicycles to promote their weekend rides. For Robbie and Pedaler’s Fork, it’s all about encouraging others to get out there, try something new and enjoy all the riding this northern Los Angeles county hotspot has to offer.

Nursing an injury and can’t ride? Some riders show up to see the group off and keep the recovery going until the group comes rolling back into town. With nearly 50 beers on tap and one of the biggest selections of whiskey anywhere in LA, it’s no wonder the popularity of bikes and beer have taken off in Southern California. Not only can a bike ride with beer help you numb a bad day at work, with the full-service bike shop on location, they can help bring your bike back to life.

And California isn’t the only place featuring hip bikes, brews and chews. From North Carolina (The Hub), to Idaho (Power House Pub), Oregon (Velo Cult) and everywhere in-between bike shops are finding ways to build deeper relationships with their customers that extend beyond just selling and fixing bikes.

I don’t know about you, but a fine selection of beers, grub and good times is one of the easiest ways to my heart.

Pint and Ride or die!



Win a Team Edition Tool Kit from Feedback Sports

The contest you are trying to enter has ended, congratulations to the winner Cheryl Free of  Fort Wayne, IN

Feedback Sports has teamed up with us to give one lucky winner a Team Edition Tool Kit. Enter to win below!

This one of a kind co-branded Team Edition Tool Kit will encourage some serious bonding between you and your bike this winter and far beyond. The professional level tool kit has 19 bicycle tools (offering 25 functions). The tools feature over-molded file tread grip for comfort and style, S2 steel and have been tested by some of the most talented pro bicycle mechanics in the world. Prop open the durable TPU coated case on your tool bench or conveniently attach it to a bike work stand. With room for extra tools, you’ll never have to dig through a tool box again.

Complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m. December 13, 2017 to be entered to win. We will choose and notify a winner the following day. Some terms and conditions apply, but don’t they always? Open to U.S. residents, only. Sorry, but that’s not our choice. – If you are on a mobile device, click here to take the survey 
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Win a bag from Ortlieb

This Contest has ended congratulations to the winner Shawn King of North Charleston, SC!

Ortlieb has teamed up with us to give one lucky winner an Ortlieb Downtown QL3.1 Black PVC Free bag! Enter to win below.


The Downtown is a reliable companion on your tour through the morning or evening rush hour. The waterproof bike briefcase provides secure cargo carrying plus reliable protection of files, documents, and laptops up to 15.4″. A hands-free way to carry your everyday digital and off line essentials, this waterproof bike briefcase with lid closure can be quickly mounted and taken off the rack singlehanded.

Complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m. December 6, 2017 to be entered to win. We will choose and notify a winner the following day. Some terms and conditions apply, but don’t they always? Open to U.S. residents, only. Sorry, but that’s not our choice. – If you are on a mobile device, click here to take the survey 
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Win a Shock Stop Stem!

ShockStop Stem 1

Contest ended. Congrats  to winner Daniel Mihaliak! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended.

Redshift Sports has teamed up with us to give one lucky winner a ShockStop Suspension Stem ! Enter to win below!

ShockStop Stem 1


SHOCK ABSORPTION THAT SMOOTHS THE ROAD ShockStop is an adjustable-stiffness suspension stem that smooths out your ride. It’s perfect for gravel backroad adventures, broken asphalt commutes, or fast group rides. FEEL THE DIFFERENCE The ShockStop stem does what gloves and extra bar tape can’t: it isolates your upper body from the imperfections of the road, letting you ride further, faster, and more comfortably. The ShockStop dramatically improves the quality of your ride, without compromising steering responsiveness or detracting from the look of the bike. The subtle pivot design allows the front wheel to move up and down over bumps in the road while your hands follow a smoother path, cushioned by the elastomers inside the stem.

Complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m. November 22, 2017 to be entered to win. We will choose and notify a winner the following day. Some terms and conditions apply, but don’t they always? Open to U.S. residents, only. Sorry, but that’s not our choice. – If you are on a mobile device, click here to take the survey 
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Opinion: Why BMX is making a comeback

By Jeffrey Stern

BMX has long been the childhood gateway for many cyclists into mountain biking, road riding and more, but now the twenty inch wheeled bikes are making a resurgence of their own.

Anyone over the age of thirty likely remembers their first BMX bike. A particularly handy tool that doubled as a way to get to school as well as shred urban trails, jumps and berms around town. It was the first cool bike to own as a teenager and is again what the younger generation seems to be gravitating towards post-elementary riding.

