Distance: 14.5 miles (from MapMyRide app)

One of my goals on this trip was to see if we could do the whole thing without using a car. I couldn’t stand the irony of being dropped off by a car at one end of the state and be picked up on the other side by car — effectively driving twice across the state — to do an “eco-friendly” bike ride. So, I think we’ve figured it out. To get to Milwaukee, we’re taking Badger Bus from Johnson Creek (about a 15 mile ride from home) to Milwaukee’s bus depot, about 3 miles from where we’re staying the 3rd Ward. Badger Bus is a very bike-friendly company — no box needed — just throw your bike (gently) in the luggage hold and give the drive $10 extra.

That’s a great plan as long as you leave for the bus on time. Both Lori and I had really busy Wednesdays. Rushing back home, I spaced it on the time management and only gave us just over an hour to get to Johnson Creek. Doable, but not the leisurely afternoon ride that I promised Lori and not the relaxed start to the trip she wanted. So, a bit of excitement as we headed north pedaling and drafting as fast as we could go. With Lori grumbling at my math skills, we made it just in time (caught the 5:45 pm bus in arriving at 7 pm).

After the uneventful bus ride, we met Jeff Zimmerman at the bus depot and he took us on a hair-raising ride through the streets of downtown. We dodged cars, buses, potholes, and one horse and buggy on the way east. In the 3rd Ward, we met John and Linda at their place, stashed the bikes, and headed to Cafe Benelux for a beer and some dinner (ever tried “pannenkocken?”).

Thanks to John and Linda for letting us stay at their place!

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