Cycle your way through Cream City with Milwaukee By Bike, a new sightseeing company launched in mid-July, offering tours of the city by bicycle.
The company, currently based out of the Harbor District, was started by Chris Zito, a former bike messenger, and Derek Collins, owner of the Pedal Tavern, Paddle Tavern and Brew City Kayaks. According to a press release, Collins always wanted to add a cycling component and, when approached by Zito, stated, "It was a natural fit and a great addition to the tourist-based operations that we had going on."
"The company's goal," the release continues, "is to provide a safe, comfortable, and enlightening tour of the best sights, sounds and even smells, that Milwaukee has to offer."
The group currently offers two curated tours: a city skyline bike tour, good for ages 16 and up, which stops at local cultural spots, and a Milwaukee Beerline bike tour for adults, which offers an experience through Milwaukee's historic beer culture. Those who are looking for something more can also request a custom-designed tour.
"Routes are designed to have the lowest (auto) traffic impact possible, using on-road bike lanes, shared recreational paths, low density streets or 'alternative routing' as often as possible," the release notes.
Participants merely have to sign up for an open slot, and a bicycle will be provided from the company's collection of bikes of all sizes – many made by another local cycling-focused company, Fyxation.
Tours are offered in English and Spanish, and helmets are provided with all bike rentals. All gear is cleaned and sanitized after each use. Some age restrictions apply.
For more information, visit Milwaukee By Bike's website.
Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.
In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.
Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.