The Chainlink

Alright folks, here it is


Alright, the long-awaited Chicago-Milwaukee ride that all the kids are abuzz about is here. Milwaukee 1.0 back in April was a smashing success this will likely be the last Milwaukee ride I host before I move back out to Boston so let's make it snappy, eh?

There will be two categories:

racers and rollers (everyone else.)

First, the rollers. this is a social and fun ride so no one should be daunted by the 80 mile distance. If you can ride 25 continuous miles, you can definitely ride up to Milwaukee with us. The route largely follows amtrak/ metra routes so if you get ill or something there's plenty of bail points, which we will map out for you. Basically, if you're a first time to milwaukee (or first time distance rider) all you have to do is show up at the start with a functioning bike and we'll do the rest, I'll post route maps, bail points and suggested rest stops in this link. Invite your friends, the more the merrier!

We will leave Chicago at 7 AM. That means we will meet at our mass start (the starbucks at 5300 n clark) at 630. We will end the ride at Palomino's pub in Milwaukee for beers and fried pickles/lunch (veggie-friendly) Also, I will call ahead and reserve us some spots at the sprecher brewery tour for those who are interested. Hopefully, some of our milwaukee brothers and sisters will amtrak down from milwaukee friday night, crash in chicago and ride up with us saturday. Also, hopefully others will meet up with us IN milwaukee for bike-related hijinx.

RETURN TRIP: If you're really intrepid bike back. failing that amtrak service to chicago is like 20 bucks (plus a fee for a bike box, which they provide)

racers: New for milwaukee 2.0 is the racer category. If you like to roll light and fast let's have a friendly competition. Everyone who wants to race will chip in a predetermined amount into a pot, pot is won by first person to palominos (I think we should all follow the same route to keep things sporting but would be amenable to a "whoever gets there first by whatever route they want" style as well.

My summer is almost totally booked up, so I propose July 18th.


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I feel sooooo lame I did not make it out. My spidey senses were telling me to stay back. Dammit!

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
I agree with Josh. If Juan can keep up with strong geared riders on a heavy fixie cruiser, he's gonna haul ass on a light geared bike.

Have fun everyone. I'll be stuck in a car all day tomorrow.

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
I got $5 on dominguez- have fun guys, wish I could roll.

Chris said:
which one? they are all gorgeous! make sure to introduce me, he said, smoothing back his hair. okay dude. me, casey and juan are raCING UP. hopefully be in before lunchtime? Smash said:
Trying to answer a few questions about Milwaukee for y'all...

Yes, Milwaukee is definitely safe. Well, the areas we will be in anyway. Rough areas tend to be highly concentrated in Milwaukee, and we won't have any reason to go near any of those.

As for hotels, I was told once that you can get great deals on downtown hotels by using Priceline and bidding on 3.5 star hotels. Usually you can go as low as $40. The key is 3.5 stars; there's a recently renovated hotel that's considered 4 stars (The Ambassador) but it's pretty far out of the way and the surrounding area is not very nice.

There's also The Plaza Hotel which is about two blocks from my apartment downtown; from what I understand it's pretty decent price-wise. If anyone stays there I could stow your bikes in my apartment so you don't have to worry about leaving them out or sneaking them into your room. :) I would offer to house people in my place but I don't have a lot of space for people AND bikes.

That being said, it's festival season in Milwaukee (Festa Italiana this weekend!) so downtown hotels may be booked anyway.

I took people on a mini-tour of the city last time before the last train home, and I can do that again if anyone is interested. It would probably add about 5-10 miles onto your mileage for the day. Obviously we can play it by ear.

Looking forward to the ride and to Palomino - Chris, I actually ended up randomly riding bikes one night with that gorgeous waitress that works there. She can really haul!
WHAT!? You're fired Juan!

Juan Dominguez said:
I feel sooooo lame I did not make it out. My spidey senses were telling me to stay back. Dammit! Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
I agree with Josh. If Juan can keep up with strong geared riders on a heavy fixie cruiser, he's gonna haul ass on a light geared bike.

Have fun everyone. I'll be stuck in a car all day tomorrow.

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
I got $5 on dominguez- have fun guys, wish I could roll.

Chris said:
which one? they are all gorgeous! make sure to introduce me, he said, smoothing back his hair. okay dude. me, casey and juan are raCING UP. hopefully be in before lunchtime? Smash said:
Trying to answer a few questions about Milwaukee for y'all...

Yes, Milwaukee is definitely safe. Well, the areas we will be in anyway. Rough areas tend to be highly concentrated in Milwaukee, and we won't have any reason to go near any of those.

