I learned recently that the saying "time flies when you're having fun" is a lie. Instead, the opposite is true.
Boring, mundane days skate by while the mind runs on autopilot. This is why your quarantine memories feel amorphous. Look, it's science. The real way to stop time slippage is to do something different. I made this fact my pep talk when I committed to a 32-mile bike ride earlier this month.
Cascade Bicycle Club's (CBC) Seattle Bike 'n Brews May event charts a loop from Georgetown to Kent and back with stops at breweries along the way. Normally, CBC holds the event on one day, but during COVID-19 it's a monthlong do-it-yourself thing.
I agreed to do it myself. I am not a cyclist. In fact, the last time I rode a bike, I fell on my face and broke a tooth. The second-to-last time I rode a bike I huffed and puffed up 35th Ave NE alongside then-city council candidate and now-council member Alex Pedersen. He had to show me how to fix my gears.
During Bike 'n Brews, blisters blossomed on my fingers from gripping my handlebars too tightly. I contemplated ditching the bike I borrowed and Lyfting home at several points. Parts of the ride absolutely sucked, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed: a change of pace, perspective, and a way to slow down the ever-ticking clock on a year that's already almost halfway over.
My boyfriend and I started the ride in Georgetown and followed the route along Airport Way and East Marginal Way, two bustling thoroughfares that don't have protected bike lanes, something South Seattleites keep begging Seattle to fix for good reason.
The city-street portion ended at the mouth of the Green River Trail in Tukwila, where the real fun began. The trail traces the Green River, ducking under the belly of I-5 and across bridges, twisting and turning with the bends in the waterway. Even though I knew we had to reach the breweries before closing, I couldn't be bothered to care about the time. Each hour stretched on gloriously—and a little painfully, if you consider the bike seat-shaped cramp in my ass.
The Green River Trail deposited us on the Interurban Trail, the nonmotorized commuter trail that connects Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, and Algona. That brought us to stop one: Airways Brewing in Kent.
We grabbed the free pint of beer that came with the event registration, and I splurged on a glass of Airways's homemade root beer. After a quick guzzle, we hopped back on our bikes and headed back to the next destination: Georgetown Brewing Company.
The slight downside of my disregard for time—and my slow biking—is that Georgetown closed before we reached it. Oh well. (Reminder to myself: I still need to pick up my free Georgetown growler bottle and koozie.) On to the next one. Two Beers Brewing Company, the final destination, stayed open until 10 p.m.
I limped across the finish line, exhausted and a little in disbelief that I'd actually made it. I drowned myself in about half a beer and several glasses of water. The burger from Bread & Circuses, the restaurant inside the Two Beers taproom, may have been the best thing I've ever eaten. Even though my muscles stayed sore for a week, I'd absolutely do it again.
I don’t know how we made it through all 30+ miles of @CascadeBicycle Seattle bike-n-brews. My butt has never been so sore. Gonna drown myself in the burgers and beer at the finish line pic.twitter.com/7TOIbsTMxn
— nathalie graham (@gramsofgnats) May 16, 2021
Some things we saw:
If you need a reason to break from routine this weekend, register while you can for Seattle Bike 'n Brews. The event lasts through the end of May. But, if you miss out, you can do the route yourself. Or, Cascade Bicycle Club hosts another Bike 'n Brews event in July called El Norte. That one starts in Ballard and goes to Kenmore and back. Maybe I'll see you there.