Beer and breakfast tacos are the lifeblood of great weekends. Add bikes to the equation, and you can enjoy that combination with a smug sense of accomplishment and residual endorphins.
Velo Funk is a new beer-taco-bike collaboration between The Collective Brewing Project and Velogold Bicycles to promote Fort Worth’s burgeoning Near Southside. On Sunday, July 9, the second of three 25-mile group bicycle rides toured through downtown and several other neighborhoods. TCBP co-founder and head brewer Ryan Deyo said that the ride is intended to build community for the Near Southside area. Riders receive two beers, breakfast tacos by Taco Heads, and a handsome steel pint cup, not to mention great conversations and friendly faces — from exercising beer nerds to taco enthusiasts. Not bad for $25.
TCBP stakes its reputation on funky and sour beer styles. Their newest edition on tap is Cup O’ Beer, a gose style brewed with massive amounts of ramen noodles, which garnered recent viral fame and attention from the brewing and beer community.
The Velo part of Velo Funk comes from the bike shop at 207 E. Broadway St. The business is new to the Near Southside but not to the Fort Worth community at large. I saw owner Josh Clark wheelying into the parking lot to begin the ride. He started out doing repairs and building custom frames in the back room of a jewelry shop on South Hulen Street. He also fabricates one-of-a-kind carbon-fiber seats and other bike parts.
For this event, the ride meets in the parking lot of TCBP at 8:30 a.m. Upon arriving, cyclists are greeted by a group of hosts sporting everything from tie-dyed shirts to full spandex racing kits. Usually, there are two rides happening: a mountain-bike ride and a road ride. I attended the morning after a fresh rainstorm, so the groups banded together to attack the still damp streets of Fort Worth with a motley crew of joyous pedalers. The almost-abandoned streets of downtown turned down West 7th into Monticello and then headed toward Rivercrest Country Club. The trek then went over Westover Hills and through the streets of Ridglea, veering toward Colonial Country Club and back toward West Magnolia Avenue en route to TCBP. Though it cut a few times across the trails, most of the ride occurred on quiet streets. Members of Fort Worth’s Manly Bulge Bicycle Club (MBBC) racing team sped ahead to scout and secure intersections. The rolling crew managed to pick up a few Sunday-morning riders along the way, who were enticed by our yells of “Follow us. There’s beer at the end!”
As an avid cyclist, I was surprised. I was expecting a leisurely 10-mile pedal around the Near Southside, but the more challenging pace and distance were a treat. There were definitely riders going slow, and the journey naturally split into a relaxed group and a speedier one. Luckily, every tortoise and hare was awarded beer and tacos anyway.
Funky beers don’t usually spin my wheels, but the Cup O’ Beer was too intriguing not to try, and the gose (an unfiltered, usually sour wheat beer) was a great choice for post-ride taste and hydration. The breakfast tacos were hot and fresh, and they always taste better when you feel none of the guilt about eating everything. My post-taco beer of choice was a longtime personal favorite, End of the Weak, a sweet stout with milk sugar and brewed with heavy chocolate notes. Ask a TCBP tapmaster to add a pour of cold-brew coffee for an “End and Beginning of the Weak” twist.
The next Velo Funk ride is this weekend. Tell your loved ones you’re missing church to exercise. Unless they’re fun. Then reveal the beer and tacos part.
8:30am Sun at The Collective Brewing Project, 112 St. Louis Av, FW. $18-25. 817-708-2914.