Category: Goose Island

Spidermonkey of the Week – Ian Hughes

I would like to start off by saying I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be the Spidermonkey of the Week!  While I have always been what I thought was a huge cycling advocate, my love affair with bikes is only in its infancy when compared to everyone else on the team.  I now know that I have only just seen the tip of the iceberg and that by drinking the Spidermonkey Kool-Aid, I am opening up the floodgates to all things awesome.  I have been absolutely humbled through my experiences with those of you I have met so far on the team, and have been deeply inspired in reading all of the other SOTW posts.  Because of you, my goal for 2015 is to become a stronger and more skilled rider and make you all as proud of me as I am to be a Spidermonkey!

That being said, here’s a little about the guy that may be sucking your wheel at the start of this year’s rides.  I was born in New Mexico and bounced around between there, Texas, Ohio, and Los Angeles before moving back to Ohio for college and my first grown-up job in Cleveland.  As with most kids, bikes were a big part of my life growing up but two memories vividly stand out- learning how to ride and going on bike tours with my parents.  My Grandma Joan sat me on my first bike that I received for a Christmas present in Las Cruces, NM and literally shoved me down a hill repeatedly until I could stay on without falling.  Fortunately I got the hang of it before I ended up breaking something!  As for the bike tours, they became a family tradition while I was in grade school after my parents got into riding.  They started bringing me along on 20+ mile country rides around Carey and Columbus, Ohio and it always made for awesome family time.

Ian Hughes Picture 1  Ian Hughes Picture 2

Six years ago I moved to Chicago (chasing my then girlfriend, now wife, Kelly) and left behind my beloved Ohio after 13 years of fun.  When I first got here, I absolutely hated it.  I found myself very frustrated with the noise, concrete everywhere, seeming lack of outdoor opportunities, and most of all the traffic.  For sanity’s sake I stopped driving, took to public transportation and that made things a little better, but after 2 years I was completely over it.  In the spring of 2011, I finally had a moment of clarity while we were sitting in a mess of rush hour traffic in our car- a small group of cyclists effortlessly cruised past us with smiles on their faces.  I wanted (and needed) that freedom and happiness, and later that week I bought a bicycle and took to the streets.

Ian Hughes Picture 3

What started off as a means of getting to and from work quickly turned into my escape from all of the things I didn’t like about Chicago.  All of a sudden I was happier, healthier, and felt a meaningful tie to the concrete, traffic, and noise that used to drive me crazy.  These feelings grew deeper when I began bike commuting year round and really learned to appreciate everything that all of the four seasons throw at us.  The only problem I came across was that my commute was only 6 miles each way, and I wanted more!

Ian Hughes Picture 4      Ian Hughes Picture 5

When I left my job as an Environmental Consultant and went to work for Goose Island Beer Company three years ago, I had the unique opportunity to take this newly found passion and grow it further through sharing it with my new coworkers.  Goose Island was already a strong advocate in the Chicago biking community through supporting the Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago Bike to Work Week, and of course sponsoring the Spidermonkeys, but we had some opportunities for improvement internally.  In the last three years the Green Goose team and I have made some great accomplishments to encourage our employees to ride- we started the Honking Peloton (once a month we ride to a local brewery), improved onsite bike storage, purchased maintenance supplies, and started offering employee tune up days.  Our efforts have resulted in an increase in bike commuting and have also led to Goose Island receiving a Bicycle Friendly Business Silver Award through the League of American Bicyclists.

