It was about halfway up High Drive, when the knot in my left calf muscle tightened beyond what I could bear, that I realized this might have been a bad idea. Each downward pedal stroke yanked the knot tighter, spreading dull and agonizing pain through the back of my leg. I wasn't even halfway to the first bar.
For this year's Drink Local issue, I was assigned to do a bicycle bar crawl on the South Hill. Then, like any good journalist would, I was to ride the route, and report back. It should be accessible. Popular bars. Nice beer selections. No problem, I thought.
In hindsight, six bars was a little ambitious. I rode a total of 15 miles (starting from the Inlander office in Kendall Yards) and stopped at five bars over a span of about six hours. The route descends from 57th Avenue to 10th Avenue and (mostly) avoids busy roads.
We begin the tour at a staple South Hill haunt: Morty's. By the end, the knot, along with some of my vigilance, had disappeared.
Morty's Tap & Grille
5517 S. Regal, mortystapandgrille.com
Open every day, 7 am-2 am
What I drank: Moose Drool
Known for: Morty the Moose, whose head is displayed at the far end of the bar. The Wild Weasel, Morty's friend and former pub namesake, stands atop his head; breakfast served until 1 pm.
Bike rack? Yes; west side of the building near the dumpsters.
Waddell's Neighborhood Pub and Grille
4318 S. Regal, waddellspubandgrill.com
Open Sun-Thu, 11 am-11 pm; Fri-Sat, 11 am-midnight
What I drank: The Hoppy Sour, a collaboration between Waddell's and Paradise Creek Brewery.
Known for: The bar is named after the Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell, an eccentric lefty with a nasty curveball and a smokin' fastball. Waddell is rumored to have wrestled an alligator one year during spring training; 50 taps constantly on rotation.
Bike rack? Yes; out front, across the parking lot.
Remedy Kitchen and Tavern
3809 S. Grand Blvd., Facebook: Remedy Kitchen and Tavern
Open Mon-Thu, 11 am-midnight; Fri, 11 am-2 am; Sat, 8 am-2 am; Sun, 8 am-midnight
What I drank: The always-refreshing Cascade Pilsner from Full Sail Brewery.
Known for: Billed as the "cure for the common South Hill dining experience," Remedy has a commendable beer selection (22 taps) and "crafty" cocktails mixed with fresh juices and "no shortcuts," says bartender Jamie Young.
Bike rack? No.
Manito Tap House
3011 S. Grand Blvd., manitotaphouse.com
Open Sun-Thu, 11 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat, 11 am-midnight
What I drank: Scrimshaw Pilsner
Known for: Named "the best bar in Washington state" by CraftBeer.com; 50 rotating taps
Bike rack: Yes; right out front, with plenty of room.
South Perry Pizza
1011 S. Perry, southperrypizzaspokane.com
Open Tue-Thu, Sun, 11:30 am-9 pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30 am-10 pm
What I drank: Kölsch from Perry Street Brewing Co. (right next door!)
Known for: Artisan pizzas; $2 bottled beer on Wednesdays.
Bike rack? Yes. ♦