Hitting the road in 2011

On a lark, I began Over the Bars in Milwaukee with a little post about a ride I did on Memorial Day in 2010. At the time I didn’t know if I would ever publish again. In the 194 published posts since then, the topics have varied from wonky policy stuff to light hearted pieces about cyclechic fashion.  Whether serious or silly, it has always been my hope that each post in its own small way will help grow a sense of community and identity among people who ride bicycles for transportation. 

Remember what it was like to bike in short sleeves? Those times will come again. In the mean time, let's plan some social rides for the warmer weather while we wait out the blizzard.

That virtual community has grown to between 300 to 600 viewers each day. While it is great to have a “virtual”community of readers, real community comes only when people meet face to face. But unlike most members of bike clubs and teams with their matching jerseys and organized recreational and training rides, people who ride bicycles for transportation end up as the loners of the cycling community. They come from disparate areas of the city and ride to different destinations, whether it be to a job, the store or for coffee.  The only time they feel part of a group is when they run into each other on the road by chance as d’Andre and I did yesterday.

Chance meetings are great, but order to offer people the chance to get together, share ideas, and hopefully grown a sense of community, Over the Bars is going to try scheduling some casual rides in 2011.  First will be a Bike to Brunch series of rides beginning in April.  Those rides will be held the first Sunday of every month beginning April 3rd, 2011.  If there is enough interest, we can plan a second date on the third Sunday of each month.  People have already suggested a few locations for brunch.  If you have a place in mind, suggest a cafe or restaraunt along with a date in the comment section below. 

I have some other rides in mind as well, perhaps a Summer Cyclechic ride, a ride for pie, bike to the movies or a weekly farmers market ride. There are already other people organizing similar rides in Milwaukee, and we may try to cross pollinate with the likes of Russell’s Crappy Bike Ride and the Bay View Bunch and their Biketoberfest style pub crawls. If you have an idea for a ride, feel free to suggest it. I will be happy to post rides organized by other readers of this blog. I will put them on the calendar page, which you can access at the top menu bar above. I will announce each ride in advance as they near and people can get advice about routes and menus at that time.  

I hope these rides will improve our sense of community, introduce people to new neighborhood businesses and grow an awareness among business owners that getting more people to ride bicycles is good for the bottom line. So what do you think?  Got a favorite spot for brunch?  If so, let me know in a comment below and suggest a possible date (first or third Sunday of any month after March) for the ride.

About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in Rides and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Hitting the road in 2011

  1. Ralph in the U.P. says:

    Great Idea! I will make every ride I can. But that means I have to be back in Milwaukee for that to happen…which I can try to schedule to coincide with a ride like you propose on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

    Great Idea!

  2. Ronsta says:

    Dave,

    I invite you and anyone else to the Memorial Day Ronsta Ramble. It’s a 70mile, all day adventure tour of on and off-street bike ways in Waukesha & Western Milwaukee counties. This is the third year for it and it once again will take place on Memorial Day. The ride is tweaked year to year and topped of with brats & Blatz at my place. For a taste, check the photo’s below or just ask Russell.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7318587@N06/sets/72157624188760936/with/4662975575/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7318587@N06/sets/72157618802529874/with/3565696512/

    Thanks,
    Ron

    • daveschlabowske says:

      Great, I’ll put it on the calendar!

    • Ralph in the U.P. says:

      Ronsta,

      I know this reply is a bit late, but your ride sounds like a lot of fun. An internet friend of mine from Alabama has family in your area and he might even try to make the ride. I am trying to clear my schedule too.

      I have you blog in my favorites and will watch for updates. I just have to decide which bike I want to bring..I am leanng towards my 36 year old Schwinn Continental to which I will add tires with more of a cross country tread. My mountain bike is too much mountain bike and my commuter has slicks and mountain bike gearing and is a PITA to try and keep up on roads. My new Schwinn is too much road bike for the dirt…so, the old battle tank may be the one!

  3. d'Andre says:

    I look forward to this being nudge to explore some bike routes I’ve not yet tried. A fun companion to the meetups might be a google map with each destination to which folks could add their route to/from. What a network that would show!

  4. Still Rollin says:

    Miss Katie’s diner is well located… Buck Bradley’s can be fun in a Bloody Mary way.

  5. Russell says:

    I guess I can be talked onto a bike related event

  6. Mark G says:

    I think a commuter get together sounds like a great idea! Especially one that meets at local establishments. For me, half the fun of commuting is taking different routes home and discovering new businesses to visit. While pedaling around Milwaukee, I have often thought it would be fun to get together with fellow commuters so I’m glad you are getting the ball rolling. My only suggestion would be to have some of the rides on Saturday for those of us who have regular commitments on Sunday morning.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      Excellent idea about the Saturday and Sunday rides Mark. I’m home sick today. I will try to work on filling in some initial dates and locatons for the summer rides.

  7. Chris says:

    How about Gilles on Bluemound for ice cream in summer…

    For a distance, I hope it’s less than 20 miles roundtrip.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      I Scream Rides! Hard to remember what they are like right now with all the snow falling. But yes, great idea Chris. Russell does hit Gillies on the way back from his July 4th Crappy Bike Ride, which is on the calendar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s