Ian Hughes Picture 6

Ian Hughes Picture 7     Ian Hughes Picture 8

It was only a matter of time until I got to meet several Spidermonkeys at a dock party and a few other Goose Island beer release parties.  At one of these events (after geeking out over a few beers of course) I received a challenge from Fred Wu to come join the team for a Saturday ride.  Once I realized that there weren’t any Geese currently riding with the Spidermonkeys, I knew I needed to accept the challenge, represent the brewery, and roll with the team up to Highland Park.  After one ride, followed by a delicious gyros sandwich at Budacki’s, I was hooked!  Despite a busy travel schedule for work I managed to hit several other rides last year including a couple treks to Willow Springs and a very ‘spirited’ Wednesday night ride.  I am looking very forward to being even more involved this year, riding my first century, and diving into my first CX race this fall- hopefully I won’t be riding in Fred’s Divvy bike basket!  Here’s to all of you and here’s to a great year with Spidermonkeys! Cheers!

Venus de Miles

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by Roxanne Overshiner Bowens

Venus de Miles Charity Ride Report

#notasingleBOD

#wecrushedthecharityride

On Sunday, July 28 a brave group of Spidermonkey girls awoke at the crack of dawn, bundled up (because yes, it was barely 50 degrees!) to face the Venus de Miles charity ride!

The Charity
This is the second year for the VdM ride in Illinois. It originated in Colorado. The ride supports an organization called Greenhouse Scholars. Greenhouse Scholars provides comprehensive personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students. It’s a pretty cool thing. Some of the scholars were there and were sure to stop by to thank us and answer any questions we had about the program.

group1
The Ride
It is a ladies only ride (unless you’re a dude willing to dress in drag and be bike support along the route – oh crap, that’s most of you dudes!) There were about 300 participants of all abilities. The ride started and ended in Fort Sheridan. There was a 25 or 64 mile route. I’m pretty sure you know which route we took. The route was super scenic – some of it going along the bike path, down wooded roads, over a crushed limestone path that followed a river, and via lots of non-potholey, somewhat hilly, paved roads. Some of it was even along our familiar Old School route! There were four rest stops along the way which we took full advantage of as they were stocked with yummy cookies and treats from Whole Foods.

Post Ride Treats!
Upon winning, dominating, crushing, finishing the ride, we parked our trusty bikes and proceeded to the post-ride festivities. And who do we see? Our loving and trusted Goose Island representative, Jason!

goose

The ladies with Jason, Goose Island rep!


He ensured that our cups would be kept full of Sophie! (YUM!) and made sure we got a pair of styling Goose sunglasses. (I’ll be Kim is cursing herself for missing it now!) Lunch was a giant and delicious sandwich, cole slaw, and parmesan dusted chips.

massagepankpedi1

Following lunch we took full advantage of the mani/pedis and facials.

Life is rough. Oh! And then we had ice cream from Jeni’s.

Thanks Lindsay for putting together our Team Spidermonkey! I know that next year there will be a lot more of us – and I certainly hope that some of our dudes will join us in their tutus, wigs and lipstick.

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2012 Bike MS Tour de Farms – Videos and Such

This year’s edition of the Bike MS Tour de Farms was comprised of smooth roads, sunny skies, low wind and smooth-as-butter-paceline of 50 plus Spidermonkeys!  We had a great time riding fast, goofing off, drinking some Goose Island 312 and raising over $30K for the National MS Society!

Don’t believe it?  Check out some of the vids and pics:

Day 1 – 50 plus Spidermonkeys!

 
Going down the line …

Rolling along …

The right way to drink Goose Island 312!

Paulson Family Farm and 50 plus Spidermonkeys

Day 2!

Food!

Smooth-as-Butter

Let’s go!

2 days of pure awesomeness … Spidermonkeys love the Bike MS Tour de Farms! Thanks go out to all the other teams, all the great volunteers, all the National MS Society organizers (that’s you Elle!), Damien of Lakeshore Bike for helping us out, etc, etc, and the list goes on!  It was great!

Oh and thanks to Jack Cahillane, Dean Okun, Aaron Byrnes for the pics and vids!  There’s too many to post .. sorry!

2012 Bike MS Tour de Farms – Videos and Such

This year’s edition of the Bike MS Tour de Farms was comprised of smooth roads, sunny skies, low wind and smooth-as-butter-paceline of 50 plus Spidermonkeys!  We had a great time riding fast, goofing off, drinking some Goose Island 312 and raising over $30K for the National MS Society!

