28 February 2013

2013 Cycling Classics race calendar

Spring is in the Air

My favorite cycling races of the year are upon us. I will admit I like these races because all the action and glory happens in one day. And because I like to see who has their game on, who is in form early-season, although these races can be seen as the season for many of us. I also like the scenery - I admit it. The Landscape of the Italian races or the tradition of the cobbles - these races are the best. Ah spring is in the air. I just wish more people would discover the world beyond the Grand Tours (Giro, Tour de France, Vuelta).

One-Day Classics

Milano-Sanremo - 17 March 2013

Spring Classics
E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - Harelbeke - 22 March 2013
Gent-Wevelgem - 24 March 2013
Tour of Flanders - 31 March 2013
Paris-Roubaix -7 April 2013
Amstel Gold - 14 April 2013
La Fleche Wallonne - 17 April 2013
Liège–Bastogne–Liège - 21 April 2013

Fall Classics
Clasica Ciclista San Sabastian - 27 July 2013
UCI Worlds - 22-29 September 2013
Il Lombardia - 6 October 2013

Belgian Semi-Classics (not on the UCI WorldTour):
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad - 24 February 2013
Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne - 24 February 2013 canceled due to snow
Scheldeprijsf - 3 April 2013
De Brabantse Pijl - 10 April 2013

Italian Semi-Classic (not on the UCI WorldTour)
Strade Bianche - 2 March 2013

UCI World Championships Road
UCI Worlds - 22-29 September 2013

An explanation of the one-day races

La Primavera
  • Milan-San Remo (Italy) – La Classicissima, Milano-Sanremo opens the Classics season every year. It is called La Primavera (Italian for the spring), the race was first run in 1907. It should be called "Il Longets" (The Longest) because it certainly is at 298 kilometers long.
Cobbled classics (4)
  • Gent–Wevelgem (Belgium) - the first 'Spring Classic' in the season, began in 1934, the parcours include the famed Kemmelberg climb.
  • E3 Harelbeke (Belgium) - named after the road it is raced upon, was first held in 1958, pronounced “ay-dree press harold bek” (give it another try).
  • Ronde van Vlaanderen (Belgium) – Tour de Flandres, or Tour of Flanders in English, or Vlaanderens mooiste ("Flanders's most beautiful") started in 1913, this race is both hugely popular and prestigious in Belgium.
  • Paris–Roubaix (France) – called La Reine ("Queen of the Classics") or l'Enfer du Nord ("Hell of the North"), or La Pascale. The race is traditionally one week after the Ronde van Vlaanderen, first raced in 1896 on Easter Sunday. P-R is all about the pavé, which is indeed massive and rutted.
Ardennes classics (3)
  • Amstel Gold Race (The Netherlands) – the newest race of the Classics was first run in 1966.
  • La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium) – first run in 1936, Walloon Arrow is traditionally held in the wooded Ardennes region, mid-week between the Amstel Gold and the "Monument" Liège–Bastogne–Liège.
  • Liège–Bastogne–Liège (Belgium) - the oldest one-day race on the calendar, begun in 1892. Another newspaper race.
Spring Classics (4+3 =7)
  • Spring Classics = Cobbled classics + Ardennes classics. The Spring Classics are traditionally held in late March or April in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. There are only 2 men that have won the "Triple in the same year - Davide Rebellin in 2004 and Philippe Gilbert in 2011.
The Monuments (5)

The five "Monuments" are a different combination than the seven "Spring Classics", the Monuments add the beautiful terrain of Italy. Only three riders, all Belgians, have won all five races in their career - Roger De Vlaeminck, Rik Van Looy and Eddy Merckx; none in the same year. The Monuments are grouped as:
  • Milan-San Remo (Italy)
  • Tour of Flanders (Belgium) (Ronde van Vlaanderen)
  • Paris–Roubaix (France)
  • Liège–Bastogne–Liège (Belgium)
  • Il Lombardia (Italy) – the only race considered a Monument, but not a Classic, the race is held in October. Known as the "Race of the Falling Leaves" and initially called the Milano–Milano (1905). The race was renamed to Giro di Lombardia in 1907, and then Il Lombardia in 2012.
Nicknames for the Classics
Paris-Roubaix = Queen of the Classics (La Reine), The Hell of the North, La Pascale
Amstel Gold = [no nickname]
La Fleche-Wallonne = The Walloon Arrow
Liege-Bastogne-Liege = La Doyenne (the oldest/old lady)
Milan-San Remo = La Primavera (the spring), Sprinters' Classic, La Classicissima
Ronde van Vlaanderen = Flanders' most beautiful
Paris-Nice = Race to the Sun
Tirreno-Adriatico = Race of the two Seas
Il Lombardia = Race of the Falling Leaves

Video: The Classics on SBS (Cycling Central) 2013. 120 years of tradition!

