A Port Coquitlam cyclist is creating a community of like-minded individuals who share his passions for exploring the Tri-Cities and beyond by bike, followed by a refreshing beer at one of the local craft breweries.
He’s finding no shortage of takers.
Since starting Tri-City Bikes and Brews on Facebook last fall, Bill Jones has registered more than 320 members.
He said they’re in all shapes, sizes, ages and levels of cycling experience, from neophytes who’ve just acquired an e-bike to help them get active to enthusiasts on hybrid or gravel bikes looking for new routes and beers to sample.
All are united in their belief that there’s no greater reward for an afternoon of spinning the pedals than a stein of stout or a thistle of ale.
Jones said in his native Manchester, England, a stop at the pub is a common goal of any exercise, whether it’s a ride, run or walk.
“Earners and burners,” he said it’s called.
But since moving to Port Coquitlam two years ago, Jones said it’s been difficult to connect with other cyclists to learn the safe routes around the Tri-Cities, as the established road groups are a little too hardcore for his recreational aspirations.
Then, while enjoying a refreshing beverage at Coquitlam’s Mariner Brewing, an idea popped into Jones’ head.
“It’s a pretty easy sell,” he said of the bikes and beer combination.
It’s made all the easier with the preponderance of craft breweries in the Tri-Cities, many of them located right along or nearby established cycling routes.
Most of them also have bike racks.
Jones said the group is focused more on social interaction than Strava segments.
Apart from sharing beer news and riding routes online, there’s a regular group ride on Thursdays that he’s rechristened “Thirstday.”
Routes range from 10 to 30 km, always along designated cycleways or trails to help bolster the confidence of cyclists who might be nervous navigating roads busy with traffic.
“I want it to be accessible,” Jones said, adding future plans include longer rides to breweries further afield, like Burnaby and maybe even Langley, as well as monthly challenges to help boost everyone’s fitness.
As for the perfect post-pedalling pint, Jones said a “good wheat ale is my go to.”
But with so many varieties of beer on offer from Moody Ales in the west to Tinhouse in the east that could easily change with a serendipitous discovery.
“You’re never short on options,” Jones said.
You can find Tri-City Bikes and Brews on Facebook.