(Pictures can be viewed at ouvictorylap.tumblr.com.)
I was pedal-pooped after this ride, my furthest by a long-shot. I followed state Route 550 all the way to the Marietta Brewing Company, but the route might as well brandish the mark of the beast: Route 666.
Once I hit the infamous Sharpsburg hill, it was all downhill from there, er, uphill, well, actually, up and down numerous hills. Damn it, you know what I'm trying to say. It was a tough ride.
While riding to Marietta, I came across two establishments definitely worth mentioning.
When I stopped at the BP station in Sharpsburg to clarify my directions, I was not expecting to find that it doubles as both the porn hub and head shop for the area. It must be the only BP of its kind in Southeast Ohio. Go see for yourself if you don't believe me.
After my stop at the BP, it was all a blur of pickup trucks and cemeteries for a while until I was pleasantly surprised about 10 miles outside Marietta. Bombed out and depleted, I haggardly pulled off at a small building that was literary, I mean, literally overflowing with books.
All I could see in the way of a sign was black, all-caps “BOOKS” painted vertically on the side of the shop. I perused the aisles heaped with books and selected works by Somerset Maugham and John Fowles — authors, whom, in my humble opinion, wrote two of the finest “coming of age” novels ever: The Razor’s Edge and The Magus, respectively. Both are ideal reads for victory lappers precariously perched at the edge of their futures, unsure what they ultimately want to do with their lives, if anything at all, just like Larry Darrell (may he find peace).
I eventually made it to the Marietta Brewing Company, where I conducted my, ahem, research. The Marietta Brewing Company is a great place to grab a sammy and a beer, no doubt. However, my server seemed quite perturbed by my presence, probably because of my pedaling-peasant appearance. An undeniable fact upon the face of it: I looked like hell in my greased-out-garb and my face strewn with remnants of various winged insects — flies, gnats, bees and butterflies.
But redemption was in their beer. In fact, they had Paw Paw Wheat, which I thought to be extinct since Casa Nueva stopped serving it almost a year ago. Thank God for that beer; even an atheist queries his convictions after tasting the ambrosia intertwined within that noble nectar.
Coincidentally, I was sitting next to two Ohio University physics professors — or Dr. Unk and Dr. Ink, if you’ll humor me. And, yes, they both had thick accents from one of those Eastern European countries. I noticed they were having a serious love connection with their bier, so I interrupted their bantering about particle accelerators, or whatever genius people discuss, and asked their thoughts on the brewery.
Dr. Unk replied, “It’s a special place,” and other stuff I didn’t really catch. Then they went back to their discourse on paradigm shattering theorems, similar to the variety heard uptown every weekend between philosophy majors and anyone attractive who will listen.
To close out the night, I went to the historic Lafayette Hotel and watched a few comedians. I had a great time. It was quite liberating to be a stranger in a strange city.
A very special thanks to Mary Miracle for putting me up for the night, thus saving me from the wet and wild wilderness for one more victory lap. Your name says it all.
I’m still ridin’ solo dolo, so if anyone wants to ride, email me.
Brian Bors is a senior studying social work and a columnist for The Post. If you want to ride with Brian, email him at email@example.com.