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‘Spoke and Hope Fest’ to showcase craft bikes and beer

Andy Thompson

September 9, 2014 3:15pm

There’s a lot going on in the fall for RVA outdoors lovers, and tomorrow we’ll be unveiling a new weekly feature: a preview of the coming weekend in outdoor recreation. But I wanted to highlight an upcoming event today because it marries two of my favorite things — bikes and beer. This Saturday (Sept. 13), from noon to 9 p.m., Hardywood will host the first annual Spoke and Hop Fest.

Handmade bicycles, like this one by Stijl, will be featured at the first Spoke and Hop Fest this Saturday. Credit: Stijl Cycles

Handmade bicycles, like this one by Stijl, will be featured at the first Spoke and Hop Fest this Saturday. Credit: Stijl Cycles

“The overarching idea of this event is craft bikes and craft beer,” said Hinmaton Hisler, the event’s creator and a local handmade bike builder. “Cyclists and beer drinkers tend to many times be the same person.”

Hisler, owner of Stijl Cycles, said he originally imagined the event as a way to capitalize on the 2015 UCI World Cycling Championships that’ll be here in Richmond a year from now.

“The cycling community…needs to get ready for it and figure out how to embrace it and how to capitalize on it,” he remembers thinking around this time last year. “It all of a sudden dawned on me that I am that person. I think what I’m going to do is have a handmade bike show.

“It makes sense to figure out the kinks,” he added, “and then have the second annual event (be before the bike races) next year.”

The handmade bike show idea soon morphed into bikes and beer, and earlier this year Hardywood came on board as the host location. With their involvement in the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, Hisler said, they were able to attract 25 different Virginia craft brewers.

“It will be the first of its kind in Richmond…having so many different breweries at one event,” Hisler said.

This is a common scene at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Credit: Hardywood

This is a common scene at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Credit: Hardywood

Each brewer will pour two different beers, and some will bring something different, “something from the archive,” as Hisler described it, as well. There will be food trucks, live bands, seven different handmade bike builders — locals Stijl, CED, EndPoint, Bing and out-of-staters Sarif, Bilenky and Vicious — and a number of different local bike advocacy groups.

$35 in advance and $40 at the door will get festival goers a sample glass and as much beer as they can drink. The proceeds will be split between the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and the Richmond Regional Ride Center.

Next year, Hisler said, they hope the Spoke and Hop Fest, then over two days at an even larger location, will take place on the Saturday before the world championship races begin.

“We want to provide an opportunity for people from out of town, out of country to sample what the city has to offer,” Hisler said.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?