Life. Lemons. Lemonade.

It’s a cliché, I know. But it only came to be one because it’s got some grain of truth in it. I’ve always tried to be the tough-it-up and carry on type; things may happen that bum you out, or drag you down, but if you can’t change it than you can’t dwell on it. I may not always follow this tried-and-true policy, but I do my damnedest.

On Wednesday life handed me a big ‘ole bowl of lemons in the form of a quickly opened car door on a busy Brooklyn avenue. I was cycling with a friend to the beach when someone blindly opened their passenger-side door into my lane. I hit the door, flew over it, and slammed into a parked minivan. I’m thanking my lucky stars that my injuries are limited to minor scrapes and bruising, and that I was wearing my trusted helmet. Had I not been, I’m not sure that I’d be typing this story right now.

The door-opener was downright nasty about the whole situation; refusing to apologize and claiming that I was at fault for not watching her closely enough. I probably should have called the police, or taken down her information, but I wasn’t really thinking straight when I stood up and stumbled off to get rubbing alcohol and bandages at the nearest Bodega. If something like this happens to me again (fingers crossed it won’t) I’ll know to stick around long enough to at least get reimbursement for the repairs I had to do on my bike.

The reason I wanted to share this with you isn’t because I want anyone’s pity or apologies. It’s because I want to take this bowl of lemons and turn it into awareness lemonade. If you drive a car, look out for cyclists, always. I’ve been in accidents that were caused by drivers, pedestrians, other cyclists, myself, and no one at all. It can happen anytime, anywhere, and the only way to lessen your chances of being involved is to stay alert. Check your side view mirrors before you open your door, it isn’t difficult to do. As for bikers, wear a helmet and take extra care crossing against lights (’cause I know we all do it) and stop signs. Take care, everyone. And, if you live in New York and you want to do something to help raise awareness and safety, consider donating to the Safe Streets Fund. They’re an awesome group of people trying their hardest to make New York City streets better for all of us, bikers or not.

So how does all of this tie into these beautiful cocktail photos? Well, when I arrived home after my accident the only thing I really wanted was a drink So, after I thoroughly cleaned and bandaged my road rash (don’t worry, Dad) I mixed up some Micheladas and Bourbon Sweet Teas to take my mind off my sore muscles and beat the 90° heat. I hope you enjoy imbibing these beauties as much as I did, but not for the same reasons.

12 oz light beer (my choice is always Budweiser but Corona is more traditional)
1 teaspoon hot sauce of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Pinch of chili powder
Lime wedge

Combine salt and chili powder in a small bowl or dish. Rub lime wedge around rim of glass and dip glass into salt mixture to rim. Fill glass with ice and add hot sauce. Slowly pour beer over ice, stirring gently to incorporate hot sauce. Garnish with lime wedge.

Bourbon Sweet Tea
8oz hot black tea, brewed at double-strength
3 teaspoons sugar
A handful of fresh mint leaves
2 oz bourbon
3-5 lemon slices

Add sugar and mint leaves to tea and stir to dissolve sugar. Let tea cool to room temperature. Fill a large glass with ice and lemon slices. Add bourbon to tea and pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and a sprig of mint.