Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Beatles and Beer Bike Birthday

Who would have guessed that turning 30 would be so much FUN?? My actual bday was pretty low key, started out with a pedicure Liverpool, England (where the first ever boy—band, The Beatles got their start) and ended with a lovely Thai dinner with friends in Amsterdam.
The celebration, however, was held on Saturday, and party we did in true Amsterdam style…drinking beer and riding a giant 19-person bike all over the city. To my delight the weather turned out amazing, more than one person said it was the nicest day of the year – a sign that my 30s will be very kind to me, I hope!
My good friend and adopted brother, Steven, was rightly selected to play the role of bartender, which meant no pedaling for him (got to love that Armstrong luck) but lots of excellent “karaoke” entertainment and attentive beverage service for the rest of us.
Straight off the bat we had 2 random British tourists jump on board -- good thing too because moving that monster was no easy feat so we needed all the pedal power we could get. Twenty minutes in we requested our first break, which is when I realized there was absolutely no way I could survive the day in my very new, very cute, but very, very, very HOT sweater so Heather & I ran off to the closest tourist shop and bought the funniest t-shirt I could find --- “Amsterdam, a weed smoker’s paradise” (don’t worry Mom, it was just for laughs!!).
Also during this pit stop we encountered the other beer bike, a group of Brits on a bachelor party weekend that set off when we did. We very much enjoyed “racing” them throughout the day, especially during the multiple occasions when they had to get off and push their bike over the canals.
At our second break we lost my boss Gerry and his wife Christina who had another party to get to, but we gained 4 Swiss tourists who only spoke French. They were good fun despite the one guys refusal to pedal because of a bad knee (to which I had to explain there were no free rides & beer on this bike, buddy) and the other guy’s scary obsession with Michael Jackson or “ze King of POP,” has he enthusiastically shouted out mid-ride.
At our third and final stop Jim finally started pedaling, Steven finally succeeded in luring some fresh faced, innocent Aussie tourists on board, and the group finally started to sing along with the DJ Super Toto playlist. The most classic moment of the day was just after we got back into motion; Steven solicited a hippy lady riding behind us for a beer, which she accepted without so much as even a pause in riding during the hand off.
I really couldn’t have asked for a better day, the weather was fantastic, the company – both known and random -- a lot of good fun, and the incredulous stares/laughs of the pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, that had the bad fortune of being stuck in a traffic jam behind us, the biggest reward of all.
There is no doubt this was one of the most memorable and unique birthdays I have ever had – what on earth am I going to do for 31?
Please enjoy this short, but exceptionally entertaining video from inside the bike!

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