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True Confessions Time.. Ever Ride Blotto?

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True Confessions Time.. Ever Ride Blotto?

Old 01-05-21, 11:21 PM
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rsbob 
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True Confessions Time.. Ever Ride Blotto?

First let me say I do not condone or encourage riding while intoxicated. It’s not just a bad idea but potentially life threatening.

Back in grad school, in my early 20s, two of us completed a three month research project. After tabulating the data at 10:00 PM and on empty stomachs, we decided to celebrate with a beer. What could go wrong? We were having such a good time, that one turned into two, then three, then four. At midnight, we called it a night. She walked home around the block and I had my trusty metallic brown, 35 lb, Schwinn Varsity with lights and fenders. I had a five mile ride ahead of me on deserted streets, which was relatively flat, thank dog.
As soon as I got underway I knew I was in trouble. Trying to keep it in a straight line was impossible. Using all my impaired concentration it was a total struggle. I only leaned into one corner and learned quickly what a bad mistake by almost losing it. Contemplated walking but it was so late already and had early classes, so just pushed on. Then it happened. A gigantic white rat ran into the beam of my generator light which forced me to lock up both wheels almost crashing again. I just missed it and stood there questioning my sanity getting into this whole weird predicament. Then I realized it wasn’t a rat but an albino opossum.

Praying no no cops would be in the area, I wobbled the remaining three miles home.

I didn’t find the episode funny, but an alarming inadvertent study in impairment. After that episode I vowed to never repeat it again and certainly didn’t. I was lucky I didn’t get hurt or worse.
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Old 01-05-21, 11:37 PM
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Ok, I lied.

Ten years later my starter wife and I thought it would be fun to tour wineries by bicycle. We mapped out six wineries over a 20 mile route. Unfortunately the temps that day were in the low 90s and all the tasting rooms were nicely air conditioned. So wanting to stay out of the heat, we lingered tasting at each winery sampling everything they poured. After 15 miles and five wineries, we knew we were done and bee-lined back to the car. It was nothing like the story above, but we felt absolutely exhausted and not that great. We vowed to never one tour by bike again.
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Old 01-05-21, 11:49 PM
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Yup, used to work 2nd shift at a local metal fabricator about 5 miles from my house, in my late teens, back in the early 70’s, biked to work every day it wasn’t raining.
Paid relatively well, as a brake press operator, used to ride to a local bar after work. Wisconsin had changed the legal drinking age to 18, just before my 18th birthday, timing is everything.
Used my first paycheck to buy a brand new, lemon yellow Schwinn Sports Tourer. Anyway pretty much rode blotto home every night after bar closing.
Only got pulled over once by the police, for riding on the sidewalk, no ticket, but was told to walk the bike home.
Once officer drove away, just rode my bike home by a back route.
Wish I still had that old Schwinn.
Tim
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Old 01-06-21, 04:03 AM
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I did so once, as a high schooler. I survived 10-miles or so at night on a relatively quiet highway unscathed, but learned my lesson. Never again.
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Old 01-06-21, 05:06 AM
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I have quit drinking altogether. One episode I recall was biking the 7 or so miles home, part of it on a wide arterial street that was fortunately mostly deserted. The thoughts that went through my head amounted to: "There's the centerline" (so veer away from it back toward the curb) "There's the curb" (veer away from it back toward the centerline), repeat, repeat...
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Old 01-06-21, 05:25 AM
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definitely probably maybe.
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Old 01-06-21, 05:38 AM
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That's a good story. I was a motorcyclist and MSF Instructor before I became a cyclist so I've never considered drinking before riding.
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Old 01-06-21, 07:17 AM
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Not something to be proud of, but quite a lot actually. Had a bad crash once and toned it down after that though. Riding home after a couple beers does still happen occasionally. Good thing is that I do most of my social drinking in the same bar where I'm good friends with the owners/barman, so they let me leave my bike in the bar if I've had one too many.

Speaking of riding drunk: I've had not so much trouble going in straight line when riding noticeably inebriated, as staying up when stopping. When coming to a stop, the impaired vestibular apparatus has trouble to adapt quickly enough to not being on the move anymore, which has caused me to fall over backwards just after stopping and putting my foot down.
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Old 01-06-21, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
After 15 miles and five wineries, we knew we were done and bee-lined back to the car.
Wait, are you saing you felt too drunk to ride bikes so you drove back home?
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Old 01-06-21, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Wait, are you saing you felt too drunk to ride bikes so you drove back home?
If you really think about the odds, its probably safer in the car. a car isnt real hard to operate in the first place.

Not saying its cool or OK just saying if you are making bad choices that one is probably less bad on a individual level. Now the school bus full of nuns you might murder or the guy fixing a pothole on the side of the road odds are worse for them.
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Old 01-06-21, 07:54 AM
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In my teens, we rode while highly intoxicated with some frequency. The most fun was riding in the old cemetery at night while tripping.