Don’t believe it?  Check out some of the vids and pics:

Day 1 – 50 plus Spidermonkeys!

 
Going down the line …

Rolling along …

The right way to drink Goose Island 312!

Paulson Family Farm and 50 plus Spidermonkeys

Day 2!

Food!

Smooth-as-Butter

Let’s go!

2 days of pure awesomeness … Spidermonkeys love the Bike MS Tour de Farms! Thanks go out to all the other teams, all the great volunteers, all the National MS Society organizers (that’s you Elle!), Damien of Lakeshore Bike for helping us out, etc, etc, and the list goes on!  It was great!

Oh and thanks to Jack Cahillane, Dean Okun, Aaron Byrnes for the pics and vids!  There’s too many to post .. sorry!

Guest Spidermonkey of the Week – Andy Daley!

Andy Daley!

Hi. My name is Andy Daley. Thanks to a long, boring criterium, my domination of 127th position in said long, boring criterium, a slightly rhyming name, and a crew of Goose Island beverage imbibed SpiderMonkeys, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of me.

The powers that be were kind enough to let me fill the Spidermonkey blogosphere with a little about me. My story starts a few years back when while on a group ride, Dean was lamenting how he was constantly made fun of at races for getting drunk and yelling out Air Supply lyrics. At the same time, I was complaining about always being mistaken for ChiCrossCup Titan Jason Knauff. It was then we worked out a solution. He’d substitute Air Supply lyrics for chanting my name, and I’d bury Mr. Knauff in obscurity. (One out of two ain’t bad).

Dean, drunk serenading Matt Smith, again:
“Girl you’re every woman in the world to me.
You’re my fantasy, you’re my reality”

If I’ve done my math right, this is my 9th year of racing bicycles. I didn’t race in college or anything like that, so when I started up in 2004 as a Cat 5 newbie, I was straight up terrible. Got dropped on the first lap of Monsters of the Midway. Dropped on the first lap of the State Road race. Dropped at Downers Grove. Dropped Dropped Dropped.

Eventually, though, I reduced my effective entry entry fee down from $25 per lap and got good enough to move past the 4’s into the 3’s and then squeak by into the Category 2’s. As a Cat 2, typically my race ‘strategy’ was move up as many spots as I could when I heard the chase motorcycle tail gunning the back of the pack. Still, good, good times. I’ll never forget working myself into a deep, deep hole just to finish once the opener of Superweek, the Beverly Cycling Classic.

I’ve since downgraded to a Cat 3. I told the USAC officials I needed to downgrade due to having a newborn to take care of, but in reality it was all part of my evil genius plan to race in the same category as a certain venison jerky maker.

Shake and Bake race strategy in action at Evanston last year:
“Brandon, I’m bonking. More deer jerky, please!”

Tasty venison snacks aside, I’m looking very forward to racing with the Cat 3 Spidermonkeys and helping out the Cat 4’s and Cat 5’s avoid some of the many mistakes I made when I was just starting out. You’ll be hearing more soon about us Burnham veterans offering to tell war stories and give some race advice. Just nod and pretend to be interested during the war story retelling and I promise you’ll eek out at least a few racing nuggets of info. Hopefully.

