All week, I make sure other people have a bike ready to enjoy on their weekend. All week, I think about riding one of my bikes. I also think about camping. I think about beer. I think about squirrels. I focus on planning my weekend while I am supposed to be concentrating on twisting the nipples on a mis-aligned wheel.
It was too late to make any camping plans/find someone to watch the cats, so on Thursday night Yann, Mélissa, and I attended a festival that promotes binge drinking: Mondial De La Biere.
I cut back on drinking this year because I’ve found that I’ve reached that age where I risk suffering the next day even when I don’t drink enough to enjoy a buzz. Each glass of unfamiliar beer I drink is a gamble, but it is a gamble I’m still willing to take on occasion. It could be a particular beer style that has been causing these undeserved hangovers, but I’ve yet to figure out the culprit.
What worse way to figure out which beer style makes me feel like shit than to do laps around the hideous palais des congrès convention centre trying every beer in sight? I didn’t quite do that: I sampled about 9 different beers and attempted to review each of them, tapping random adjectives into the Memo app on my phone.
At the end of the night, I understood that I suck at describing beer. The following day, I was delighted to learn that none of the beer I had sampled left me feeling crummy, not even the ones I described as being “metallic tasting” or “pineapple-y”.
To celebrate my complete lack of a hangover on Friday, I got into a boat. I would describe this boat as red, canoe-shaped, and alarmingly beat-up. Although I fix bikes for work, my workplace allows staff to sign out an assortment outdoor gear, including boats that may or may not float. A boat repairlady, I am not. I could also say that my paddling ability was a disappointment to Yann, but he found my garbage steering skills to be mostly amusing, and simply banished me to the bow.
My paddling résumé:
Age 23: Rowed in a double scull on an adult recreational league.
Age 16-26. Parents owned sea kayaks. Paddled a bit in lakes, and in the Strait of Georgia. I know how to do a “wet exit”.
Age 16: Spent a summer on a rowing crew, mostly quad scull.
Age 10: Won a canoe race with a friend at camp.
I have no clue what happened to my oarsmanship on Friday but I was glad to be in the same boat as Yann. I commend his paddling skills.
I’m unsure if I’ll go canoeing again this summer but if I do, it will be with Yann and a giant bag of chips.
Today’s activity was more my style: cycling. Yann and I wanted to ride to parc national de la Yamaska using Route Verte #1 up until we hit Marieville where the path diverts into another cycling path. The town of Marieville was kind enough to decorate the beginning of this path with a red ribbon that read, “DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER ∞”.
Yann asked me if I wanted to proceed anyway.
“It looks like it’s fine.”
Oh boy, this man can paddle, but he cannot read.
We turned around and pedaled back to Chambly, turned south towards trusty ol’ Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu before heading back home for a total distance of 118km.
We didn’t go where we wanted to go, but…
“Is this the same fort on the Blanche de Chambly beer bottle?” I asked Yann.
It is! While my weekend did get progressively healthier, starting with an evening of imbibing and ending with a century ride, it still came full circle, ending with me thinking about beer.
Finally, my favourite beer of the festival? Rustik Motel by Brasserie Générale. Description? Pine-tasting.