2023 Ride Report by Jordan Evangelista - OOFD's lead guide for the 2023 ride to Milwaukee
How often do you visit Milwaukee - our friendly neighbor to the north? If it’s any less than, “at least once a year on OOFD’s bike camping adventure to the Good Land,” then you are seriously missing out.
Facing perfect May weather, an OOFD crew 17 strong rambled north out of the city along our great lake. We cruised along on bike lanes, quiet streets, paved paths, and crushed limestone trails. Gina, one of the guides, called out the names of plants along the way. The quiet parts made conversation easy. Stops at a lighthouse, parks, and a coffee shop included spiels about history, ecology, and what makes our destination, Brew City, so special.
Upon arrival at our camp just to the north of Racine, homemade chili was simmering and the campfire was waiting to be lit. A few folks seized the opportunity to quickly set up camp and head down to the lake for a brisk swim before dinner. How wonderful it is to hang around a campfire, roasting up snacks, and “sampling” some of the beverages that made Milwaukee famous!
Eduardo, another guide, taught me how to spot the International Space Station and we watched it fly overhead before heading off to bed.
Day two began with a brief pitstop at an eco-justice farm where one of the caretakers introduced us to alpacas, goats, guineafowl, and geese. Then we continued north, winding through parks budding in Wisconsin’s spring, before emerging cliffside, high above the lake, and coasting down into Milwaukee. At this point, our destination became clear. This was a pilgrimage to Lakefront Brewery, an MKE institution and one of the trailblazers of the craft brewing movement. We paid our respects with German-style lagers, kölsches, ales and bocks.
Day two is relatively short - just 25 miles. It leaves you wanting a little more. As we rode the train from Milwaukee to Chicago, I couldn’t help but plot and scheme for future rides. With the expanse of summer ahead, this was just a taste of what is yet to come.
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"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"