Cheers! Andy

Northwestern vs. Minnesota tailgate at Wildcat Alley (09/26/09)

It was a brisk, overcast Saturday morning. I rode to Northwestern’s campus (my first ride since my crash) to rendezvous with Dean, Dan, Matt R. and Ami. We were joined by Ben, appropriately bedecked in a Northwestern bike kit. I arrived early to help John Clarke from GooseIsland set up the biergarten in NU’s Wildcat Alley, which in 45 short minutes would be swarming with fans of college football…and delicious Goose Island beer. The table tents and banners were in place. The cold plates had been iced and the Spidermonkeys were ready. Dan was on Honker’s Ale. Ami, Ben, and Matt were on 312 Urban Wheat Ale, our sponsor beer. Dean was pressing the flesh and working the crowd. I took my post behind Old Faithful, the Harvest Ale tap. 9 AM rang and the die-hard fans began to trickle in. Having worked the previous two tailgate events, I knew that this was the calm before the storm. I cautioned my fellow monkeys not to rest on our laurels. With each free second, I poured reserve beers; stockpiling them for the deluge I knew would come. All the old favorites were there, known solely by their nicknames. Physics prof, Party Down, Sir Talks-a-Lot and “business in front – party in the back” were all at the ready, beer tickets in hand. These guys could put away beer after beer while simultaneously talking your ear off, but the Monkeys were ready, pouring for other patrons while indulging the stalwarts. As 10 o’clock rolled around and the NU band finished their pre-game performance, the crowds really started to roll in, NU and Minnesota fans alike. From that point until we closed shop at 10:45 I didn’t close my tap, shoving one plastic cup after another under the stream of (shameless plug) – delicious, cascade-hopped, amber, 5.7 % alcohol by volume, seasonal ale. With each few spare seconds I helped myself to a gulp from my own cup of brew. My teammates kept pace beautifully and Matt even managed to wangle some tips out of the deal. The sputtering sound of foam and the rush of CO2 indicated the blow of the kegs in rapid succession. Mine was the first to go, but I smoothly switched to my alternate spigot while Carlos tapped a new keg. The 312 and Honker’s taps also flew through the beer, but the monkeys manning them were not at all bothered by the spray of foam on their nice kits. We poured and poured, all while smiling and schmoozing with the game’s attendees. Dean kept the mood light by swinging through and chanting “Spidermonkey! Spidermonkey!” with us responding “Caw Caw Caw!” While not sure how many kegs my teammates went through, I blew through three, which equals about 480 servings (each ½ barrel contains approximately 160 servings). At 10:45 we stopped serving. We were lightly soaked in beer (Dan was standing in it barefoot) but we were all smiling, due in no small part from the beer we had ourselves imbibed. Greater than that, though, was the fun we had. Kudos to all the Spidermonkey volunteers, as it was a great way to thank our generous sponsor for their support.
Ca Caw!!-
Joe H.

Northwestern vs. Minnesota tailgate at Wildcat Alley (09/26/09)

It was a brisk, overcast Saturday morning. I rode to Northwestern’s campus (my first ride since my crash) to rendezvous with Dean, Dan, Matt R. and Ami. We were joined by Ben, appropriately bedecked in a Northwestern bike kit. I arrived early to help John Clarke from GooseIsland set up the biergarten in NU’s Wildcat Alley, which in 45 short minutes would be swarming with fans of college football…and delicious Goose Island beer. The table tents and banners were in place. The cold plates had been iced and the Spidermonkeys were ready. Dan was on Honker’s Ale. Ami, Ben, and Matt were on 312 Urban Wheat Ale, our sponsor beer. Dean was pressing the flesh and working the crowd. I took my post behind Old Faithful, the Harvest Ale tap. 9 AM rang and the die-hard fans began to trickle in. Having worked the previous two tailgate events, I knew that this was the calm before the storm. I cautioned my fellow monkeys not to rest on our laurels. With each free second, I poured reserve beers; stockpiling them for the deluge I knew would come. All the old favorites were there, known solely by their nicknames. Physics prof, Party Down, Sir Talks-a-Lot and “business in front – party in the back” were all at the ready, beer tickets in hand. These guys could put away beer after beer while simultaneously talking your ear off, but the Monkeys were ready, pouring for other patrons while indulging the stalwarts. As 10 o’clock rolled around and the NU band finished their pre-game performance, the crowds really started to roll in, NU and Minnesota fans alike. From that point until we closed shop at 10:45 I didn’t close my tap, shoving one plastic cup after another under the stream of (shameless plug) – delicious, cascade-hopped, amber, 5.7 % alcohol by volume, seasonal ale. With each few spare seconds I helped myself to a gulp from my own cup of brew. My teammates kept pace beautifully and Matt even managed to wangle some tips out of the deal. The sputtering sound of foam and the rush of CO2 indicated the blow of the kegs in rapid succession. Mine was the first to go, but I smoothly switched to my alternate spigot while Carlos tapped a new keg. The 312 and Honker’s taps also flew through the beer, but the monkeys manning them were not at all bothered by the spray of foam on their nice kits. We poured and poured, all while smiling and schmoozing with the game’s attendees. Dean kept the mood light by swinging through and chanting “Spidermonkey! Spidermonkey!” with us responding “Caw Caw Caw!” While not sure how many kegs my teammates went through, I blew through three, which equals about 480 servings (each ½ barrel contains approximately 160 servings). At 10:45 we stopped serving. We were lightly soaked in beer (Dan was standing in it barefoot) but we were all smiling, due in no small part from the beer we had ourselves imbibed. Greater than that, though, was the fun we had. Kudos to all the Spidermonkey volunteers, as it was a great way to thank our generous sponsor for their support.
Ca Caw!!-
Joe H.

