Appreciating things close to home and heart…
April 13, 2010
From reading this blog, you’d think I lived in Chicago. There was a post about bike riding along their lakefront trail, a streetscape post, another streetscape post, and yet another streetscape post. Fact is I live in a suburb of Milwaukee – another city with a great lakefront along beautiful Lake Michigan. This weekend my son (one of the things closest to my heart) and I took advantage of a gorgeous spring day to ride along Milwaukee’s Oak Leaf Trail in the section from the Summerfest grounds, around Lakefront Park and north to Bradford Beach.
First stop was a cruise around Lakefront Park which brought us to the back-side of the now empty Henry Maier Festival Park, aka Summerfest grounds. So odd to see this empty – but the Harley stage and the Miller Lite stage brought a smile to my face – honoring these two icons of our proud city.
Moving onward, the smart (read, sneaky) Mom in me knew that in order to make *my* goal of riding 10 miles that we needed to take the occasional break. Which we did, first stopping at the park in front of Discovery World to play some tunes – on the bench and the pebble waterfall, a quick pause on the promenade by the art museum to watch a couple of spear fishers and finally a stop to check out the kite shop in Veteran’s Park.
McKinley Beach caused us to wonder, how crazy you have to be to be swimming in Lake Michigan in early April. While Bradford Beach brought another hint of summer, and that beach’s strong volleyball tradition.
We enjoyed our stop at what appears to be a new fitness area. I got a kick out of showing the guy you see struggling on the yellow apparatus how an assisted chin-up machine works – I did a couple of sets of squats, assisted chin-ups and back extensions, while my competitive gymnast son gave the p-bars a work-out.
After we left the fitness area, kiddo asked me if he’d ridden 1.5 miles yet. I fessed up and told him, he’d ridden almost five miles. Which led him to proclaim he was going to ride 10 miles this day. We made several laps around Lakefront Park in order to accomplish this goal. What fascinated me was how often he stood to ride, or assumed the bent over determine pose of acceleration. Made me realize the fun of riding as a child – and maybe understand a little the draw of single speeds. Not that I’m going *there* anytime soon – but I get how they might re-connect with the childhood joy of riding.
Once we accomplished the goal of 10 miles, we headed back to the car. With the kiddo telling me his next goal is 15 miles, and then 20. Meanwhile, I was reminded of what a great city I am privileged to live in! Not to mention I am blessed with one great kiddo!