We did the Miller Lite Ride for hte Arts, and it went well. As I predicted, Brian did it easily, and probably could have done the 25. But this was a good route for our first time out. 15 was just about pushing it for Stella. She could probably do the 25 but only if we spent a really long time at the Oasis stations; she caught a second wind later in the afternoon and insisted she could do another long bike ride. But for a 7 year old, 15 was just right: challenging but do-able. I was secretely jealous of the in-shape folks strolling around the Summerfest grounds in their 50 and 75 mile color coded shirts, knowing I could have easily done the 50 (I do 30 miles a day on weekends and 20 a day during the week; time keep me from doing more) and in a little more shape I could do the 75. But it was important to do this one with the family, and get them used to bike trips. Gotta get them in shape to do the Elroy Sparta trail later this summer! Still, I felt slightly inferior walking around, with my weight, and my teal blue number that seemed to scream "I'm just a pretender, I have bike shoes with cleates but I only did the 15..."
- Bring your own snacks. The snack line at the oasis station was insane. An adult can wait, but a cranky toddler canNOT. I'm so glad the mom in me packed plenty of healthy snacks in treats *just in case*. Lines for liquid refreshment (water and gatorade) were reasonable but otherwise, ugh. In fact, the waiting lines at the summerfest grounds for the complimentary brat or hot dog with fries were so long, I could have probably seasoned and marinated the meat, stuffed it into casings myself and roasted it long before we could have gotten something standing in line. Besides, I just rode a bike a thon! I feel great and healthy! I'm not going to want to stuff a greasy bratwurst and some deep fried potatoes into this body. Lordy. At least they also passed out energy bars at the Oasis stations.
So the kids got ice cream for lunch, and I had a "gourmet pretzel" which turned out to be quite good. I thougth they would be topped with the flavor (they had pizza, spinach/feta, etc), but they were STUFFED with the flavor, so the spinach feta was quite good for, what I figured to be about 4 points.
- If you wear bike shoes with cleats, bring some better walking/running shoes for afterwards. You do NOT want to be chasing a toddler (or escorting a 7 year old who can barely hold it to the john) in cleats. Oh, and chasing a kid through the mulch bark and sand in the children's play area in cleates is EXTRA fun.
- Don't count on 10,000 other bicyclists to have a clue about bicycle eitquette (much less the law). Stella nearly got into a crash because as we were pulling up to the finish line, some kid decided to suddenly turn left and cut her off. "Hey, a turn signnal would have been nice," I hollered at him, knowing full well that his parents heard me chastising him. They couldn't look at me. I also know full well they TOLD him to turn left and didn't bother to warn anybody. Don't avoide me, just teach your kid some safety rules. Oh, and by the way, that helmet won't do him a bit of good pitched all the way back on his head like that. Another example: Hey people, when you hear the ambulance coming, just because you're on a bike doesn't mean you don't have to pull over and maybe even STOP until it passes, ESPECIALLY when you're in a crowd of 500 bicyclists going up South Shore drive. HelLO, would you like to be the ambulance driver trying to get somebody's gramma to the hospital and trying to make sure you don't hit some dickslap riding out in the middle of the street?
- Getting there early is fun. You get to see all the starts which is a sight to see.
- It would probably be worth it to try to park elsewhere than "Lot F" which might as well have been in Kenosha. Its a Sunday, street parking is free. Get there early enough and you're good.
- When Sammy gets too old for the trailer, I'll need to find an excuse to bring it anyway. Its a good place to stash all your stuff that has nothing to do with the kid! Especailly if we do a longer ride next year.
- Paul Cebar will never cease to rock. That guy has more joy and love of music in the dirt under his fingernails than most of the "musicians" on the Billboard charts have combined. He's such a joy to listen to and was the perfect thing to hear as we trudged onto the Summerfest grounds. What a Milwaukee treasure!