PMTNR is an acronym for Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride, and it’s where you will want to be if you find yourself in Charlotte, NC on a Tuesday night.

I know what you’re thinking, “How is a Tuesday night ride going to replace carbon fiber?” Well, it won’t. At least not literally. What I’m talking about is the future of cycling. I’m talking about people not buying into the hype that you need a spandex “kit”, clipless pedals and shoes, and full carbon fiber rig to have a good time on a bike.

In my article on “What you really need to start riding” we touched on the basics, but there seems to be a real renaissance in the cycling community. We’re reverting to using bikes as a tool instead of a sport. We are doing less training and more enjoying good company, food, and beverage. We are meshing our cycling in with our everyday lives and, personally, I’m loving it.

Last night, the PMTNR ride led us through downtown Charlotte to a micro-brewery called Sugar Creek Brewing. Pulling into the parking lot was nothing less than impressive. The first thing that hits you is the giant mural of old-school boxers going at it, and enough picnic tables to host a small wedding. It had great lighting and even had some cornhole boards underneath the heap of bikes that piled in. The inside was clean and modern with great woodwork and a touch of a nautical theme. If that’s not enough to convince you to give it a try, they also have great beer. I liked the fact I didn’t have to comb through a menu to get the beer I wanted. It was simple, and delicious.

From there, they led us back to where we started. Where people went to their favorite local eating spot, or just got another beer and hung out on the patio there.

If you haven’t yet, I suggest you visit the local thrift store, go yard-saleing, or comb through the Craigslist to get you an old bike with a steel frame and places to add a rack and/or fenders and seek out rides like PMTNR. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

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