Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:07

Beer, bikes and building: A trio made in heaven

Written by  Nick Manes
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Cycling followed by a beer may not be a new combination, but a May 26 event in Grand Rapids will bring the two even closer together.

The Local Trades Alley Cat bike race, a free event designed for riders of all experience levels, will take attendees to venues all over the city, from bars and restaurants to construction company headquarters. 
At each stop, riders will receive a hole punch in their card, and at the conclusion of the race, riders with the most punches have the most opportunities for prizes through a raffle.

The catch: Cyclists don’t know the stops until the start of the race, that is, unless they read to the end of this article.

“It’s a great way to support local business and have a fun bike ride,” said Brian Swem, one of the event’s organizers and a local architect with Lott3Metz Architecture.

Local Trades Alley Cat Bike Race
Begins and ends at Belden Brick and Supply
620 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids
May 26, 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Swem added that he’s “encouraging” the non-bar stops on the route to have a supply of beverages on hand as well as encouraging “something fun” at each of the stops. Yesterdog will also be providing nourishment before and after the event.

Those choosing to ride will meet at Belden Brick and Supply at 620 Leonard St. NW at 5:30 p.m. Things will begin there and cyclists can hit up to seven stops scattered around the city.

The stops are as follows:

  • Custer Inc.
  • Pioneer Construction
  • The Meanwhile Bar
  • Blue Dog Tavern
  • Donkey Taqueria
  • Central District Cycling
  • Rockford Construction

Riders can make their own route as they see fit.

Swem said the event really began as a way of showcasing local construction trade companies, because “contractors always have a reason to have a beer.”

In recent years, however, the event has grown from more than just architects and contractors. Last year, the organizers expected 40 riders and wound up with 80. 


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