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Victory lap: Bike ride to winery peddles epiphany

(Note: Pictures can be viewed at    

This week, victory tastes like vino.

Water, wine and cheese were the order the moment my friend Brad and I stepped foot into the Shade Winery, located in Shade, Ohio.

The winery is only 10 minutes from campus (a smidgen longer if traveling by bicycle) and offers a respectable array of wine and very Gouda cheese (I couldn’t help myself).

Neal, the owner/operator, described his wine as “super dank,” which is hard to argue with. I, for one, recommend the Schnuckelputz Lemon Ginger Wine, not only for its hilarious name, but also the unique taste, it is loaded with ginger, quite refreshing after a ride.

Shade Winery is a welcomed reprieve from the Uptown scene and a great place to take your significant other to hang out and listen to relaxing tunes while enjoying locally produced wines.

While I was there, Neal was spinning Van Morrison, Richie Havens and Norah Jones. Their warmth and passion perfectly complemented the fuzzy feeling wine imbibers pursue all too loyally.

However, Shade is not your average winery — at least not in my experience. There were no aristocratic “pinkies up” and no glass monocles.

But I did notice a few people wearing hunting fatigues, and, in some ways, I guess that is kind of our own local version of aristocracy here in beautiful Southeast Ohio.

While coasting along the rolling hills of Appalachia on old U.S. Route 33, we came across some silly signs (see pictures), buku bovine, and countless cars “parked” permanently in most front yards. Actually, we may have seen more broken down cars than those still operable.

For some reason, I picture the area’s adolescents participating in a fair amount of cow tipping and the throwing of rocks at inanimate objects, which, by all means, is how kids should be spending their time.  

Also, we came across dozens of dogs, many reminiscent of Scrappy Doo (Scooby’s nephew), replete with requisite Napoleon syndrome sans his capacity for speech. I thought for sure my feet were going to be dog food, but I peddled too fast for the stumpy-legged bastards this time, ha!

While we were cold chillin’, plenty of friendly folk were hangin’ out. One old timer told us about an easier route home that he apparently uses when attempting to avoid police after having “a few too many.” His helpful hint made the ride home a little easier for us. And after wine tasting and munching like mice, we needed it.

Now, as the second week of Spring Quarter comes to a climax, I simultaneously want to stop time and fast-forward it.

Much like David Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, I walk throughout campus lamenting “five years,” but if I graduate tomorrow, then what? I’m attempting to channel some Zen and realize that I shouldn’t rush through these final weeks of my college experience.

Life is like a bike ride: No matter how hard you peddle or how fast you ride, there are always going to be more hills ahead of you to climb and conquer.

There is no sense in busting your butt speeding to the next obstacle when victory is right in front of you this very moment.

For my sake, let’s hope the weather gets a little warmer before my next victory lap.

But, either way, come hell or high water, I ride!

Brian Bors is a senior studying social work and a columnist for The Post. What back road routes have you taken? Email him at

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