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Portlanders launch ‘Hop in the Saddle’; a guide to local beer by bike

Posted by on August 21st, 2012 at 2:12 pm

A trio of Portlander women have joined forces to launch Hop in the Saddle, a forthcoming (they hope) guide book that will take readers on a bike tour of local craft beer breweries and pubs. The project launched via Kickstarter today and its supporters are hoping to raise $15,000 to make the book a reality.

Behind the project are: noted author Ellee Thalheimer, whose Cycling Sojourner guide book came out earlier this year; freelance reporter Lucy Burningham, who has written about beer and bikes in The New York Times, Outside, and other national publications; and Laura Cary, a graphic designer based in Portland. (Check bios of all three of them at HopintheSaddle.com.)

Given what I know about these women, this will be an excellent book! Beyond that, one lucky backer of their Kickstarter campaign will get a one-of-kind, custom “beer bike” built by none other than famed local builder Tony Pereira (who happens to be the husband of Mrs. Burningham). All it takes is a donation of $10,000 or more.

A spokesperson for the books tells me the bike routes between the beer spots are “chosen and cued with taste and precision” and that, “Even people who are new to Portland and have no interest in beer will find the book to be a valuable resource for long and short routes that explore colorful destinations in all five quadrants of the city.” Or vice versa — if you have only a one-track mind for beer; you’ll find some great reviews of Portland’s best beer bars (only places that brew beer on site were included).

Here’s more about the book:

“Hop in the Saddle links the best PDX beer spots with the city’s first-class cycling boulevards and bike-friendly streets. We’ve included all the quirky bike charm and bubbling personality that makes Portland a world-class beer and bike city. Instead of ho-hum ale trail standbys, we’ve picked the spots that have defined a craft brew movement. Think innovative beers, seriously great food and ambiance that won’t quit. Our routes and words are beautifully brought to life by Portland designer Laura Cary. This is one book you’ll be proud to throw down on the bar.”

If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, the book will be released on November 1st. Pre-orders are available now via Powell’s or Amazon.

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dan
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dan

This is certainly a great idea, and a guidebook that I would be happy to see out there. However, with all due respect, running a kickstarter to fund publishing a book? You can self-publish on Amazon — either digitally or on paper — for $0.

So what are the Kickstarter funds for, “research”?

Indy
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Indy

The best bars are those within 1 mile of my house that allow me to drunkenly stumble/walk safely home.

I’m going to guess there’s a disclaimer @ the front of the book not to drink [too much] and ride, right?

pixelgate
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pixelgate

Not sure I’m really on board with the merging of bicycling and drinking alcohol, just as I wouldn’t be on board with cars and alcohol.

pixelgate
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pixelgate

Well what do you think happens if you ride from bar to bar? Would you support a book about driving from bar to bar? I understand you’re biased towards bikes but alcohol impairment and bicycles are not a good combination. I don’t really see how you could pretend otherwise. Are you suggesting this book is merely about riding from local brewpub to brewpub merely to sightsee and not indulge in the beer itself? I just think it’s a double standard. If it was about driving from pub to pub there’d be outrage amongst cyclists.

Ellee
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Ellee

I can see how pixelgate could make the jump to those assumptions, as someone who has not seen the book. We have a whole section on how to avoid getting drunk, including tips on eating food, drinking water, and only trying samples. Getting drunk is discouraged, and we provide a wealth of resources (how to take public transportation or taxi with a bike, or hail down a pedi-cab) if you accidentally overindulge. Just like the many guides to wineries out there which cater to motor vehicles, this book is about appreciating, savoring and exploring Portland’s incredibly rich art of craft brewing. We talk about everything from the history and culture of craft brew to advice on tasting beer. It’s going to be awesome. Bicycling aside, there is no guide to Portland’s craft beer scene like this out there. Add in the bikes, well, that’s heaven.