Paris-Nice vs. Tirreno-Adriatico

Paris-Nice begins this weekend, and although it leads out the real race season, it is not considered a true Spring Classic. It is one of those races created because two newspapers wanted to increase readership.Paris-Nice is an eight-day stage race in France and overlaps the 7-stage race Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy. In 2013, the races will compete for top-billing riders. Typically Paris-Nice has been the chosen race to prepare for the Giro d'Italia in May, but take a look at the line-up for Tirreno-Adriatico this year, I bet that race director is thrilled.

Paris-Nice - 3-10 March 2013
(Riders include: Robert Gesink, Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen, Ivan Basso, Andrew Talansky, Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Rui Costa, Nairo Quintana, Thomas De Gendt, Nicholas Roche, Roman Kreuziger, Thomas Voeckler, Marcel Kittel)
Tirreno-Adriatico - 6-12 March 2013
(Riders include: Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Joaquim Rodríguez, Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Matt Goss, André Greipel, Moreno Moser, Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara)

Be sure to watch the Big 7 this Spring

In addition to keeping track of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, my recommended races to follow live include Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. I also enjoy watching the Strade Bianche over the beautiful white roads of Italy through Tuscany and into Sienna. (Read: Word of the Day: Strade Bianche By Pedal Dancer). Or a race preview Strade Bianche Preview: A Dusty Loop Towards Siena By

For links to live race viewing, tune into Steephill.TV:
Strade Bianche (Mar 2)
Paris-Nice (Mar 3-10)
Tirreno-Adriatico (Mar 6-12)
Milano-Sanremo (Mar 17)
Tour of Flanders (Mar 31)
Paris-Roubaix (Apr 7)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (Apr 21)

But first we need to dispel a misspell -

Look - its a dusty white road in Italy, where they have so many you must use the plural.
una strada bianca - white road
delle strade bianche - white roads (plural)
lo sterrato - dirt trail, or unhardened road
bianchi - does not apply to the race other than team Vancansoleil-DCM rides Bianchi bikes.

More information

A brief history of our American racing and an interesting point made by John Wilcockson in Peloton Magazine: The U.S. Needs One-Day Classics. A topic I am interested in - the dying art of the American road race - at least road races appear to be dying here in Colorado.

We need to look to Europe if we want the Classics and last year when I was fortunate enough to go see Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in Belgium/France, it was an all time high for me as a cycling fan and traveler. This year I will be content to watch online. Dan Wouri always seems to capture my whacky life in a tweet. This was his tweet after Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne was recently canceled due to snow.
If you plan to travel to Belgium to watch the races, you'll find some good information on the SPRING CLASSICS guide page by Pedal Dancer. Including previous posts, videos of some of the famous bergs & climbs and lots of links to others who write about cycling in Belgium. Oh and the beer! (yup, I'm still on that theme).

To view the UCI WorldTour calendar, please visit the CALENDAR OF RACES and EVENTS guide page by Pedal Dancer. For more race dates please go to 2012 - 2013 UCI Road Calendar, or for a very extensive map of all races please visit Recommended: Race Calendar by The Inner Ring.

Look - it's Tom Boonen in the 2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen on the Kwaremont©Photo by Karen of PedalDancer.com
Look - Philippe Gilbert is just hanging around before a ride in Kortrijk ©Photo by Karen of PedalDancer.com
Related posts:
2012 Tour of Flanders
2012 Paris-Roubaix
Stories from Belgium
Word of the Day: Strade Bianche
Word of the Day: Passista, Scattista, Velocista

2013 American Tour Race Calendar

Dates of 2013 American Tour Races
American Tour races in the USA 2013 dates (no they are not on the World Tour):

April 14, 2013 Tour of the Battenkill, Cambridge, New York
May 1-5, 2013 Tour of the Gila, Silver City, New Mexico
May 12-1, 2013 Amgen Tour of California, State of California
June 2, 2013 American Cycling Classic, Philadelphia cancelled
June 2, 2013 Philly Cycling Classic, Philadelphia 
August 2-4, 2013 Tour of Elk Grove, Elk Grove Village, Illinois
August 6-11, 2013 Tour of Utah, State of Utah
August 19-25, 2013 USA Pro Challenge, State of Colorado
September 14, 2013 Bucks County Classic, Pennsylvania