As for hotels, I was told once that you can get great deals on downtown hotels by using Priceline and bidding on 3.5 star hotels. Usually you can go as low as $40. The key is 3.5 stars; there's a recently renovated hotel that's considered 4 stars (The Ambassador) but it's pretty far out of the way and the surrounding area is not very nice.

There's also The Plaza Hotel which is about two blocks from my apartment downtown; from what I understand it's pretty decent price-wise. If anyone stays there I could stow your bikes in my apartment so you don't have to worry about leaving them out or sneaking them into your room. :) I would offer to house people in my place but I don't have a lot of space for people AND bikes.

That being said, it's festival season in Milwaukee (Festa Italiana this weekend!) so downtown hotels may be booked anyway.

I took people on a mini-tour of the city last time before the last train home, and I can do that again if anyone is interested. It would probably add about 5-10 miles onto your mileage for the day. Obviously we can play it by ear.

Looking forward to the ride and to Palomino - Chris, I actually ended up randomly riding bikes one night with that gorgeous waitress that works there. She can really haul!
Heh actually, your spidey senses may have been dead on. The riders made it okay, but this ride suffered NUMEROUS technical difficulties from what I hear. Lots of flat tires, a broken chain and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting about. But they did eventually make it to the Palomino and a good time was had by all.

I'll leave it to the actual riders to provide any details, as I don't want to imply that I was part of the ride itself: all I had to do was ride a few miles from my apartment to the Palomino and enjoy the sweet, sweet fried pickles as the Chicagoans filtered in. :) PS - the sweet potato casserole that Palomino has as a side dish is amazing.

Juan Dominguez said:
I feel sooooo lame I did not make it out. My spidey senses were telling me to stay back. Dammit!
You still planning to go next month?

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
WHAT!? You're fired Juan!

Juan Dominguez said:
I feel sooooo lame I did not make it out. My spidey senses were telling me to stay back. Dammit! Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
I agree with Josh. If Juan can keep up with strong geared riders on a heavy fixie cruiser, he's gonna haul ass on a light geared bike.

Have fun everyone. I'll be stuck in a car all day tomorrow.

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
I got $5 on dominguez- have fun guys, wish I could roll.

Chris said:
which one? they are all gorgeous! make sure to introduce me, he said, smoothing back his hair. okay dude. me, casey and juan are raCING UP. hopefully be in before lunchtime? Smash said:
Trying to answer a few questions about Milwaukee for y'all...

Yes, Milwaukee is definitely safe. Well, the areas we will be in anyway. Rough areas tend to be highly concentrated in Milwaukee, and we won't have any reason to go near any of those.

As for hotels, I was told once that you can get great deals on downtown hotels by using Priceline and bidding on 3.5 star hotels. Usually you can go as low as $40. The key is 3.5 stars; there's a recently renovated hotel that's considered 4 stars (The Ambassador) but it's pretty far out of the way and the surrounding area is not very nice.

There's also The Plaza Hotel which is about two blocks from my apartment downtown; from what I understand it's pretty decent price-wise. If anyone stays there I could stow your bikes in my apartment so you don't have to worry about leaving them out or sneaking them into your room. :) I would offer to house people in my place but I don't have a lot of space for people AND bikes.

That being said, it's festival season in Milwaukee (Festa Italiana this weekend!) so downtown hotels may be booked anyway.

I took people on a mini-tour of the city last time before the last train home, and I can do that again if anyone is interested. It would probably add about 5-10 miles onto your mileage for the day. Obviously we can play it by ear.

Looking forward to the ride and to Palomino - Chris, I actually ended up randomly riding bikes one night with that gorgeous waitress that works there. She can really haul!
thanks for the update Smash. I guess i could've handled a flat or two.

Smash said:
Heh actually, your spidey senses may have been dead on. The riders made it okay, but this ride suffered NUMEROUS technical difficulties from what I hear. Lots of flat tires, a broken chain and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting about. But they did eventually make it to the Palomino and a good time was had by all.

I'll leave it to the actual riders to provide any details, as I don't want to imply that I was part of the ride itself: all I had to do was ride a few miles from my apartment to the Palomino and enjoy the sweet, sweet fried pickles as the Chicagoans filtered in. :) PS - the sweet potato casserole that Palomino has as a side dish is amazing.

