Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Santa Rampage Milwaukee style

Santas and reindeer waiting to bike at 10 am at Cafe Hollander

And away they ride!
It was a wet day yesterday when we joined the Santas in Milwaukee who were doing the annual Santa Rampage.  In theory, it's a lot of fun, but any bike ride in December risks some nasty weather.  In fact, I can't remember a time when my brother-in-law has said "wow, that was perfect weather".  He rides every year and has enjoyed it so much that this was to be my first attempt at joining him.  My nephew flew in for the occasion and has done it 3 times now.  He lives in Massachusetts!  It was 45 and pouring rain all day.
My plan had been to ride with my daughter.  Our bikes were ready.  We had costumes.  We are just lightweights and decided to stay home with our kids at the last minutes.  Both have been sick lately.  I did go to several of the check-in points along the way though.  I guess you could say this is more of a bar crawl, but you bring your bike along.  There were 3 different meet up points in the city around breakfast time.  Then there are 4 additional locations spread out on an 11 mile route.  It starts around 10 with the actual ride and most people are done by 4, celebrating with some food and drink as the sun sets.
The reports are that there were somewhere between 500-700 holiday clad bicyclists at the first checkpoint, Lake Front Brewery.  They had planned to take a group photo, but there was no way they could accomplish that.  Bikes and Santas were everywhere.  Imagine the surprise by the usual brewery tour goers when they arrived to see that many red suits!  Many dropped off before the end of the day, but when we met at the end of the race, at Cafe Centraal, I'd estimate 250 still wet and smiling.
Next year, I'll be among that group...if the weather cooperates!

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