American Tour race in Canada 2013 dates
September 03-08, 2013 Tour of Alberta Alberta, Canada

Also See:

2013 Colorado Bike Events and Races
2013-14 Colorado Cyclocross Calendar
2013 Cycling Classics Race calendar
2013 UCI WorldTour Race Calendar

2013 UCI WorldTour Race Calendar

2013 -  UCI WorldTour Race Dates
Dates of 2013 UCI WorldTour Races

 UCI WorldTour Calendar - 2013
Date Events Country
22 Jan-27 Jan 2013 Santos Tour Down Under Australia
03 Mar-10 Mar 2013 Paris - Nice France
06 Mar-12 Mar 2013 Tirreno - Adriatico Italy
17 Mar 2013 Milano - Sanremo Italy
18 Mar-24 Mar 2013 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya Spain
22 Mar 2013 E3 Harelbeke Belgium
24 Mar 2013 Gent - Wevelgem Belgium
31 Mar 2013 Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres Belgium
01 Apr-06 Apr 2013 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Spain
07 Apr 2013 Paris - Roubaix France
14 Apr 2013 Amstel Gold Race Netherlands
17 Apr 2013 La Flèche Wallonne Belgium
21 Apr 2013 Liège - Bastogne - Liège Belgium
23 Apr-28 Apr 2013 Tour de Romandie Switzerland
04 May-26 May 2013 Giro d'Italia Italy
02 Jun-09 Jun 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné France
08 Jun-16 Jun 2013 Tour de Suisse Switzerland
29 Jun-21 Jul 2013 Tour de France France
27 Jul-03 Aug 2013 Tour de Pologne Poland
27 Jul 2013 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian Spain
12 Aug-18 Aug 2013 Eneco Tour Belgium
24 Aug-15 Sep 2013 Vuelta a España Spain
25 Aug 2013 Vattenfall Cyclassics Germany
01 Sep 2013 GP Ouest France - Plouay France
13 Sep 2013 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec Canada
15 Sep 2013 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal Canada
06 Oct 2013 Il Lombardia Italy
09 Oct-13 Oct 2013 Tour of Hangzhou China
16 Oct-20 Oct 2013 Tour of Beijing China

More Information:
For UCI World Tour rankings, results, news, and races, find more information on the UCI website.

UCI World Championships Road: UCI Worlds - 22-29 September 2013 

Also see: 2013 Cycling Classics race calendar

Also see: Recommended: Race Calendar by The Inner Ring

26 February 2013

Photos from the Week & Breaking Away

Winter Snow and a Bike Show

Some of my favorite photos from a week in Colorado.

We finally had a big snow storm in Denver. This was the view of my local Washington Park as I drove into downtown Denver on Sunday afternoon to visit the NAHBS. Attendance at the bike show was dampened this year because of the winter storm, but the show was interesting and I learned lots. On a side-note, can I just mention - I love Facetime - how fun it was to take my Mother, sitting in California, on a visual tour of the snow accumulated outside my house this weekend.
I attended the handmade bike show (NAHBS) in Denver this weeked, and yes, I did site Brian Worthy all 3 days (I forgot to take a picture!). However the highlight of the weekend for me was overhearing Mark Niemeic of Mavic say, "That would be my take home bike, if I had a choice." "Which bike?" I interupted, "Which one would you pick?" "The real bike from Breaking Away," Mark repeated. Whaaaa. It's here?! "Yes, I'll take you to it." And so he did. And I want it too.

The Breaking Away movie Masi bike
Mark explained that the owner builder of Gangl bikes was the owner of this treasure, one of three bikes used in the movie. Although I would like to think I could get on this bike and ride 60 mph behind a semi-truck, my favorite three wish I could take home bikes from the show were:

1. This Cielo bike outfitted with Shimano Ultegra, Tanner custom leather saddle bags, Continental Contact tires, and a Brooks saddle. Not over the top yet functional, although far too nice to leave chained to a bike rack.
2. This prize winning work of art urban bike by Cherubim by Shin-Ichi Konno.
3. And the Breaking Away Masi "Mamma, Pappa" bike. Of course I had to come back to this bike, wouldn't you want this bike sitting among your collection!

Breaking Away (film release 1979): I couldn't resist - Enrico Gismondi's 1978 Masi bike on video - oh the memories!

