Combining your biking and beer -
go logo
article photo
article photo


Combining your biking and beer
By Cara Pesek

There are many ways to make a perfect summer night, but one of my all-time favorites is this:

Bike downtown just after the sun sets, when it’s still warm enough not to need a jacket. Go far enough (or fast enough) to work up a thirst, then find a restaurant or bar with patio seating for a meal or a drink (or both). Hang out, enjoy the evening, bike home, maybe take a detour so you’re extra worn out by the time you get there. Then sleep really, really well.

Last week, I was looking around online for an opportunity to do exactly that, and I found that a group ride to a bar and a movie was leaving from Greenstreet Cycles, 1310 Mike Fahey St., at 8 p.m. on Friday. Perfect.

I talked my college friend/bike friend Quentin into going with me, and we met at the shop, where a group of about 15 had assembled. After introductions and some bike talk, we hit the road to Josephine’s Cozy Corner Lounge, 2201 Pierce St., which is a dark yet charming place with 1970s wallpaper, a great jukebox, a pool table and, unexpectedly, a trophy case.

The weather was gorgeous and traffic was light, and with the workweek behind them, everyone seemed happy to be out riding. I was.

The best part: There are opportunities to do this all the time.

The Bike Rack, 14510 Eagle Run Drive, organizes Sunday morning and Monday and Thursday evening rides, on either road or gravel. These rides cover more miles than the Greenstreet neighborhood rides, and on Sundays, often include a breakfast stop.

Fast group and no-drop rides also leave the Trek Bicycle Store’s Papillion location each Tuesday and from the Trek Store’s Midtown location each Wednesday.

And each Thursday is the locally famous, more casual (and also more booze-fueled) Taco Ride from Council Bluffs to Mineola, Iowa.

Last weekend, another group left from Greenstreet Saturday night and biked to an art show. And Tuesday afternoon, there was yet another group ride, this time from Greenstreet to Jake’s in Benson for the monthly Handlebar Happy Hour (a sidenote on biking while drinking: if you’re going to bike and drink, keep your alcohol consumption to the same level you would if you had to drive your car home).

Greenstreet Manager Sarah Johnson said she organizes at least one group ride per week and often more. The ride I attended came about after the owner of Josephine’s called her pretty much out of the blue and offered his bar as a destination. He sweetened the deal by offering the bikers in attendance $1 off their first drink.

Johnson said she was happy to oblige.

“If they’re going to support us, we’re going to support them,” she said.

Johnson organizes the rides for a couple of reasons. First, she said, it’s fun to bike in a group to a bar. And second, biking just about anywhere increases awareness of bikes as a normal form of transportation for regular people — not just a weekend pastime for spandex-clad super athletes.

Heyday on May Day (May Day is Tuesday, by the way), an event celebrating a proposal to make Harney Street between the Old Market and Midtown more bicycle/pedestrian friendly, should be another example of that.

Group rides will depart from all over town and meet between 24th and 26th Streets on Harney Street, for an update and discussion about the proposal, as well as live music, bike races and more. Events begin at 5 p.m., and the meeting will take place at 6.

By attaching the rides, the races, the music and more to what could have been just a meeting, organizers hope more people attend.

And for pure fun, she’s also working on a bike bar crawl for later on this summer.

But back to last Friday.

After a few red beers, we left Josephine’s. My friend and I parted from the group (the others went to see “The Kid with a Bike” at Film Streams) and we biked along a few side streets neither of us had been on. We climbed a couple big hills, said our goodbyes, and then I pedaled home, and almost immediately fell asleep.

It was a great night.

Contact the writer: Cara Pesek    |   402-444-4052    |  

Cara writes about nightlife -- bars, clubs, karaoke, and other places people go to have a good time -- as well as fashion, pop culture and trends.

Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom

Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Omaha's dive-iest dive bars
Omaha's dive-iest dive bars

Omaha's many neighborhood bars run the gamut of experiences.

Dining notes: Famous Dave’s moving to new spot
Dining notes: Famous Dave’s moving to new spot

Council Bluffs’ Famous Dave’s is relocating.

South Omaha will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mexican food fest
South Omaha will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mexican food fest

This year, for the first time, South Omaha will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with an authentic Mexican food festival.

Sawyer Brown known for its 'Nebraska Song'

Sawyer Brown is known for its three No. 1 country hits and 16 studio albums, but here in Nebraska, it's mostly known for one thing.

Why is ketchup so hard to pour?
Why is ketchup so hard to pour?

Why is ketchup so hard to pour? It has to do the fact that it’s a strange kind of fluid that behaves like a solid. Sometimes.

Opera Omaha's 'Cinderella' is a little different, but story is still universal
Opera Omaha's 'Cinderella' is a little different, but story is still universal

Joan Font always knew “Cinderella” was a universal story. He just didn't realize how universal it was.

Live Music Calendar

A roundup of live music events in the Omaha area.

Big weekend ahead for Nebraska Wind Symphony

During a concert Sunday, the Nebraska Wind Symphony will induct two members into its hall of fame, celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Music in Catholic Schools, present a concerto by the winner of its annual memorial scholarship and feature a sixth-grader as a guest conductor.

Theater events listing

A list of opening and upcoming theater events.

Black Lips show staying power
Black Lips show staying power

With seven albums, the band has managed to stick around far longer than its influences.

Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings

Read this!


Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved