A man, a plan, a bicycle – beer!
Evan Cohan plans an epic and ambitious summer tour of the scenery and breweries of the Northeast United States and Quebec, Canada. The founder of Beercycling.com envisions a two-month, 2,000-mile-long road trip for beer, powered by pushing the pedals of his specially outfitted Gary Fisher “Monona” commuting bike. And he hopes that, a la Forrest Gump, other cyclists will join him on parts of this trip.
What drives a man to take on such a quest?
“Well, first of all, it is great exercise,” Cohan said in an email interview. “Health and fitness should be a major part of everyone’s life. There are so many positive benefits from exercise: it’s fun, challenging, and just makes you feel plain good about yourself at the end of the day.”
“Simply put, we combine (in our opinion) the two greatest things on the planet: beer tasting and bicycle touring,” he said. “The craft beer industry is booming, and as a result there are so many new and exciting options for consumers.”
Cohan, who now lives in “Beervana,” a.k.a. Portland, Oregon, plans to start his trip Aug. 1, 2010, in Middlebury, Vermont, home of Otter Creek Brewing, and continue north to Montreal and over to Quebec City before hooking back south into the States, hitting Maine and hugging the coastline all the way down to North Carolina.
The journey will include stops at many of the brewpubs and microbreweries along the way, including Magic Hat Brewing Co., Boston Beer Co. and Unibroue. Cohan plans to make full use of social media channels so others can keep track of where he is on any given day. He said he will regularly communicate via his Twitter account and post updates on his blog, which will include a Google Map tracking his trail so like-minded folks can join him along the way, if they desire.
“While this is being planned as a solo adventure, I will be meeting up with and recruiting ‘guest riders’ to tag along with me for certain stretches of the route,” he said. “Some of these are friends from back home and some are bicycle groups I’ve met via social media. (mostly Twitter). The rest I’d imagine will be strangers I’ll meet at breweries who will fall victim to my charm and power of persuasion and agree to tag along with me for a day or two.”
“There will also be lots of rest days, which are necessary on long trips like these, so people of all skill levels should have no problem with this,” he said.
His primary goal is to enjoy the ride, but he’s working on a strategy to raise some money along the way for the Lupus Foundation of America .
“It’s a great charity that has a very personal significance for my family’s life,” he said.
Cohan will celebrate his 29th birthday about two weeks into the trip, somewhere “in the middle of nowhere in central Maine,” he said.
But even if there is not a cake, he’ll likely have a pint of craft beer close at hand.
“Anyone can drink a beer, but by beercycling you truly ‘earn’ it,” he said. “There is nothing like the taste of a cold, refreshing pint of craft beer after a long ride. And you won’t feel guilty about the few extra calories, either.”
If you are interested in joining Cohan along the way, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website www.beercycling.com, where you also can learn more about his adventures.