A bit of Trivia: Although the movie was filmed at the track where Wayne and Dale Stetina (Uncle and father to Peter Stetina of Garmin-Sharp) raced a similar lap format race in college called the Little 500, the movie was filmed while the pair were off racing in Europe. Their younger brother Jole and Father Roy were extras in the road race segments of the Breaking Away movie. Wayne's IU college roommate Gary Ribar filled in as double for the main character in the movie and was the actual rider on the Masi behind the semi-truck. Today Wayne Stetina is a V.P. with Shimano.  

More Trivia: Andy Hampsten was not in the film, although he was born in nearby Columbus, Ohio, and was only 17 years-old at the time the movie was filmed. The Stetinas grew up in Cleveland, Ohio but attended Indiana University. The movie was filmed at the University and the final track race was filmed at Memorial Stadium on the IU campus, where the well-know Little 500 was held. The stadium was demolished 4 years after the filming of the movie (summer of 1978). Wayne Stetina disclaims the movie was based on his story.

More Trivia: John Vande Velde, father of Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), and a three-time national champion in the individual pursuit and a two-time Olympian on the track, was also an extra in the movie Breaking Away. He was one of the bad guys on the fictional Italian Team Cinzano.

On second thought, I'd also like to take home Andy Hamspten's Giro winning bike. And Andy Hampsten. I hear he can cook Italian food and I bet he can tell some good stories.
A smiling Andy Hampsten and his Giro winning bike at NAHBS
Or ride one of these wooden bikes:
Handmade wooden bikes on display at NAHBS
The NAHBS had a really fun party at Blake St Tavern on Friday night hosted by Gates Carbon Drive and Oskar Blues to benefit Bike Denver and Trips for Kids. I witness my friend Scott Christopher (of Bicycle Colorado) put together a bike in about 10 minutes during a competition among mechanics. The place was packed to capacity with a fun mix of so many friends I have met over the years and many more new friends I met that night. It was fun to see everyone at a party versus a race.
Even Brian Worthy was in this crowd. promise.
But before going to the party I had an excellent beer 1-block away at River North Brewery because sorry, Oskar Blues makes terrible beer. Best Beer Pubs and Breweries in Denver
Delicious beers in a row that night at River North Brewery
Europe got lots of snow this week as well and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in Belgium was canceled due to so much snow the road were deemed unsafe for riders. It was only the third time the race had ever been canceled in it's 68-year history (1986, 1993, 2013).

This was my favorite photo taken by someone else this week. A photograph by Paddy Sweeney of Velopeloton of the church in Saint Savin, France, just down the road from the Col du Tourmalet (and so many other great climbs):

Click through to see it's majesty: Cote de Saint Savin by Paddy Sweeney

Up that valley to the left - Col du Tourmalet; Up that valley to the right - Luz Ardiden; Straight to the left - Hautacam; Hang a sharp right - Col du Soulor; Stay put - heaven.

23 February 2013

Quality in the Details

A day at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Quality and Accessibility

There is no doubt that true craftsmanship and excellence is on exhibit at NAHBS this year in Denver. As I walked the hall yesterday, each booth brought new discovery. Quality is found in the details at this show. Don't breeze through the offerings, take the time to savor the craft and look closely.

The North American Bicycle Show has a great feel to the show

Second only to the quality of the products found at the show, is the accessibility of the persons behind the products. You will see the builders in the isles talking with customers, attendees, and media. Their enthusiasm evident by the fact that they are not found in the back of their booths, but out among the admirers and enthusiasts, ready to answer your questions and share their knowledge.

2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, Colorado
Get ready to see and talk bikes!

Just don't go expecting to locate your good friend who is male, about 6 foot tall, thin like a cyclist, age 35-55 and wearing jeans, a plaid shirt and a black jacket - everyone looks like that! No matter, just roam on your own.

I witnessed a visiting media member so thrilled to see a handbuilt wheelmaker she kept explaining "we came from Berlin, from Berlin." I also watched as an American offered a gift of tea to Japanese pedal maker MKS, sharing that it was "an honor to have you in our country." I met local Chris Connor of Connor Cycles who came to bikes after a history of building guitars and furniture but now builds his bikes in wood to "capitalize on the ride and beauty," he explained.

Everyone has a story at this bike show. I had long conversations with builder James Wolf of Boo Bicycles who specializes in bamboo and mixed metal bikes. I talked with founder Steve Bilenky of Bilenky CycleWorks from Philadelphia, PA, who has been creating custom road and tandem bikes for years. Steve Chang of Calfee Design demonstrated again what I learned before in dealings with Calfee - they have great customer service and quality work. Be sure to check out his Douglas Fir bike.

