#1 Don’t Overindulge
It’s important to remember that drunken driving is dangerous and stupid, whether you’re driving a car or pedaling a bicycle. If you’re visiting the breweries, here are a few bike safety tips that will allow you to sample the beer without turning into Bozo on a Bike.
- Know your ABV. Many craft brews are strong, much stronger than mass-produced beers. Bud Lite, for instance, is 4.2% ABV (alcohol by volume). Some craft beers have ABVs that are more like wine — in the 10-12% range. These stronger beers tend to be served in smaller glasses — a 10-ounce goblet vs. a 16-ounce pint glass, for instance. But they’re still strong. Pay attention to ABV when ordering.
- Stick to samplers. All of the breweries offer flights of samplers so you can taste several beers. These glasses generally hold 2-6 ounces a beer. When we visit a brewery where we want to sample several beers, we get a flight of 5 or 6 samples and share it. It’s also a great opportunity to compare notes on each offering.
- Sample the non-alcoholic drinks. Several of the breweries make ginger ale or root beer, and they’re not just for the kids.
- Drink water. Make sure you’re staying hydrated while biking, but also start with a glass of water when you arrive at the brewery and are deciding which beer to sample. Then have at least one glass of water for each beer you consume.
- Call a cab. If all of this fails and you overindulge, leave your bike behind and call a cab. Athens doesn’t have Uber, but you’ll find several local cab companies with very reasonable rates. Green Cab — (740) 594-7336 — and Tabs Taxi Service — (740) 594-8294 — are two worth considering.
#2 Be Courteous
We get it. Riding a bike is a blast. Riding fast can be even more fun. But remember that you’re sharing the bikeway with a lot of other users, ranging from [Strava]-obsessed cyclists focused on trying to beat their best time to dog walkers to joggers to children. Be considerate.
When you approach someone from behind, slow down and pay extra attention. That dog or child could dart unexpectedly in front of you. That jogger could decide to do a U-turn and head back the other way just as you’re about to pass. Expect the unexpected.
Holler “ON YOUR LEFT” as you pass someone from behind on the bikeway to let them know you’re there (or even better, ring your bell, if you have one, as you approach someone from behind).. If someone passes you, holler “THANKS” back at them for the heads-up as they pass.
#3 Be Here Now
Music is wonderful but save it for when you’re not on the bikeway. That Lady Gaga tune you’re rocking to could be the reason you don’t hear someone coming up fast behind you. And beware of other bikeway users who have isolated themselves with a pair of headphones. They’re probably not going to hear your “ON YOUR LEFT” as you approach. Proceed with caution.
#4 Be Prepared
If you’re setting out late in the afternoon or early evening, make sure you have proper lights for your bike: at the very least, a headline and tail light. There aren’t lights on the bikeway and it gets very dark out there. If you’re riding at night, make sure you have lights. Other items to make sure you have covered: a bike helmet, a bell for your bike, a water bottle, and a basket (so you can tote home the growler of that great beer you just sampled).