Lowlands Group Spring Classic Report: Fyxation to Belgium

I missed the ride, so I don’t have any photos to share, but thanks to Bike Fed board member John Siegert for this ride report from Fyxation’s Spring Classic Ride to Belgium a couple weeks ago. 

For those keeping track of Flanders Points, the temperature at the start was 53 degrees and the wind was 16 mph NNE so everyone who did the entire 71 miles earns 69 Flanders Points. Dave Donahue, who rode his fat bike and added some extra miles with a loop through Oak Creek for 117 miles that day earns 116 Flanders Points! –Dave Schlabowske

 

Spring pulled an about-face on those gathered for Spring Classic #10, sending wind chills in the wrong direction for the hearty 50 or so who turned out for the start of the ride at Fyxation Bicycle Company in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.

After experiencing sunny 70s for mid-April’s Tour de Lowlands, riders were greeted with a much-chillier Sunday morning, as the sun remained, but the temps hovered in the low-50s/high-40s, with occasional gusty winds.

Nevertheless, the ride got off to a great start following ride instructions from Tony Giron of the Wisconsin Bike Fed and Fyxation’s Jessica Ginster. The promise of a post-ride spread kept the audience attentive.

After a few blocks of urban riding, across the Milwaukee River bridge, the group descended down to the Oak Leaf Trail and was able to remain on the trail throughout the rest of Milwaukee County, connecting seamlessly to Ozaukee County’s Interurban Trail.

In the Fyxation parking lot before the ride. Photo by Jessica Ginster

Having latched onto the wheel of a knowledgeable local, I was able to navigate the various on-road (or “on-parking lot!”) sections of the Interurban, as we traversed through Cedarburg, Grafton and up and over the I-43 bridge. This was a personal highlight for me, as I’d driven under it many times, but had never ridden across. Its backstory is a great tale of dreaming big and the persistence of advocates working with their elected officials to get something done.

As we rolled into Port Washington and joined the others at the impromptu Smith Bros. Coffee House rest stop (great bike-friendly ramp onto a beautiful deck with views of Lake Michigan), we decided to cut our ride short and return to Milwaukee from there. We retraced our route over the Ozaukee Interurban and Oak Leaf trails and arrived back at Fyxation Bicycle Company in time for a bountiful spread and great camaraderie.

Both the sun and the chill remained, post-ride, but it was a great day to be outside and add up some early season miles. As a volunteer Director with the Bike Fed, I extend my thanks to staff for putting on a great series, as well as to all sponsors for their support and great hospitality.

Anyone who did at least one of the rides is welcome to enter the final Spring Classic Series raffle on this Google Form. We are using the honor system here, so please don’t enter points you didn’t earn. We will divvy up the prizes according to how many rides people did and by who has the most Flanders Points, but names will be drawn randomly.

 

Enter Your Flanders Points Here» 

Our prize list is as follows:

  • Top Prize for riders who did the most rides and had the most Flanders Points: A Borah Teamwear Spring Classics kit (shorts and jersey) of your choice
  • Three $25 Gift Certificates good at any of the Lowlands Group Grand Cafes
  • A Bike Fed t-shirt of your choice
  • A pound of Just Coffee’s Ride On Roast

Thanks to everyone who participated in the rides. Thanks also to our ride organizers for coming up with some fun routes, providing pre-ride snacks and throwing some great post-ride parties. And raise your glass to our series sponsor and friends at Lowlands Restaurant Group, the most cycling crazy bunch of restauranteurs I have ever met.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

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