[su_carousel source=”media: 44234,44233,44232,44231,44230,44229,44228,44227″ limit=”50″ height=”380″ items=”1″]Bikes lined up outside of the Aspen Brewing Company on Hopkins Ave. People stuffed six packs of Brew Co.’s delicious blondes and IPA’s into baskets on the front of their bikes. String Cheese Incident, Grateful Dead, and Justin Bieber permeated from different speakers rigged any way they could be to people’s bikes. A man with a backpack designed to look like Yoda clinging onto Luke’s back when he’s training on Dagobah rolled by us. I’m not sure how practical the backpack is, but it was one of the coolest backpacks I’ve ever seen.
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What started out six years ago as a small group of working locals and transplants making sure to get together at least once a week, has turned into Tuesday Cruiseday, a weekly ride where 400 riders, with everyone on the same page of having fun while being courteous to cars and other trail users, and packing in and out all trash, rally together at 6:30pm at the Aspen Brewing Company to meet and mingle while drinking artisan craft beers and then head on out to bike through town into the sunset.
This past Tuesday we gathered part of our AspenRealLife team together and experienced what this tour was all about. Too many Tuesdays had already gone by where we observed from the periphery sucking down happy hour cocktails as all ages joined together to take off on this ride. This time we joined in.
The bicycle armada took off from outside of Aspen Brewing Company. People whooped and shouted as we tore through the streets of Aspen. Bikes struggled for space on the Marolt path. People were cutting each other off and stopping to drink beer, but everyone was having too much fun to care.
We passed the Marolt Mining and Ranching museum, which was a really cool old structure with Aspen Mountain in the backdrop that I actually had no idea even existed. We came to a roundabout and circled it for a few minutes while music was blaring and people were slapping hands as they passed each other.
Next stop was a big field near the Marolt barn where we found some time to safely enjoy a few beers. The clouds looked ready to storm and a few light raindrops fell, but this only made it look more beautiful as the smell of marijuana smoke filled the air. It is legal after all.
We continued biking along the highway downvalley. Falling behind one group of friends led to instantly running into another group. I’ve only lived in this valley for a year and it’s great to see so many people that I already have met all enjoying a beautiful evening together.
My favorite part of the ride was zipping downhill on Cemetery Lane. At this point, most people were more than a few beers deep as we hit peak speed going downhill. We stopped at Stein Park just outside of Aspen, the starting point of the intense Slaughterhouse rapids on the Roaring Fork was now full of people drinking their beers and socializing around the park.
The journey ended at the park located at the base of Smuggler mountain where we all sat to watch the sun begin to set as pipes were lit and any unfinished beers were consumed. The party continued so I thought it best to return my WE-cycle bike into its station near the brewery where we started.
Riding bikes around town is a beautiful way to pregame, creating the perfect prelude to the late night scene on a Tuesday night where I bounced around between our favorite spots; Justice Snows, New York Pizza, Hops, Kenichi, Red Onion, ending at Eric’s. Every place was fairly crowded and radiated good vibes. Someone jumped on stage with the musician playing at Red Onion and tried to sing “Free Fallin'”, but he forgot all of the words. The guitarist had to talk him off the stage. If you’re going to try something like that, at least remember the words.
Tuesday Cruiseday is an amazing tradition that allows all members of the community to come together weekly and have a great time enjoying the beauty of the valley. So if you can, come on out next week at 6:30 PM to Aspen Brewing Company and get ready for a great time.
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