Rain .. rain .. Bike to Work Rally!

Hey Everyone,

Great time riding with the 2 media personalities this morning .. weather was great, police escort was awesome, the blackhawks/blues brothers car with the blackhawk girls was pretty cool and the winner of the “race” was pretty cool too.

Pic from the United Center, before we got started .. free dunkin donuts coffee and assorted donuts, yum. Blackhawk cheerleader girls, yum.
Here’s some video of the group near the end of the route turning from Lake onto Clark (I think) – a little wobble in these videos, hope you don’t get sick ..

Here’s another video of the group entering Daley Plaza .. listen to what Dean has to say to Vanessa ..

Once the morning program wrapped up, it was pretty chill, did some yoga and then just before the beer started flowing, the rain started coming down, first a little, then in sheets. The bmx’ers stopped doing their backflips on the ramp and started doing some flat land tricks, but then they even called it quits. The brave souls that ventured out were treated to some free 312 and mini vienna beef hot dogs.

Here’s some pics .. Anna from Goose Island putting the vienna beef hot dog umbrella to good use.
Can karate chopping at the rain drops ..
Dean and Vanessa strolling in .. the rain.
Overall, good time, unfortunately it ended early, but they’re rescheduling the event for July 24th, the Friday before the Chicago crit.

JPC

Rain .. rain .. Bike to Work Rally!

Hey Everyone,

Great time riding with the 2 media personalities this morning .. weather was great, police escort was awesome, the blackhawks/blues brothers car with the blackhawk girls was pretty cool and the winner of the “race” was pretty cool too.

Pic from the United Center, before we got started .. free dunkin donuts coffee and assorted donuts, yum. Blackhawk cheerleader girls, yum.
Here’s some video of the group near the end of the route turning from Lake onto Clark (I think) – a little wobble in these videos, hope you don’t get sick ..

Here’s another video of the group entering Daley Plaza .. listen to what Dean has to say to Vanessa ..

Once the morning program wrapped up, it was pretty chill, did some yoga and then just before the beer started flowing, the rain started coming down, first a little, then in sheets. The bmx’ers stopped doing their backflips on the ramp and started doing some flat land tricks, but then they even called it quits. The brave souls that ventured out were treated to some free 312 and mini vienna beef hot dogs.

Here’s some pics .. Anna from Goose Island putting the vienna beef hot dog umbrella to good use.
Can karate chopping at the rain drops ..
Dean and Vanessa strolling in .. the rain.
Overall, good time, unfortunately it ended early, but they’re rescheduling the event for July 24th, the Friday before the Chicago crit.

JPC

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