Thursday, August 7, 2014

More Bike Fun for Milwaukee

Dairyland Classic Race
Bicycling seems to be everywhere we go this summer.  We hosted some cyclists for the Dairyland Classic and that was lots of fun.  We had 4 cyclists staying with us over the course of the week.  We got to know them and learned a lot about cycling for awards.  We watched them race, and watched them nurse injuries from falls.  They became like family to us.  I'd recommend opening your home to local racers if you have the space.  There are often opportunities for cycling, or at least watching cycling, that you might not know about.

The best place to go for bike information in Milwaukee is your local bike store, or the website for the Wisconsin Bike Federation.  You can get maps, find out about local races, take classes, and get more involved in your community.  The Bike Fed is hosting their first ever fundraising ride, and it's going to be a doozy!  Called the Polish Moon Ride, the emphasis will be on FUN!  It's all happening August 22 at 8 PM.  You can learn more about it at their link, but generally it's a fun ride at night with a theme relative to the community's history where it's being held.  Local businesses will be offering food starting at 6.  Expect plenty of beverage choices and live polka music as well.  The route is 11 miles and it will cost you $35 per person if you aren't a bike fed member.  But why not join the bike fed and save a few bucks?

Nearly every bike store in Milwaukee offers some type of biking, either through a club or just weekly rides from the bike store.  You can check the one nearest you for flyers about organized rides.  Cream City Cycle Club is just one of them.  Most of them cater to all levels of riders.  It is a good way to meet like minded people and to see more of Milwaukee while getting some exercise.  Another side benefit is that if something happens to your bike enroute, you have help nearby.  Southshore Cyclery offers Wednesday night rides from their store. They have often gone through the parks on their rides, or done a bit of the Oak Leaf Discovery Tour so if you have a passport, you can get it stamped.  The end of year party for the passport tour is Sunday, October 12 at Estabrook Park from 1-4 for anyone who participated in the passport program.  This is an event where you can win great prizes- even bikes!

Did you know Milwaukee has bike polo?  You can go to Washington Park on weekends to see them play. They have a website, but the best way to keep up with them is probably to follow their Facebook page.  They had 3 courts built on old tennis courts, but one of them was just torn down, so I'm hoping that will be a temporary situation.  Here's a photo from last fall when I went to watch them play.  It's a fast action sport requiring skill riding one handed.  If you go, check out the link to Washington Park that has a map showing the location.  It's a big park.
Bike polo at Washington Park
Washington Park will also be one of the host locations for cyclocross this fall.  Have you tried cyclocross or watched it?  An action packed sport on a bike, you cycle across fields, grass, etc. while avoiding obstacles.  Events are held all over the state, but we usually get a few here in Milwaukee parks during the fall.  This can be really fun to watch.  You can follow cyclocross action at the Wisconsin Cycling website or follow the WCA Cyclocross Facebook page for more up to date activity.

Have you ever wanted to learn to unicycle?  Students from MSOE are still doing drop in sessions at Red Arrow Park this summer.  Stop in on Tuesdays from 5-7.  They provide the unicycles and the lessons.  You can earn a sticker if you're successful.  The best way to get more information about the unicycle club is at the MSOE Unicycle Club Facebook page.
Unicycle at Red Arrow Park
A new Bublr bike (photo from 88NINE Facebook page)
Maybe you remember there was a trial rack of rental bikes at Discovery World since last year?  Now there are some at Red Arrow Park as well.  They are part of Bublr Bikes, Bike Share in Milwaukee. The program just became official and will be at 10 locations throughout the city during the next few months.  You can read more about Bublr bike share system as it is unveiled.  This will be a great way to get around the city for tourists or for those who want to leave the car at home, take the bus downtown, and ride around.  They aren't meant to be used for all day use, but rather you pick up a bike to get you to another downtown location.  You do your business, then pick up another bike when you're ready to go.   Eventually the plan is to supply 300 bikes at 35 stations!  Now we have no excuses for not getting out to bike.  Spread the word!

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