polish + blue moon

This past July was the second annual Polish Moon Bike Ride in Milwaukee. There was also a blue moon! [Maybe they should have had some blue moon ice cream at the event...or we should have gone to Denny's afterwards for some Moons of My Hammy.]

Got sidetracked by moons there for a second. Back to the bike ride. 

Last year was the first event and since it was so great, I had to go back again. Unfortunately my friend Amber and I must have gotten there a bit later than last year and we missed the band. We still got there in plenty of time to grab a bite to eat though. I had amazing tacos from Wayward Kitchen Co. and a Weekend @ Louie's beer, while Amber had a Klement's sausage. Yum. 

Soon after we ate, everyone started to line up. It was such a difference from last year since last year it was SO. FOGGY. It was humid, gross and you could barely see anything. 

The ride started out a bit slow since there were so many people. But once everyone spread out, everything went smoothly. Our only goal this year was to actually hear the accordions. Oh, did I forget to tell you? There were a few guys playing accordions on the route! 

We caught up with two of them and it was everything we expected it to be. Traditional polka songs. TV theme songs. Songs we could all sing along with. 

Since it was a clear evening, we could actually see the Polish Moon [aka Rockwell Clock Tower or Allen-Bradley Clock Tower]! 

Another highlight of the event was riding by people walking down the street, sitting on their steps or looking out their windows. Most had no clue what was going on, but seeing a big group of cyclists put a smile on their face and they would wave. All of us riding would either wave back or ring our bells. 

Oh, I just realized Beth is in the picture above. Hi Beth! [She likes bikes + beer, so you should check out her blog.]

And below, there's Dave. Hi Dave! [He's one of the great people at the WI Bike Fed and takes great pictures.]

Not only because of the great weather did we see the Polish Moon, but also the blue moon. Bonus! 

After the ride we walked down to Purple Door Ice Cream and got some ice cream to bring back and eat while listening to some more polka music at Anodyne. A bunch of people stayed after the ride and most were up front polkaing along with the music. [Fun fact, polkaing is actually a word, even though it sounds made up.] 

It was another successful event. Thanks Bike Fed and all other sponsors! And thanks MKE police for helping keep us safe on the streets! 

Polish Moon Bike Ride

On Friday night we headed to Milwaukee for the first Polish Moon Bike Ride. It was a block party and ride put on as a fundraiser by the Bike Fed of Wisconsin.

For those not familiar, the Rockwell Clock Tower [aka Allen-Bradley Clock Tower] in Walker's Point is mainly known as the Polish Moon because of the predominant Polish community that surrounded it. 

As we drove into the city we were looking forward to everything but the weather! I know, I know - so many of you Wisconsonites lately have been complaining that this summer has been too cool. I disagree. It has been a perfect summer, one where we haven't even hit 90 degrees yet! Although Friday we still weren't hitting 90 degrees, it was annoyingly humid so much that it felt like it was almost 100 degrees in Oconomowoc. Gross. 

Luckily, we got to watch as the temperature dropped the closer we got to the city [thank you lakefront!] and when we arrived to Walker's Point, it was actually quite nice out. 

But, enough about the weather [for now], let's talk about the party! We arrived and they had the street between the relatively new Annodyne Coffee Shop, Central Standard Craft Distillery, and Milwaukee Brewing Company closed down. A mariachi band played and there was great food to choose from. 

We walked around, ate supper [sausage grilled by the guys at Ben’s Cycle and Fitness/Milwaukee Bicycle Company, MKE Brewing Co. beer, and I may have snagged a few free Clock Shadow Creamery squeaky fresh cheese curds] and listened to the band. 

About 20 minutes before the start of the ride, I noticed a man creating giant bubbles. I am still not sure if he was part of the event or just saw a group of people who thought his bubble mastery would entertain them, but either way I am glad he was there. 

Around 8:00 we lined up to start the ride. It was now getting quite dark outside and a heavy fog had covered the area. We started to ride a bit slow at first, but with a group that big it is expected. We were led by motorcycle cops which would keep zooming by us to stop traffic and every time they would go by we would freak out that it was an annoyed driver [I hate that we as cyclists have a fear of all drivers hating us]. 

The ride was nice. The fog was present the whole time and sometimes it felt like gentle rain since it was so thick. We explored parts of the city I had never seen. Families came out of their homes and waved while we rang our bike bells and waved back. Many observers had their phones out either taking pictures or videos. I'm assuming somewhere on the internet, we are stars. My friend Amber and I tried to remember and sing campfire songs. Another friend on the ride, Ester, told us stories of her recent overseas vacation. 

I'm glad the Bike Fed put on this great event and look forward to it happening again next year. It was a night full of great food and music, sharing stories with friends, and hopefully showing the city how awesome biking is.