Not to be missed is the Moots booth. Their well designed mountain, road and cross bikes are well-known favorites, but for this show they have a couple fun themed bikes on display that are a hit. Also stop by Festka Bicycle Company, visiting from the Czech Republic, they have a unique style. There are also plenty of saddle, wheel, component, and apparel makers, as well as material salesmen at NAHBS. And the beauty of Paragon Machine Works, or the incredible Cielo Cycles in the Chris King booth.

Ingenuity and hard work are evident in the details

Compared to Interbike the show is smaller in size but much bigger in bang for your buck. Most of what is on show at Interbike can be found in your local bike shops. Nowhere else had I seen such a genuine mix of roadies, mountain bikers, cyclocross racers, townies, commuters, tandem riders, touring cyclists, trackies, leather craftsmen, metal workers, wood carvers, restorers of old bikes, builders of new bikes, and all those who support our bike habits.

This show is truly unique and we are lucky to have it right here in our backyard in Denver, Colorado. It won't be here next year, so see it while you can. [In 2014 the NAHBS will be located in Charlotte, NC]

Photos from Day 1 of 3 at NAHBS click any image to enlarge

Chris King precision components at NAHBS
A bike made of Doulgas Fir and Uganda Fig Tree bark from Calfee Design
Calfee Design Douglas Fir Bike
Another wood and bamboo bike builder is Boo Bicycles out of Fort Collins.
Boo Bicycles booth at NAHBS
James Wolf of Boo Bicycles
The colorful display of Gangl Custom Cycles
A tea offering across a table of MKS pedals
MKS pedal on display
Steve Bilenky of Bilenky CycleWorks
A Bilenky travel bike - ready to go with you anywhere.
A packable bike from Japanese builder Silk Cycles.
A wood carved beauty from Yacht builder Sano Magic
Sanomagic wooden bike
Brooks saddles and bags
Brooks finest from England
Yipsan Bicycles on display at NAHBS
The magnificence of Cielo Cycles
Victoria Cycles classic urban bike
Two of the fun Moots bikes
Moots Trail Maker bike - everything you would need to forge your own trail through the woods!
More to come later today ....

It is time to head back to the show for day 2 of 3. I hope to see you there! Category Awards will be given out at 1pm today on the show floor.

For more detailed reviews on the bikes - please read the excellent reports being generated daily from James Huang and Josh Patterson at the show: BikeRadar.com 2013 NAHBS

Also read: Photos from the Week & Breaking Away By Pedal Dancer

20 February 2013

Fun and Facts at the Handmade Bike Show

North American Handmade Bicycle Show rolls into town

This weekend the big show is coming to town. In a three-day event, the show will exhibit at the Denver Convention Center and feature some of the most beautiful and innovative modern handmade bikes. Bike lovers will be coming from far and wide to see this show. Growing every year in both exhibitors and attendees, you won't want to miss seeing the variety of handmade bikes from national and international craftsmen at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Summary: 199 exhibitors (sold out!), makers of handmade bicycles, bike parts, accessories and clothing. See the list of Exhibitors.

Place: Denver Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202 (directions)
Hall D, southwest end of convention hall (east side).

Dates: 22-24 February 2013

February 22, 2013, Friday 9 AM – 11 AM Industry and Media Only
February 22, 2013, Friday 11 AM – 6 PM Show Hours
February 23, 2013, Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM Show Hours
February 24, 2013, Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM Show Hours

How to get there:
Ride your bike! Bring a good lock. The weather should be good on Saturday, expect some snow on Sunday. Or Denver light rail goes directly to the convention center. Parking at (under) the Convention Center is $12 for 8 hours; expect to pay $15-20 in nearby outdoor public parking lots; enjoy free metered parking along the street on Sunday. Friday and Saturday metered parking has a 2hr limit at the meters, bring your quarters or card. NAHBS attendees get a discount on Super Shuttle from the Airport. Or hail a cab for shorter distances (303) 777-7777, (303) 444-4444, (303) 333-3333 (we make it easy here in Denver).

If you buy your bike show ticket today online (register online until 11pm 02/20/13) you will get a $4 discount. From Thursday-Sunday you must buy tickets at the door, Friday $22, Saturday $22, Sunday $19. $41 for both Friday and Saturday admission, $38 for Saturday and Sunday, $58 for all three days.

The NAHBS show guide is available via mobile app and will guide you through the exhibit hall during your visit, with exhibitor lists, locations, reminders, and photos. Scan the show guide barcode online now or bring your device to the floor on the day where you will find the barcode to scan and download the guidebook (you'll just need to have a scanner app on your phone or tablet and you will be good to go).

