Peninsula Century – Nice Weekend Getaway
One of my goal this year is to explore rides I have never ridden before. The Peninsula Century Spring Classic is one of those ride. I made the 6.5 hour trip from Peoria to Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin on a Friday afternoon on June 17th. When I arrived, I was greeted by a beautiful sunset and a hungry stomach. I got a recommendation to dine at Chives Restaurant, which is 2 miles back into town. Chives has a unique atmosphere with building renovated from the 1920’s era, yet retaining some of the architecture ceiling features. They offered a contemporary menu which one would find in a metropolis. I had the Grilled Pork Belly with mango & tomato on rice. It tasted as good as it looked.
The next morning at the crack of dawn, I was eager to start the century route which took me all along Door County with breath-taking views of some sand dunes, beautiful summer cottages and shoreline. Upon finishing the ride, I met a bicyclist who happened to be from the Peoria area. Talk about a small world! All participants were given a post ride meal with food donated by local restaurants as well as free beer samples from the local breweries. In conjunction to the PCSC, there was a concert and the Door County Beer Festival going on. It was a great way to spend the day outside. It also feel good to know that some of the proceeds benefit local charity – The Door County Community Foundation’s Give Door County program.
After the post ride meal, I spent the rest of the afternoon-evening exploring the area. I discovered Baileys Harbor is a cozy small tourist town which remind me of Traverse City in upper Michigan for those of you who have visited TC. Baileys Harbor was the first established village on the Door Peninsula. In 1848, Captain Justice Bailey was seeking refuge from a ferocious storm and came ashore in the sheltered harbor. Discovering abundant resources of limestone, pine, maple and beech trees, Captain Bailey reported this find and within the year, a small work force was established, forming the logging and mining industry. Thus begin the long maritime history of Baileys Harbor.
Like Traverse City, Baileys Harbor is located on a Peninsula surrounded by Lake Michigan. Thus the climate was mild with temperature in the low 80’s in mid-June. It was a welcome relief compared to the prior weekend when I rode TOMRV (temperature was in the 90s). Yes, I was bold enough to ride back to back weekend century early in the summer. To add to my insaneness, I found out a week later I was sick with a sinus infection at the time and didn’t realize it. I thought I just had a case of really bad allergies. Looking back now, I was nuts to do that much riding in the condition I was in. But as the old saying goes, ‘what doesn’t kill you make you stronger.’
Overall, PCSC was very well organized by Peninsula Pacers, who also host the Peninsula Century Fall Challenge on September 17th. The Fall Challenge will have a King/Queen of the Hills contest for those riders who wishes participate. I am all signed up and am anxious to experience my first fall ride along the Wisconsin lake front and the beauty of the fall color foliage.