West Side pal Brooklynn and I coasted down to Bay View for the traditional summer cycling season kick off, The Tour de Farce. Like real summer in Wisconsin, you can’t put the date and start location for this underground pub crawl on your calendar, you just have to wait patiently through the spring and watch for the first sign. I got an email about Saturday night’s ride event last Thursday. The ride organizer keeps the event on the low down to limit participation. He is worried that if the ride gets too big, it will get out of control and he could be held liable for any trouble.
About 100 people managed to find the ride start at Burnhearts, one of the great newish bars in Bay View. The crowd mixed and mingled over a couple beers while waiting for start. This year, the stops were not announced, instead you had to follow one of the ride marshals wearing yellow vests. In previous years, the next location was written on the door of each stop.
There were lots of cool bikes of all kinds on the ride, from the locally made Milwaukee Bruisers to sweet vintage cruisers. I also liked how some people had decorated their rides.
Brooklynn and I stayed with the ride until about 9 pm, then we peeled off to get some dinner since neither of us had eaten since lunch. Not only was I hungry, but I had to get up at 5:30 am Sunday morning to do the Miller Lite Ride over the Hoan Bridge. I did not want to oversleep and miss the first legal chance I had to ride over Milwaukee’s Golden Gate. Still, I am curious how the rest of the ride went? Any readers finish it? How late did the ride go? Where was the last stop?
I asked the organizer of the TdF if he worried about liability leading a pub crawl, and he said he had the same fears I have about the Santa Rampage. It seems a real shame that our society is so litigious that consenting adults can’t be assumed to be responsible for their own behavior. I’m not an attorney, but I doubt signing waivers would do me any good if some drunken santa got hurt and lawyered up. Going after me, and maybe the City given my job, would be the first thing a smart attorney would do.
At this point, I am not planning on organizing another Santa Rampage. I wonder if it would work if the tavern owners all offered a special for anyone in a santa suit, and santas just rode from one gin joint to the other on their own. It wouldn’t have the same effect as a rolling peloton of Kris Kringle wannabes, but it might still work.
Any attorneys or tavern owners reading this have any advice? I’d hate to see the Rampage, such a fun event, disappear, but at this point, Santa will not be seen outside of the North Pole unless you stay up late and wait by the cookies Christmas Eve.