On Saturday evening my options for entertainment had run dry. After contacting a few friends over dinner I decided that the night was apparently going to be a night in. But a block before home I was suddenly passed by a group of about 15 people on bicycles.
"Whatâ€™s going on here?" I shouted across the street.
"Itâ€™s â€˜Bike Like A Beast.â€™ A Bike bar crawl."
"Oh, mind if I join you?"
Things were starting to look up. We enjoyed a round of mini-bowling at Kozâ€™s before heading off to the East Side to check out the remains of North Avenueâ€™s Summer Soulstice and enjoy some Ianâ€™s Pizza.
For most of the trip we stuck to the Lakeshore Park and Lakefront trails. It was a six-mile haul, but with such a fun and friendly group and on such pleasant paths it felt effortless.
Itâ€™s pretty amazing how easy it is to ride around this city when the right accommodations are in place, and Schlitz Park is getting on board in recognition of that with state-of-the-art upgrades to their bicycle facilities.
The 46-acre commercial property is investing nearly $50,000 to make their part of the city more bicycle-friendly. This includes doubling the amount of bicycle parking, installing a state-of-the-art safe and secure bike rack system, and providing other tenants bicycling amenities desired to meet the growing demand for alternative ways to commute to work and meetings.
Schlitz Park is taking a three-pronged attack in making themselves bicycle-friendly: infrastructure, community and hygiene.
Already the office park has increased bike parking from seven to 11 locations with three more in the works (for a total of 14 locations). Forty racks may not seem like a lot until you realize they are the first commercial property in the country to install the patented Varsity Bike Dock Rack system to provide parking for 80 bikes.
They provide three points of contact for security, feature materials that prevent metal on metal contact and includes a wheel support system, which prevents bike tipping. The bike racks even have a covered public shelter to protect bicycles from rain and snow.
Not to mention the design of these bike racks are idiot proof providing proper spacing and proper support (unlike the "staples" you see around town, which are often installed incorrectly or used inefficiently). As a bike rack snob I can confirm that these racks give me what Iâ€™m looking for.
Schlitz Park has published a property specific bike map with suggested routes to and from the property, which should help gather riders together and guide them to the safest streets.
The Downtown office park has also solved one of the most concerning elements of a bike commute: the sweat. They have announced plans to develop a $30 million renovation that will include two fitness centers with showers and provisions that allow bike commuters a place to change and clean up.
The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin (Bike Fed), which performed a comprehensive audit of the 46-acre corporate campus located at the former Schlitz Brewery site, says Schlitz Parkâ€™s effort is one of the most extensive bike plans theyâ€™ve seen. "What Schlitz Park is doing and the scale of their activity is significant. Theyâ€™re establishing themselves as a leader in the bike to work effort providing the type of example we promote as we work with businesses across the state," says Kevin Hardman, Executive Director of the Bike Fed.
Schlitz Park is a natural for tenants and employees looking for other forms of transportation to work than sitting in their cars. The commercial office complex is conveniently located to both highways and city streets with easy access to public transit and just steps from some of the cityâ€™s newest and most affordable places to live.
Multi-modal commuter Margit Schatzman appreciates that convenience. She is president of Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., a Schlitz Park tenant with more than 90 employees.
"I bike, I take the bus and when I need to, I take my car and I have a parking place," Schatzman says. "Schlitz Park makes all of those possible."
You can check out the new accommodations tomorrow with the Schlitz Park Criterium, the sixth stage of the Tour of Americaâ€™s Dairyland, which features a 9 percent graded climb. Itâ€™s probably the closest Milwaukee will get to the grand struggle of the Tour de France. Racing starts at 11 a.m. and continues through the afternoon and evening.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jason McDowell
Published May 14, 2016
Thoughts passed through my head like: This design is striking. Do these colors mean Milwaukee to me? What was this person thinking? How is this related to the city? I never would have picked these colors, but it's bold, so I think I like it. This one is bold but it misses the mark. I wonder if the final five can be as good as this one.
Published May 1, 2016
I've compiled the pros and cons of an Apple iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S7 to give you an idea of what made the decision for me. In the end, it was a close call, but it was one seemingly small detail that wound up the deal-maker.
Published April 9, 2016
It took 50 years for Milwaukee's citizenry to gather enough interest to attempt to tackle the project once more, but the design, which currently flies on our flag today also helped illustrate the definition of "Design by Committee."
Published Feb. 24, 2016
The Designers Talking series is part residency, part gallery, and part conversation that seeks to connect thinkers, artists, and problem-solvers through discussion about interesting ideas and solutions through the lens of graphic communication.
Published Feb. 12, 2016
Wisconsin Bike Fed has organized three rides starting in mid-March to get you out of the gate and into the saddle as soon as possible, and they're cleverly modeled after the European Classics. These rides take to the back roads of Wisconsin and travel to Paris, Rome, Belgium and Denmark, all without leaving this beautiful state.
Published Jan. 29, 2016
The creation of the game happened one night probably a decade ago. My younger brother, my then-girlfriend and I, drunk on coffee, began stuffing the rule book with variations. Since then I've never played an "official" game of Uno.
Published Dec. 16, 2015
Partway through the Admirals' 2015-16 season, the team has had success on the ice and has now also garnered acclaim for its new brand. SportsLogos.net honored the Admirals for having the best new sports logo of the year.
Published Nov. 2, 2015
The Santa Cycle Rampage has been bringing joy via nearly 700 Santas, Mrs. Clauses, elves, Krampuses (and even a Menorah or two) to Milwaukee for 15 years, but while this ride has become as traditional as a Bing Crosby classic, this year the format is evolving. If you want to participate, you'll be expected to pay.
Published Oct. 28, 2015
Sexy Halloween costumes. Some people love 'em. Some people hate 'em. Some people want Halloween to remain rooted in terror, while others love the inherent liberation in pretending to be something they're not (or something they wish they could be). There is a lot of chatter around the internet about which costumes SHOULD never be made sexy. But I'm telling you these costumes COULD never be made sexy...
Published Sept. 3, 2015
As OnMilwaukee enters its 18th year, we are once again looking at how we do things, what we stand for, and how we can improve. And so we have unveiled a new logo to help steer us on a productive path.