Monday, August 24, 2015

Ride a Seven Seat Bike...and other Fun Bike Stuff in Milwaukee

This Saturday I took a food tour via Seven Seat Bike Tour.  This was my second tour on a seven seat bike and it was so much fun.  I took my sister along this time, because fun like this should definitely be shared!  Last year, there was a tour through Lake Park where the owner, Shlomo, talked about the ghastly history of the east side, which I included in my post about The Milwaukee Bucket List.  He still offers that tour, but I have to say the food tour was my favorite so far.

We met in the Third Ward at the corner of Water and Chicago.  There's a parking structure right there so you can put your car away for about $5 while you head out on a bike for 2 1/2 hours. One of the seats is for the guide who will be in charge of steering and braking.  It's actually quite easy to pedal, though because the pedals are in a circle, you may have to watch your toes when you pedal so they don't hit another pedaler. There's a small cage in the center of the bike where you can put a small backpack, phone, camera, or anything you might want to purchase.  I brought my son last year and he was about five feet tall and could reach the pedals, so kids could do this.  On Saturday, we took 2 bikes out on tour to visit 5 restaurants.  I felt a bit like a celebrity as we made our way through the Third Ward because a bike like this does draw attention.

Our first stop was at La Scala inside the Italian Community Center where we got bruschetta, french bread, calamari, and eggplant strips with a dipping sauce...all served on white linen tablecloths.  We had about 20 minutes, so there was time to look through the building at the amazing historic photos of old Milwaukee and use the bathrooms.

From here we made our way to Kasana, and were greeted by Ana Docta, the owner.  I've read a lot about this place because Ana is doing stuff which is unique and wonderful.  She attempted to start a line of healthy vending foods a few years back, but sadly Milwaukee was not ready to give up its love of junk food yet.  Her restaurant is not to be missed though- especially the twist on weekend brunch which includes frittatas, blueberry pancakes,  banana french toast, quesadillas and burritos.  Everything is made from scratch.  You can read more about Kasana and Ana in the Feb 2015 M Milwaukee Lifestyle Magazine.   We had goat cheese tapas here and purchased a fruity sangria to accompany it.  Drinks aren't included in the price of the bike tour.

Sushi was next on the menu at Screaming Tuna.  The cool thing about this place (besides the great sushi) is the view.  You're outdoors on the river so if it's a beautiful day (which it was), you can enjoy Milwaukee riverside. If you've never tasted sushi, I think you'll be surprised that it doesn't really taste fishy.  They do have options which include vegetables rather than seafood too.

We were ready for dessert, so we pedaled into Walker's Point for a couple delectable truffles at Indulgence Chocolatiers. They always have a tray of samples out for shoppers so we were able to try a dark sea salt chocolate.  Some of our group paid extra to try a pairing of chocolate with whiskey.  They also do pairings with local beers, wines, and cheeses.  I didn't think chocolate could be more fun to eat...but they kick it up a notch.

Finally, as though we needed an extra sugar rush, it was a stop at Red Elephant.  Known for chocolate in many forms- cheesecake, truffles, bars, drinks, and even custard.  We all chose a scoop of custard and could eat it inside or out on the sidewalk.  I always think some of the best people watching is outside in the Third Ward, so we went outdoors on the patio.

Sadly, the ride came to a finish.  We were not overstuffed or sweaty.  It was just the right length of time with the right amount of food.  This is a great way to see the town.

There are a couple other unusual events coming up related to biking in Milwaukee.

Connect 53212 is a Bike Fashion Show which will show you that bikers can be cool and cool looking.  This is being held at Dream Bikes on Martin Luther King on Saturday, August 29 at 7 PM.  Suggested donation is $5.  If you bike, there will be a bike valet.  The organization hosting this Connect 53212 promotes biking, busing, and transit use.

Ciclovia MKE is a bike event to promote biking in our community.  The Bike Czar does a much better job of explaining the event, so I'll provide the bike czar link.  Meet Saturday, August 29 from 11-3 at Cesar Chavez and Washington St. It will be a car free public space.

You can find other bike events at the Milwaukee Bicycle Community.  And here's a fun link for more amusing bike stuff- cute fashionable bike wear and a blog called Bike Pretty.
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