Juan Dominguez said:
I feel sooooo lame I did not make it out. My spidey senses were telling me to stay back. Dammit!
This was a fantastic ride, and I'd have to think the next one will be even better as this one was definitely cursed: Among other things, one rider got ten (!) flats, another's front derailer threw his chain in traffic a couple of times, and the awesome tandem had to cut out early with chain and wheel issues. For all that it was still a blast; I think the highlight for me, aside from the great veggie food at Palomino that was as delicious as food can only be after you've rolled 100 miles, had to be this miserable stretch between Kenosha and Sturtevant where we had a nasty headwind picking up steam over miles of beautiful open corn fields and I was totally out of gas, pumping up little rolling hills at 11 mph cursing God and wondering why I was dumb enough to ride a bike. A quick pit stop made everything better, though, and from there to the end was fine.

Anyone who's thinking of going on one of these rides should definitely do it. Traffic was fine, as on Sheridan Rd. people are used to bicyclists, from there to Wisconsin was mostly on trails, and in Wisconsin the drivers were absurdly cautious, almost invariably going into the opposite lane to pass. Getting back was fine and cost less than ten bucks for a bus-to-Metra connection all the way downtown. Anyone in semi-reasonable shape should be able to manage the ride just fine, as among others guy with ten flats, a guy with a flat bar who broke his chain, two guys wearing sandals with flat pedals, a guy who showed up late and ended up rolling all the way up solo were all fine and the pace was pretty light. And the company was great, with special thanks to Smash for shepherding the crew around Milwaukee and even standing us a round of delicious beers!
Agreed, it was a great ride. And now, what you've all been waiting for, I put together a kml (view it in Google Earth) of the route we took and some suggested alternate routes for next time.

Also, to clarify, the bus to Kenosha will accept as many bikes as the cargo bins will hold, which is more than the three that I was told (dumbass dispatcher) but less than twelve.
Attachments:
Sorry I didn't make it! I had some things I needed to finish which pushed back my Milwaukee ride for a bit. Will likely do it in the next few weeks.

envane x said:
Agreed, it was a great ride. And now, what you've all been waiting for, I put together a kml (view it in Google Earth) of the route we took and some suggested alternate routes for next time.

Also, to clarify, the bus to Kenosha will accept as many bikes as the cargo bins will hold, which is more than the three that I was told (dumbass dispatcher) but less than twelve.
I was the one with the broken chain, and so I want to say it was no big thing: I've had more broken chains on my machine than flats, and this is probably more a reflection on my riding style than anything else, such as any alleged karma of the ride. I've got lots of practice repairing the chain. The flats seemed to be a result of the highly tuned nature of the others bikes.
I had more problems with my cheap-o Bike Nashbar pannier (Bike Nashbar may very well make high quality products, but this bag isn't one of them) than I did with anything else.


Smash said:
Heh actually, your spidey senses may have been dead on. The riders made it okay, but this ride suffered NUMEROUS technical difficulties from what I hear. Lots of flat tires, a broken chain and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting about. But they did eventually make it to the Palomino and a good time was had by all.

I'll leave it to the actual riders to provide any details, as I don't want to imply that I was part of the ride itself: all I had to do was ride a few miles from my apartment to the Palomino and enjoy the sweet, sweet fried pickles as the Chicagoans filtered in. :) PS - the sweet potato casserole that Palomino has as a side dish is amazing.

Juan Dominguez said:
I feel sooooo lame I did not make it out. My spidey senses were telling me to stay back. Dammit!
highly tuned nature of the other bikes?

Rick lightburn said:
I was the one with the broken chain, and so I want to say it was no big thing: I've had more broken chains on my machine than flats, and this is probably more a reflection on my riding style than anything else, such as any alleged karma of the ride. I've got lots of practice repairing the chain. The flats seemed to be a result of the highly tuned nature of the others bikes.
I had more problems with my cheap-o Bike Nashbar pannier (Bike Nashbar may very well make high quality products, but this bag isn't one of them) than I did with anything else.


Smash said:
Heh actually, your spidey senses may have been dead on. The riders made it okay, but this ride suffered NUMEROUS technical difficulties from what I hear. Lots of flat tires, a broken chain and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting about. But they did eventually make it to the Palomino and a good time was had by all.

I'll leave it to the actual riders to provide any details, as I don't want to imply that I was part of the ride itself: all I had to do was ride a few miles from my apartment to the Palomino and enjoy the sweet, sweet fried pickles as the Chicagoans filtered in. :) PS - the sweet potato casserole that Palomino has as a side dish is amazing.

Juan Dominguez said:
I feel sooooo lame I did not make it out. My spidey senses were telling me to stay back. Dammit!
is there a Milwaukee 3.0 scheduled? I'd be up for it on a Sunday.
I might try to do one more but with my departure for the East rapidly looming i wouldn't count on it. I will be hosting a frozen snot century over the christmas break 2009-10.

Julie Hochstadter said:
is there a Milwaukee 3.0 scheduled? I'd be up for it on a Sunday.

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