Friday, June 5, 2015

Rent a bike, rollerblades, kayak, standup paddle board or other fun gear

Do you ever have guests in town and it's a really nice day but you're not sure where to go or what to do? There are a variety of fun choices at Veterans Park or Bradford Beach.  Why not start there?

We were in Minneapolis a few weeks ago.  I love to check out parks when we're traveling, so we went to Minnehaha Park in the downtown area.  It's such a cool outdoor space, complete with a huge waterfall, playgrounds, hiking trails, historical places, and a concession stand.  Because I had a bunch of little kids to entertain, we decided to rent from Wheel Fun Rentals and chose a multi person bike and a go cart.  I had never been to this park, but figured it couldn't be too hard to follow a course around the park and we could easily do it in an hour.  How wrong can a person be?  We came back worn out 3 hours later because we had taken a wrong turn (trails are not marked for ease by rental bikes) and ended up riding a narrow river trail all the way to Fort Snelling before we figured out how lost we were! We found we had traveled 7 miles with me doing most of the pedaling.  Not that it wasn't an was!  But I don't want to repeat it anytime too soon!  At one point we had to push the bike uphill and my son gave up and laid across the seat while his cousins and I pushed!

Maybe 7 miles is really too far to do on a surrey bike

So why this story?  Well, they have a Wheel Fun Rentals at that park, and we have it here in Milwaukee too.  I bought the season pass which saves me half price on every rental- whether it's a kayak or a bike or whatever!  No matter where you travel this summer, if you find a Wheel Fun Rental, you can use your season pass. If you plan to use any of this equipment, it could save you a bundle over the course of the summer. This is the first year Wheel Fun Rentals has a kiosk at Bradford Beach, which includes watercraft, fun toys, chairs and umbrellas. You can still kayak or pedal a boat at Veterans Park lagoon for a less challenging course.  Even younger kids can balance on the SUP, though you might be sure they know how to paddle before you let them loose.  The wind can take you to the end of the lagoon, and then you need some paddle power to get you back.
Even younger kids have the balance to use a SUP

Try a canoe or pedal boat

SUPs are available

The bikes like I found in Minnehaha park are available at Veterans Park near the kite shop, with Milwaukee Bike and Skate. You'll find go carts, rollerblades, and multi person bikes called surreys.  They also have hybrid mountain bikes and tandems.  You should find something for every person in your party! They have a map of the nearby trails on their website, but if you plan to bike longer than an hour, you might like to pick up a paper copy of the new county parks map.   You'll find them at the golf clubhouses in the parks, or you can get one via mail from the Park People website. You'll also find information about the new Oak Leaf Discovery Tour passport there.

You can take a segway tour, if your budget allows.  This is primarily for teens and adults.  You'll get a lesson, some practice time with an instructor after watching a movie, and a guided tour along the lakefront. My nieces even did this wearing hijab, so I know you can do it too.
Segway tours are really fun for visitors
There's a Bublr bike rack at nearby Discovery World, as well as kiosks around the city.  If you want to do some city sightseeing, that would be a good option.  You pick up a bike and return it to any other kiosk.  Use a credit card to pay.  There's a large basket on the front and a lock, just in case you need a stop where there isn't a kiosk. Download the mobile app for more information on your smartphone while you ride.
Try a bublr bike from a variety of locations

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