That was many decades ago. It wasn't safe and I don't recommend it. But I don't regret it either.
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Old 01-06-21, 08:31 AM
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Blotto... wasn't that the guy Popeye got into fights with all the time?
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Old 01-06-21, 09:12 AM
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A few years ago, I was out drinking in Boston and took the bike share back to my hotel. It was late on a weeknight and the streets were mostly empty. We had a grand time riding down the road and trying to pop wheelies.

I also made the mistake of having a beer or two at the conclusion of a charity ride. I still had 10 miles to ride home. It was all on a greenway trail, but it was a pretty miserable 10 miles.
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Old 01-06-21, 09:24 AM
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I've built up a solid tolerance for beer and alcohol, and I never have a single drop before riding (or using power tools) because I know alcohol affects my dexterity and motor skills pretty quickly. But one time after a major organized century ride a few years ago, I cashed in two of my drink coupons for some well-earned beers, and I then tried to ride my bike just a few hundred yards back to my car, and it reminded me why I choose to not drink before riding.
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Old 01-06-21, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
I've built up a solid tolerance for beer and alcohol, and I never have a single drop before riding (or using power tools) because I know alcohol affects my dexterity and motor skills pretty quickly. But one time after a major organized century ride a few years ago, I cashed in two of my drink coupons for some well-earned beers, and I then tried to ride my bike just a few hundred yards back to my car, and it reminded me why I choose to not drink before riding.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you wrote, but it seems if you have a good tolerance for beer then two beers shouldn't affect your riding that much on a normal day.
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Old 01-06-21, 10:18 AM
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Huh, havent heard 'blotto' before. Interesting.

One of my coed sand volleyball teams played for years in a league that was more social than competitive, which we liked since another night was reserved for a competitive league. Social meant arriving 30-45min early and drinking, drinking between games, and hanging out after the game for 1-3 hours to drink. The courts were just 2mi away so I always rode to games. There were for sure many nights where I rode home far from sober, but there was never an issue. At that time of night it was a quiet 4 lane road for almost the entire ride, so it was easy to just ride along and get home. I did take a MUP to side streets once to try out a different route in case it was safer...it was just as quiet and longer so I didnt do that again.

Dont drink anymore by choice, so my blotto days are now in the past.


My metro is filled with a very well supported paved trail network and a huge draw is group rides to trailside bars. The trailside bars are on all the major trails and do a ton of business. The rare times I use the paved trails, I see some really hammered, sorry- blottoed, cyclists in the evenings and weekends. Cycling as a social activity between bars is a huge draw here.

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Old 01-06-21, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you wrote, but it seems if you have a good tolerance for beer then two beers shouldn't affect your riding that much on a normal day.
You heard right. I have a healthy tolerance "in general", but that tolerance doesn't seem to include balance and dexterity activities. But my singing, dancing, and joke telling definitely get much better

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Old 01-06-21, 11:18 AM
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For sure I've ridden home drunk; isn't this the idea behind having a beater bar bike?
At my previous job we would organize a 'brewery by bike' ride 1-2 times each summer. After work, 5-10 of us would ride our bikes about 10km into town and have 1-2 beers at a brewery. The concentration of breweries in Vancouver is pretty high (and only increasing) so the ride from brewery 1 to 2 to 3 is maybe 1-2km. At each brewery we'd have 1-2 beers then carry on to the next. By the time we hit the 4th (and typically last) brewery we'd either stay until closing and call SAG, or eat a big dinner with 1-2 more beers then ride home. Good times.
Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
If you really think about the odds, its probably safer in the car. a car isnt real hard to operate in the first place.
Not saying its cool or OK just saying if you are making bad choices that one is probably less bad on a individual level. Now the school bus full of nuns you might murder or the guy fixing a pothole on the side of the road odds are worse for them.
Where I live it's illegal to drive intoxicated. If a cop pulled me over riding my bike intoxicated, I'd likely get laughed at and offered a ride the rest of the way home.
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Old 01-06-21, 11:23 AM
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Wow, what a surprising imbalance in replies! I’ve ridden completely hammered so many times, I couldn’t possibly count. On top of that, I can recall having been so blotto a few times that I either couldn’t get to or get onto the bike to even ride. I don’t like thinking of this stuff too much, because I’m certainly not proud of it and would certainly be ashamed if I considered how I looked to others. Ick. But, I’ve also had a whole lotta fun, so that’s how my cookie crumbles.

