Bikes and Beer


To be clear: none of the local Bike to Work Day organizers advocate unsafe practices involving alcohol and bikes. But this morning’s festivities on Monument Circle, part of a national event, had a distinctively hoppy flavor.

Two dozen employees of the Monarch Beverage Company turned heads with their fleet of cool red cruisers bearing Fat Tire Ale graphics. Fat Tire’s maker, New Belgium Brewing Company out of Fort Collins, Colo., shipped the bikes to its Indy distributor for use today and for future bike-related promotions. One of the 5,000-plus commuters who registered for today’s event will win a similar bike, courtesy of New Belgium. (Registration is open till midnight tonight. Use the Bike to Work Day link above. The honor system applies.) Everyone else can try to score a Fat Tire bike online. The brewery is giving away one bike each day from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Watch its website for details. Better yet, stop by the New Belgium tent on the Circle today, support this sponsor, and mail a coaster as a postcard for free.

Bike to Work Day happy hour starts at 3:30 p.m. today at Tomlinson Tap Room in City Market. Sun King sales will benefit IndyCog, a bike-advocacy group. IndyCog is responsible for much of the growth of bike culture in the city, and most of its activities are free. The group offers workshops for turning kitty-litter buckets into panniers (carry-alls that attach to a rack over a tire). The idea originated with Andrew Brake, an employee of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. IndyCog president Kevin Whited spotted Brake on the Monon riding a bike with litter-bucket panniers and stopped him to get the, um, scoop. IndyCog and KIBI collaborate on the Build Your Own Bike Buckets workshops (June 2 at the Glendale library and July 9 at the Spades Park library); KIBI provides the buckets. Bikers can use them to carry about anything—they’re waterproof, they have a lid and a handle, and they detach from the rack. Brake has found another use, too: They make a pretty good beer cooler after a ride.

(The Bike to Work Day commuters pictured are: a Monarch Beverage Company staffer; Andrew Brake from KIBI, posing with his litter-bucket panniers; Kerrie Kikendall, who stopped traffic with a Schwinn Madison accessorized with hammered metal fenders and matching gold seat and handlebars, all from Joe’s Cycles; and mom-on-the-go Elizabeth Sparrow, who takes her three sons to school every day on a Giant bike with an Xtracycle extension.)