2017-07-13 / Around Town

Bikes and Beers Across America


Hank Whitin, far right, and fellow cross-country biker, Joe “Sweets” Sweetland raise a toast to Newport with their first homecoming beer. Mayor Winthrop and Lawson Christopher, who drove the van carrying supplies for the cyclists, far left, were among the well-wishers for the welcome home celebration. (Photo by Lynne Tungett) Hank Whitin, far right, and fellow cross-country biker, Joe “Sweets” Sweetland raise a toast to Newport with their first homecoming beer. Mayor Winthrop and Lawson Christopher, who drove the van carrying supplies for the cyclists, far left, were among the well-wishers for the welcome home celebration. (Photo by Lynne Tungett) On July 6, Hank Whitin, owner of Pour Judgement Bar & Grill, came rolling back into Newport after a 3,600-mile ride across the country to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He and Joe “Sweets” Sweetland were the only two out of a group of seven who made it the whole way from Portland, Oregon to Newport, completing their Bikes And Beers Across America trip and raising more than $13,000. Their goal was to ride from 60 to 100 miles per day, depending on the terrain, and to find a place to get beers at night.

The Newport residents were met with a "welcome home" banner stretching across Broadway outside Pour Judgement, along with dozens of friends and supporters, including Hank’s mom, Lucy Whitin, and Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop.

The thought behind the cross country trek started out the way many great ideas do: during a late night conversation at the bar. Hank realized he didn’t want to be 25 pounds overweight when he turned 50 and "be drunk at his own bar," so he decided to bike across the country, just like he did when he was 23.

Return to top