I don't drink alcoholic beverages, as a rule. There are a few reasons for this, most of them related to training or personal choices.

Firstly, alcohol decreases my ability to perform well on the bicycle. It is a diuretic, and therefore, an enemy in the constant war against dehydration. In looking through my ride logs, I find that my most miserable rides are all during the mornings after I had a few drinks. It disrupts an already delicate metabolism, and in my case, does more harm than good.

Secondly, most of my peers tend to consume alcohol during the evening hours, when I am about ready to go to sleep. At about 10pm, I'm not ready to "party" in an overcrowded, sweltering, loud, malodorous bar or club with a bunch of strangers, or even friends; I'm ready to go to sleep. I am a morning person. My idea of a "good time" is not passing out at 5am, due to alcohol poisoning; I prefer to wake at 5am, with the sun, ready for the morning's exercise. Sleep is my performance enhancing drug of choice.

I don't see alcohol as a prerequisite to enjoying or expressing myself; I simply do so in my own way, as anyone who knows me can attest.

I don't have anything against people who decide to partake in a few rounds of friendly drinks, so long as they do so quietly and/or somewhere far away from where I'm trying to sleep. I will even accompany friends on their excursions to bars on occasion, though I usually disappear when I'm starting to fall asleep.

On my last Bike and Build trip, the individuals who wanted to partake in alcoholic drinks did so, in a civilized fashion, away from anyone who might be disrupted by their activities. They realized that, no matter what, there was another day of riding ahead of them.

So, to potential Bike and Build riders and hosts: I'm not touching alcohol this summer. There are plenty of better things to do on the road. You're welcome to join me.