Although many independent bike shops don’t carry BMX bikes from any of the core brands, those that do are seeing an increase in interest and sales. The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association recently reported that sales through July were up nearly 25%.

To further fuel the fire, BMX is continuing to grow on the international level. Traditional BMX racing was added to the summer Olympic lineup in Beijing for the 2008 games indicating a renewed interest in the discipline worldwide. Freestyle BMX was also added to the 2020 Tokyo games, exciting a new generation of BMX riders and manufacturers. Defined as “bicycle motocross” or stunt riding aboard BMX bikes, it is considered to be an extreme sport consisting of five disciplines: flatland, park, street, trails and vert. A quick YouTube search yields almost 1.5 million freestyle BMX results and the top result, a four-minute video from IcompliationTV, has 4.4 million views. The popularity is more than evident.

The “style” aspects of similar extreme boardsports (snow, skate and surf) are what most kids find intriguing about BMX in this day and age. Couple that with the ability to get around town with jumps, tricks and grinds, the cool factor that kids often look for (and can sometimes be hard to pin on the spandex clad crowd) is obviously there with BMX.

Parents of these new kids that are into BMX rode the bikes themselves, so it easy to see why the proliferation is happening; it’s a sport they can support. Brands that may have turned their backs on BMX over the past couple decades may be seen running back to the BMX bike for it’s simplicity, relative low-price point compared to mountain/road/cyclocross bikes and because of the lifestyle correlation. It’s easy for BMX to be coupled with complementary brands that cross extreme sport industry lines like the shoe giant Vans or action-sports apparel companies like Fox.

BMX is clearly poised and well positioned for a resurgence in an industry that is struggling to find it’s stronghold. Born in Southern California during the ‘70s and cemented in the ‘80s by movies like “E.T.” where all the kids rode BMX bikes, the small wheel speed and fun will always be a sport created by kids emulating their motocross idols, but now it’s all grown up and it’s time for the adults, the industry leaders, to take notice and give it it’s due worth. The glory days for the sport may well be in the future, not the past.


Dad Bod: Fanboy

Words and illustration by Stephen Haynes

It’s natural for us humans to emulate those we look up to. In fact, it’s part of how we learn. As a kid, I’d watch surf videos and daydream about what it would be like to be as good as the dudes in the movies, traveling the world in search of waves. It’s also natural for us humans to compare ourselves to one another through competitions of one sort or another and eventually my friends and I started taking part in local surf competitions.

Now, I was never a very good surfer and I was consistently outmatched in competitions, my dream of being a jet-setting surf ambassador dying a little with each loss. Still, the combination of emulation through watching and expansion through competing made me better. Not much better, but when you start at the bottom, there is only one way to go.

I’d like to say I grew out of this watching and emulating as I got older, but I didn’t. Now, instead of surf videos, it’s the mountain bike downhill world championships and now, like then, I try to channel the pros on screen when I’m riding (emphasis on the word try). This applies to road rides as well. Pondering what it must feel like to ride in the peloton during the Tour de France, or one of the brutal, cobble-strewn Spring Classics. Maybe even stand up and try to “crush” some of the rolling hills in my suburban Pennsylvania town. Legs burning, heart blowing up; this is what the pros must feel like topping out on Alpe d’Huez! Perhaps it’s delusional, but I love a good daydream.

Eventually, a friend talked me into doing a mountain bike race, promising donuts if I showed up, a good incentive for anyone with my physique. It was a small local deal with a total attendance of about 200 people. It was fun and challenging and I failed miserably, just as I had done at the surf competitions all those years ago.

Yet, while I was pedaling hard enough to coax the Bavarian Creme I’d eaten pre-race to make its way to the back of my throat, I was channeling riders whom I’d seen on television. I was Steve Peat, or Lance Armstrong, or whoever, pushing myself beyond the normal, trying, in my own limited way, to be better.

Dad Bod_Fanboy

The main take away was this: I could ride trails I was familiar with in about half the time that I’d normally ride them and could clear obstacles I normally had a hard time negotiating because I was doing them at speeds I never would have thought to explore on a casual ride. The experience of racing expanded the horizons of my thinking about riding bikes and made me slightly better for the effort.

As a parent I’ve tried to instill this lesson in my kids, encouraging them to compete in the things they’re interested in, whether it’s the school art competition or a kids mountain bike race. Simply putting yourself out there and testing yourself can expand your own self-image and prompt you to greater things. It’s not about winning, it’s about doing.

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