Made for each other: Beer, bikes, and Portland

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When you think of Portland, it’s likely that an image of a bicycle pops into your head. You’re also increasingly likely to associate the city with its craft beer scene — microbreweries adorn every block in some neighborhoods, and it’s hard to find a part of the city where you can’t amble down the street for a pint of interesting beer that was brewed only a few meters from where you are sitting to enjoy it.

And as anyone who has walked or rolled the streets of Portland recently may have observed, the triangle is complete: Those neighborhood brew pubs tend to have overflowing bike parking out front during open hours, and if you spend much time with people who ride bikes, you’ll tend to notice a strong appreciation for beer. Researchers have even found an economic connection between bicycle transportation and spending on brewskies.

Which is all to say that it’s no surprise that Portland is about to get its very own guide book combining these joint passions. The cleverly named Hop in the Saddle comes out November 1st. News of the book received a standing ovation, I’m told, when co-author and publisher Ellee Thalheimer announced it at the release party for her last guide book (that’s the also-amazing and economic game-changing Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Oregon).

I could go on for quite some time about the independent publishing revolution that’s happening in Portland right now, and how much of it is bike-centric, and all the work and hours and money and sheer chutzpah it requires to make it work and how author/publishers like Ellee and her collaborators are stepping boldly up to the plate and succeeding beyond anyone’s wildest predictions — but that’s another blog post.

For now, I’ll just ask you pre-order a copy of the book (plus other neat beery, bikey rewards) to support their effort to raise enough funds to print Hop in the Saddle without incurring massive, economy non-boosting credit card debt. Do it right here.

And to insure that it’ll lead to more good things in Portland-based, bike-oriented independent publishing, I’ve made creative use of my own already-funded Kickstarter project to produce a stretch goal for my friends and a win for everyone involved.

Oh, and full disclosure — the Hop in the Saddle team has hired me to do media publicity for their project, which I’m doing like crazy behind the scenes. This blog post is out of friendship and exuberance, and isn’t part of what they’re paying for — guess I just pitched myself extra effectively. I rarely take publicity clients, and really only do it if it’s something I love and believe in 100% with no reservations. Like this.

So, without further delay…. Let’s make this happen!