I am in a dry hotel room watching the rain come down and feeling fortunate about the weather today. The forecast suggested an inch of rain with the largest amount between 10am and 2pm, some of my prime cycling times. I thought about making a shorter day but decided just to see what happened. As it turned out, it stayed dry with just a few drops as I arrived. Since then it has been a steady rain, so I got lucky.
This was my first day cycling Wisconsin and my route took me through a populated corridor along Lake Michigan to Milwaukee. However, similar to yesterday at least half my cycling was off road on trails and much of the rest on roads without a lot of traffic or with a reasonable shoulder. While I have occasional road closures/detours, using RideWithGPS does seem to pick some reasonable routes through these more urban areas.
My hotel was half a mile south of the IL/WI border shown above. However, rather than go through construction, I turned left on the last road in Illinois and went west away from the lake.
This brought me to the Kenosha County bike trail. Welcome to Wisconsin! The trail also became paved here.
A few miles of trail brought me to city streets in the west of Kenosha. The town had been in the news after a 17-year old shot three during civil unrest in 2020. However, the city I saw on my bicycle was much more quiet and suburban than images from the news.
On the north side of Kenosha, it was back to trails on my way to Racine. Racine itself was a little confusing to get through, though after missing a turn or two I got it sorted out.
North of Racine, the path turned to gravel. Made a short breakfast stop here.
As I got close, several towns seemed to have their water treatment plants on the shore of Lake Michigan. This was the last one and nice to see South Milwaukee as the town name.
Squint hard enough and you can see tall buildings in the distance for downtown Milwaukee.
The last few miles to town had bike paths and parks along the water.
Cudahy and the Oak Leaf trail.
A few miles of city streets. I had an address in mind for the Wisconsin Bike Federation. This advocacy group sold Wisconsin Bike maps and I had ordered one. Rather than try to pick up from a US Post Office General Delivery option, I selected picking from their offices.
Upstairs is a large bike shop and the Wisconsin Bike Federation offices are downstairs.
I picked up my map which covers the southern part of the state. It had roads color coded based on traffic volume and shoulders. This will be useful to sort out my routes, particularly between Madison and the Mississippi River.
After picking up a map, I found a hotel on the west side of town. My timing was lucky as it started to rain just as I arrived. Now time to study that map…