Not everyone gets a medal:
If you like your bikes categorized, here is the list of category award contenders. Be sure to stop by each booth and form your own strong opinions about who should win. 2013 NAHBS Award Entrants. Awards presented Saturday 1-3pm at the booths, Sunday 3pm on the stage.

Social Media:
Official website http://2013.handmadebicycleshow.com/, at the NAHBS Facebook page, or follow on Twitter (#NAHBS)

Social Activities:
For added fun during the bike show, show organizers have arranged an After Party (Fri 7pm, at Blake St Tavern), and Beer and Swag Hour (Sat 6-7pm, onsite). The NAHBS Framebuilder Party, for Builders, will be 7-11pm, Saturday, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Ballroom. (more details below)

Be a tourist:
For those of us who are lucky to live in this state, it is always fun to play tourist in our own town, so plan on going to the show in the morning, skipping out for some lunch and a beer in town, then returning for more bike time in the afternoon. For visitors, please note that Denver rocks when it comes to micro-brews. Read Best Beer Pubs and Breweries in Denver - a piece I wrote for those of us going to the NAHBS bike show in Denver.

Travel map: Open this link in your google maps app, it'll show you all the good beer places (and eats) near the convention center, plus the map is good for guiding your way around downtown, zoom in for landmarks and street names. Link: The coolest Beer map of Denver breweries and pubs ever.

More info:
Also read additional information provided by our local trustworthy informative 303Cycling.com: 2013 - NAHBS. Another good recently written read at House of the Handmade: NAHBS 2012 Retrospective, By PavedMag.com

Related posts by Pedal Dancer: Handmade Bicycles (NAHBS) and Colorado Cycling Event & Race Calendar and A handmade Pegoretti bike.

Event Happenings:

Thursday night before the show Alchemy Bicycles is hosting an Open House at their new shop at 7700 Cherry Creek South Dr., Denver, 7-9pm. Anyone welcome.

Thursday night Vecchios Bicicletteria in Boulder will be hosting an evening of Metal Suds and Munchies at their shop with Moots, Soulcraft, Waterford, and Gunnar bicycles. 1833 Pearl St., Boulder. 5pm. Anyone welcome.

Also Thursday, Bikes & Beer at Creekside Bikes in Parker, CO. Lots of steel on show, industry partners with deals, SIDI Mobile Fit Studio, Selle Italia Saddle ID Fit System, carbon frame give-away. 9801 S Parker Rd, Parker, CO 80134. 5-7pm. Anyone welcome.

On Friday night Salvagetti Annex will be hosting a private VIP only party The Chris King Freedom Party featuring chef Chris DiMinno from Portland’s Clyde Common serving sliders and New Belgium providing suds, at the coffee shop next door to their shop. This party is at Salvagetti's Baker location in Denver - Address: 8 W. Ellsworth in Baker (corner of Broadway and Ellsworth), 6pm. more info (not open to the public!).

*NAHBS After Party* (held on the first night) at Blake Street Tavern, Friday 7pm till late, 2301 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205 (directions). Hosted by Oskar Blues Brewery and Gates Carbon Drive, in support of Trips for Kids and Bike Denver. This is the event associated with the show for all attendees. Anyone welcome, FREE entrance. more info

Also Friday night, just down the block, XRockstheSpot Loop Ride and Party. Group Ride Friday 6pm (6:30 start) meet outside the convention Hall at the big blue bear for a loop ride to the party at Breckenridge Brewery, live music and beer. 2220 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205 (directions) . Cost ? more info

Pete Weber and Boulder Cycle Sport are hosting a 3hr guided group ride from Boulder, CO to the show in Denver on Saturday morning. Ride leaves 9am sharp from Boulder Cycle Sport, 629 S. Broadway St. Boulder, CO (directions). Cost: $15 + show entry. Peter Weber is our 2013 American Masters Cyclocross National Champion (40-44) and Boulder Cycle Sport is his team. Anyone welcome to join the ride, preregister. more info

Beer and Swag Hour of Power, Saturday 6-7pm at the NAHBS show hall awards stage at the Convention Hall. A fundraiser for Trips for Kids, there will be a trivia contest and more than $10,000 $15,000 in swag given away. Here is the Hour of Power Cheat Sheet, study up. Open to all attendees and exhibitors. more info

Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop is throwing a Brooks Dashing Party Saturday night with Mosaic and food trucks. Salvagetti 38th Street location at 3800 Irving St., Denver 80211 (directions). Anyone welcome, 6-9pm. more info

The NAHBS Framebuilder Party has very limited space, Exhibitors, VIPs, Media only – your NAHBS credential gets you in. They will be partying 7-11pm on Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Ballroom (oh that sounds lovely). Presented by Alchemy Bicycle Co. & Oskar Blues Brewery. 1450 Glenarm Pl, Denver, CO 80202. (directions). Or listen in on the Podcast of event or read more (not open to the public!)