Because I’m too crusty to have a cathartic experience baring my soul on the internet, I’ll just mention briefly that twice I was rescued from a drunken bike accident by this guy I didn’t know, but who I vaguely recognized the second time, and who, failing in my efforts to find his identity, I came to regard as a guardian angel. It’s pretty wild for me, as I’m not a “person of faith,” but I have to acknowledge that something rather miraculous happened those two nights, even if I accept I fabricated details in my stupor (like being addressed by him by name) and accepting that they both happened in the same general part of East Lansing (and therefore could have coincidentally been the same guy who lived in the area) 25 or so years ago.

Anyway, not a whole lot of lessons regarding drinking and riding have been learned by me, and it wasn’t but a handful of years ago that I crashed twice getting home from a party, once in the driveway at the party (where my tail lamp got knocked off) and once in the street covering the half mile home. Maybe now, at 50, those days are finally behind me, but I still love partying and cycling...
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Old 01-06-21, 12:02 PM
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If a cop pulled me over riding my bike intoxicated, I'd likely get laughed at and offered a ride the rest of the way home.

In Germany and other countries impaired biking is a crime.

When I was in Germany in the 80's, I got smashed and biked home. Some locals stopped me and warned me that it was a criminal offence in their country to ride drunk and said they were calling to report me. I went into a park and decided to wait "until I was sober". Sure enough, the Police arrived and began actively looking for me. I tried sneaking home but ended up hiding under a bridge for about an hour. Finally I stashed my bike and walked home.

Lesson learned that even if I got away I was a menace to myself and asking to get hurt or killed so haven't done it since. Having said that, it's amazing how many people I know think the idea of drunk biking is hilarious. I know a lot of people who would never drive loaded but biking high or drunk, they're absolutely in.
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Old 01-06-21, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
First let me say I do not condone or encourage riding while intoxicated. It’s not just a bad idea but potentially life threatening.

Back in grad school, in my early 20s, two of us completed a three month research project. After tabulating the data at 10:00 PM and on empty stomachs, we decided to celebrate with a beer. What could go wrong? We were having such a good time, that one turned into two, then three, then four. At midnight, we called it a night. She walked home around the block and I had my trusty metallic brown, 35 lb, Schwinn Varsity with lights and fenders. I had a five mile ride ahead of me on deserted streets, which was relatively flat, thank dog.
As soon as I got underway I knew I was in trouble. Trying to keep it in a straight line was impossible. Using all my impaired concentration it was a total struggle. I only leaned into one corner and learned quickly what a bad mistake by almost losing it. Contemplated walking but it was so late already and had early classes, so just pushed on. Then it happened. A gigantic white rat ran into the beam of my generator light which forced me to lock up both wheels almost crashing again. I just missed it and stood there questioning my sanity getting into this whole weird predicament. Then I realized it wasn’t a rat but an albino opossum.

Praying no no cops would be in the area, I wobbled the remaining three miles home.

I didn’t find the episode funny, but an alarming inadvertent study in impairment. After that episode I vowed to never repeat it again and certainly didn’t. I was lucky I didn’t get hurt or worse.
As a grad student, almost certainly on occasion, although I don't recall any specific instances - I used to commute 10 mi each way for most of grad school - if I was going out on the batter, I'd either find some place to crash in town, or leave the bike and get the train home. As an adult, maybe a couple of beers after a charity ride, but generally I'd rather be on my feet than on two wheels if I'm going to enjoy some beer
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Old 01-06-21, 12:44 PM
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Cycling while drunk is, legally, the same as driving a car while
drunk in most of the USA as well. Local police may handle it differently because it’s seen as less dangerous from a public safety perspective, but if they want to hit you hard, the laws are there for them to do it.
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Old 01-06-21, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
For sure I've ridden home drunk; isn't this the idea behind having a beater bar bike?
At my previous job we would organize a 'brewery by bike' ride 1-2 times each summer. After work, 5-10 of us would ride our bikes about 10km into town and have 1-2 beers at a brewery. The concentration of breweries in Vancouver is pretty high (and only increasing) so the ride from brewery 1 to 2 to 3 is maybe 1-2km. At each brewery we'd have 1-2 beers then carry on to the next. By the time we hit the 4th (and typically last) brewery we'd either stay until closing and call SAG, or eat a big dinner with 1-2 more beers then ride home. Good times.

Where I live it's illegal to drive intoxicated. If a cop pulled me over riding my bike intoxicated, I'd likely get laughed at and offered a ride the rest of the way home.
I dont think anyone that is drunk and making bad choices cares about laws.
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Old 01-06-21, 12:57 PM
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Too many times.
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Old 01-06-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
I dont think anyone that is drunk and making bad choices cares about laws.
Maybe? Depends how drunk? Personally I consider riding home drunk (which I have done) much safer than driving drunk (which I have not done).
I'm sure riding your bike while intoxicated here is also illegal, but as others have noted the police may (likely will) handle it differently as it's considered less dangerous to the general public.
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