Loyal readers, as I hinted in my latest post a change has occurred. My experience in the Emerald City has been completed and my journey in the Queen City has begun. We have moved from Seattle to Cincinnati. Will the beer-by-bike adventures continue? You bet your sweet bippy.

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(the photo above: Goodbye, thing that makes everyone stand still and stare. You and the sight of eagles were about as frequent and had the same effect on people.)

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(the photo above: The last, or second to last, return on the ferry from Seattle after a 2Pedals outing.)

Having been here just a few weeks, I have visited all but a couple of Cincinnati’s breweries that have taprooms. On our house-hunting visit a while ago, I got my wife to come with me to a couple brewery taprooms. One of the things I researched once we learned we may move here was the brewery and regional beer situation.

Will my adventures be as bike-friendly? No. Seattle was pretty bike-friendly – not perfect by a long shot – but good. Cincinnati? All indicators point to… yeah no. In a certain twisted sense, though, this will make (and already has made) them more adventurous. Be it the near total lack of bike infrastructure, or the rough, downright dangerous neighborhoods, or what I fear is the mindset of most drivers here (which to me is the most important factor), I feel I have been dropped into a jungle.

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(the photo above: In back of Moerlein Lager House in Downtown Cincinnati. The only bike that wasn’t a mountain bike was mine. This seems to be an indicator of an inexperienced, fair-weather cycling population. This is not the only time I’ve seen this phenomenon here. You know what though? Awesome that there are so many bike racks. In fairness, this is because a very popular green space is adjacent.)

Not to despair. On the beer front, Cincinnati seems to be in the midst of a legitimate craft beer awakening. Cincy has a long, proud history of brewing, but in the past few years a lot of positive things have happened in the area of quality crafts and the accompanying culture. I have enjoyed a few breweries here that I prefer over some of those in Seattle. There’s some great stuff here, only in much smaller numbers.

I’ve observed some marked differences in the beer culture and industry here compared to Seattle, and will enjoy describing them to you.

There is also an enthusiastic bicycling community in Cincinnati. I have yet to really learn the ins and outs of it, but I can tell you that it seems vibrant, passionate and active. By way of example, the Cincinnati Cycling Club has over 1000 rides per year. These are the sort of rides we used to enjoy in Minnesota – the kind of thing where on a given day or evening a small to medium group meets and sets out on a road ride. That blows away anything I discovered in Seattle. This is difficult to understand given how bike-unfriendly Cincinnati is. Or perhaps it explains it? Perhaps cycling is so much easier and safer in Seattle that it is more a part of everyday life, not something that is mostly the stuff of organized rides. I must also mention Queen City Bike, the other major bicycle advocacy group in Cincinnati (this group more focusing on advocacy as opposed to events).

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(the photo above: Yep, that’s downtown. Mere steps from our temporary residence in – who knew? – Kentucky, is found this view, including the view inside the ballpark where the Cincinnati Reds play. Note the big screen on the right on which we could pretty much watch the game for free if we had the time.)

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(the photo above: View from near our temporary residence on the Kentucky side of the river. The bridge was built on Civil War times, is sort of majestic, has wide, separated, pedestrian/bike access on both sides (it’s not the only bridge here that does!), and beats the snot out of a ferry ride! (photo credit to my awesome wife who should have been a photographer)) 

Enjoy some things I miss about Seattle:

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(the photo above: Yes, these grow wild and free every summer. Everywhere. No lie. In fact people hate blackberry plants. In fairness, the plants do suck! Also, Revelation: I’m white. Or am I?)

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(the photo above: These and many other similar crafts – most of them much more local than California – available in the supermarket and drugstore at right about $13 per 12 pack. More on the high price of beer in Cincinnati soon.)

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(the photo above: Yes, in the Seattle climate, ferns grow in trees – often much higher up in the tree than this.)

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(the photo above: about a year or more ago I happened upon this display in the WalMart in the next town over from Bainbridge Island, WA. Plentiful array of local and regional bombers reasonably priced. The ironic thing is they were in repurposed Goose Island and Sam Adams displays.)

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(the photo above: Artwork made by, and using the penny collection of, the co-owner of a bicycle-themed brewery in Seattle. Yes, at the bottom of the photo you see bike “parking.” In the same area of the tasting room is a self-serve bike repair/maintenance station complete with one of those racks that elevate your bike. Bike parking also got installed out front by  Seattle Dept. of Transportation in the form a a bike “corral” where a car parking space or two is replaced by a large on-street bike rack. Cincy does have one of these in front of Park and Vine. Keep it up, Cincy!)

I am excited and energized by this new change. I have lived in many places around this great country and that is something I would not change. I embrace this opportunity to live out yet another chapter.

Join me!

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