Group Ride Join Alpha and Moots for a ride, meet at the big blue bear statue outside the convention hall Sunday morning 10am. Anyone with a bike welcome. "A casual 1.5 hour ride will include urban bike trails and possibly a bit of dirt. A cross bike is the ultimate tool for the job, but bring what you got. Mtn, Road, Whatever!" more info

18 February 2013

Best Beer Pubs and Breweries in Denver

Good drinks and eats in Denver, Colorado

Colorado has a booming beer business. Our small city is filled with excellent beer halls and small breweries. If you are planning to visit the wonderful state of Colorado, and more specifically the city of Denver, for the upcoming North American Handmade Bicycle Show (February 22-24, 2013) or the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (August 19-25, 2013), or any Rockies baseball game, Broncos football game, Nuggets basketball game, Avalanche hockey game, or maybe you live here and are out cruising on your bike - stop in for a beer.

Beers and bikes just sort of go together. Remember my story about signing up for the Bruges and Brews class, well at that class, which covered the topics of beer and art in Belgium, I met Jeremy Schwartz. Jeremy knows beers. Especially Belgian beer and local brews. You could say it is a hobby of his; I say it makes Jeremy an invaluable guy to know.

Jeremy made a map of the best beer places in the Denver area. A google map that will ensure you are never too far away from your next excellent pour. Not only do these places have beer, but they have good food as well. Here's the awesome link (good as gold):

Link: The coolest Beer map of Denver & Front Range breweries and pubs ever.
Update: March 1, 2013 - Thanks to Jeremy Schwartz, the beer map has been expanded across the Front Range of Colorado!

Take a gander at the splendor and sustenance awaiting you at these 27 places for beer in Denver:
Breweries and Beer Pubs in Denver, Colorado (Beer map by Jeremy Schwartz) Go to map link

Have lunch and a beer in downtown Denver

If you are visiting Denver for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show at the Convention Center in downtown Denver this weekend (I will be there too), plan on stepping out for a beer in town. Within an easy five-block walk you will find the Yard House (135 beers on tap, standard menu). For a second nearby choice walk to Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen (a bit more unusual fare, menu). There is a new Republica Pizza place going in at the Convention Center (good pizza) but it is not open yet.

Yard House 16th St Mall and Tremont, Sheraton Hotel, 1555 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202 303-572-9273.
Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen 1317 14th St, Denver, CO 80202 (303) 595-4255 (Fri and Sat open at 11:30am, Sun at 2:00pm)
Beer and Eats within an easy walk of the Denver Convention Center  click to enlarge
Yard House beers on tap. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Euclid Hall around the corner from historic Larimer Street (below)
Larimer Square ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
If you want to venture further away, exit the Denver Convention hall and walk directly to the 16th street Mall, hop on a free mall transit shuttle bus (find the sign and load) and get off 7 blocks northwest at Blake St., where you will be very close to both Lucky Pie Pizza and Taphouse and Freshcraft. Or you may walk to Larimer Street, or to the other breweries in LoDo (Lower Downtown) listed on the beer map above.
Free Mall Ride bus, runs up and down the 16th Street Mall (pedestrian walking zone) in Denver. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
February is Stout month!

Vine Street Pub, 1700 Vine Street, Denver, CO 80206, (303) 388-2337, map and directions

Be sure to visit Vine Street Pub while in town, it is Stout month, and the joint is hopping. After you have had your fill of bikes at the show, plan on traveling east on 17th Street, just before City Park on the left, you will find Denver's branch of the Mountain Sun Brewery. I visited last weekend and tasted a memorable oak-aged Bourbon Stout with a delicious speakeasy steak sandwich, very delicious (menu). Vine Street has numerous guest beers on tap and the atmosphere is quite Denveresque.
It's Stout Month at Vine Street Pub with lots of beers on tap. I took this photo yesterday! ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
I also visited River North Brewery recently. It has the look of a real tasting room, small, with it's beer brewed on premises. Jeremy recommends his favorite: J.Marie Saison. At the Great Divide Brewery on 22nd & Arapahoe he recommends to try the Belgian seasonal: Orabelle (8.3%). You could make a point of visiting all these places if given the time. The awesome map extends to the Highlands, Golden and Aurora, but not to Boulder, a city with even more breweries.
beers in a row at River North Brewery.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
River North Brewery, with a small bar and a few tables for tasting. Sit and sip. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Denver Beer Co located over by the large REI store, is popular and has a big outdoor patio, welcoming if the weather is good. Renegade Brewing is located in a bit of a sketchy neighborhood but plans to open a new location next month near Denver University. Other breweries and bars included on the map of places in or near Denver for a great micro brew on tap include:

Best Beers in Denver can be found at:
Ale House at Amato's 2501 16th St, Denver, CO 80211
Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs 2148 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Black Shirt Brewing Co 3719 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205
Cannonball Creek Brewing 393 N Washington Ave, Golden
CAUTION: Brewing Company 12445 E 39th Ave #314, Denver, CO 80239
Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe 534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project 1441 W 46th Ave Unit 19, Denver, CO
De Steeg Brewing 4342 Tennyson St., Denver, Colorado 80212
Denver Beer Co 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202
Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen 1317 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
Falling Rock Tap House 1919 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
Freshcraft 1530 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
Great Divide Brewing Co 2201 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205
Highland Tap & Burger 2219 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Hops & Pie 3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery 3200 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
Jonesy's EatBar 400 E 20th Ave, Denver, CO 80205
Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse 1610 16th St, Denver, CO 80202
Our Mutual Friend Brewing 2810 Larimer st. Denver, CO 80205 (&Food Trucks)
Rackhouse Pub 208 S Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223
Renegade Brewing Company 925 W 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80204
River North Brewery 2401 Blake St #1, Denver, CO 80205 (drinks only)
Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey 200 South Kalamath St. Denver, CO 80223
TAG Burger Bar 1441 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202
Vine Street Pub & Brewery 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206
Wit's End Brewing Company 2505 W 2nd Ave #13, Denver, CO 80219
Yard House 1555 Court Pl, Denver, CO 80202

Belgian beers in Denver

Tomorrow night is our last Bruges and Brews class. We get to go to the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe, a bar and restaurant located a few blocks east of the State Capital Building specializing in food and beer from Belgium. The owner James is giving our final lecture, should be fun. In the coming months, the Cheeky Monk is planning on extending their location on Colfax Ave into the adjoining building next door creating a speakeasy feel with more casual seating and brewing.
Cheeky Monk, Belgian beer in Denver, CO
One of our fellow students in the Bruges and Brews class happened to be the owner of Manneken Frites located in Arvada, serving more authentic frites with a gazillion dipping sauces plus beers on tap. Manneken Frites 5616 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002
Enjoying real friets in Bruges, Belgium, last spring. ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®

We have focused here on the smaller brewers in town. Denver also has large breweries, restaurant chains, and locations which host parties and beers including Breckenridge Brewery, Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, Denver Chophouse and Brewery, and Blake Street Tavern. There is also the long established Wynkoop Brewing Company, the first place I had a beer when I moved to Denver years ago. I would recommend visiting one of the specialty brew places listed above, over these places.

Vegan, GF or locally grown

If you are not motivated by beer, but looking for eats of the vegetarian, gluten free or organic nature, you'll be happy with Water Course Foods (837 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203) or their closer to the convention center coffee, bakery and pizza joint City O' City located at 206 E. 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80203. The Kitchen Denver serves locally grown and raised foods, wonderful dishes, located at 1530 16th Street (Entrance on Wazee St.), Denver, CO 80202. Larkburger downtown Denver (2.5 blocks from the convention center) serves a GF burger, fries, chili, and salad at 1617 California Street, Unit B, Denver, CO 80202.

Although Vermont tops the list of U.S. state breweries per capita, they do no produce award winning beer. According to BigThink.com, on the tally of medals awarded at the annual Amercian Beer Festival, Colorado is #2 in the nation.
Top 10 medal-winning states are:
California – 474
Colorado – 322
Wisconsin – 232
Oregon – 170
Pennsylvania – 162
Texas – 133
Washington – 114
New York – 98
Missouri -90
Massachusetts – 76

Accounting for population size, the top 10 with medals per million of inhabitants with a strong micro-brewing tradition would be:
Colorado – 64.4
Oregon – 42.5
Wisconsin – 38.6
Washington – 16.2
Missouri – 15
Pennsylvania – 13.5
Massachusetts – 12.6
Texas – 5.6
New York – 5.1

Related posts by Pedal Dancer:
Tip of the Day: Bruges and Brews
Beers in Belgium
Handmade Bicycles