Old 09-05-06, 01:28 PM
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Labor Day weekend Milwaukee lakefront ride with pix

We stayed in town for Labor Day weekend. Saturday morning my wife headed out to lunch and shop with a friend. I grabbed my digital camera, loaded up the Klein and drove down to Milwaukee's lakefront on a gorgeous day for a ride.

Living on the west end of Milwaukee County, I rarely ride along the shores of Lake Michigan on the east side of Milwaukee. Today the trip was well worth it. Let me share some pictures and ride notes with you from this delightful little 38-mile route that put me back in touch with why my Milwaukee is so special...

The starting point--The Milwaukee Art Museum on Lake Michigan

I parked the truck just beyond here and then strapped on my helmet and shoes, leaving behind a small cooler with some Gatorade inside for when I would get back much later.

This is the first of a couple of beaches you ride past while on a MUP with Lake Michigan at your right side.

After a short stretch on this MUP, which is filled with roller bladers, walkers, joggers all putting on a very positive vibe outside on a sunny Saturday, there is big climb from Lincoln Memorial Dr. to our Lake Dr. and once on Lake Drive, this little park provides a great view.

Lake Dr. on the east side is a very popular stretch for pretty serious cyclists to ride. Many times you can see teams training here in groups of six or seven. I took a detour first, just wanting to explore some of the beautiful little streets near the lake, streets lined with large, mature trees and spectacular multi-million dollar homes I am sure. Like this one....which faces Lake Michigan on one side. I was lusting big-time!

Now it was time to get back on Lake Dr. and hope that maybe I'd pick me up a couple of riders!
I did!
Two guys passed me while going up a hill, one of them on a sweet Cervelo too. They were up about a block or more on me (I can't climb worth crap) when we hit the flats again. I decided to give chase. This was the hard work portion of today's ride. I was doing 21's to 22 mph and gaining. I caught them finally and let up a bit. They were riding a pretty steady 21 drafting each other. I thought I did quite well chasing them down into some wind all on my own.

Now I had to decide...pass them or say something back there about sucking their wheel? I decided to pass, punching it back up to 22 to go around them. As I got next to the front guy I said, "Hey, I'll pull for you guys for a while if you'd like." As I took the point I heard someone say, "Sure. Where you headin'?"
I shrugged my shoulders, indicating I wasn't 'heading' anywhere. I just wanted to ride hard for a stretch with someone else. Those two followed in tow for a couple miles before the road broke two ways. They went one, I went the other, and as I did I heard a friendly shout out, "Thanks!"

Now it was time to go back to the lakefront. Along the way, this is Villa Terrace. Very Euro looking don't you think? That view looks right out onto the lake. A wedding was setting up there today as I passed.

Then this is the MUP heading back toward downtown Milwaukee...

Next up, Alterra Coffee, where all the real poseurs stop!

I took a detour to get a closer look at one of the marinas on the way back in.

A quick stop at the kite shop, where I know the owner, and where it was tough not to buy a freshly-grilled bratwurst there on site!

And there's the art museum again from the waterfront path, telling me I'm just about back to the truck to sip some Gatorade and drive home.

Sure I had to drive ten miles to park there (There is no good way to get down there from where I live) but it sure was worth it.

Taking a new route that is really more of an exploration than anything else can really be refreshing and fun. Hope you enjoyed the tour of my Great City by a Great Lake!
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