Life after work.

So back in April I gave notice at QuadTech, and my last day was in May. After 12 years it was time to move on and explore new opportunities, and enjoy some time with my family over the summer.

It’s been great time to decompress, and the lawn’s gotten better care than I’ve ever given a lawn before. Our kitchen and other home projects are seeing progress as well.

I’ve also had time to get some miles on the bicycle. Last November we moved, and our new house has a unexpected benefit: I can ride my bike for many errands, including groceries and a hardware store. If I’m a bit more adventuresome and ride on 27th Street, I can hit most discount & home improvement stores. So, I’ve been running errands on the bike and it’s really pretty nice. But I hadn’t gone for any really long rides.

Monday I did 26 miles. I headed toward downtown, then took a detour around the Port of Milwaukee, and then headed down the bike path along the lake on the south side. Mostly it was a bit tiring, but very satisfying with a few notable exceptions:

6th street isn’t a road, it’s a form of punishment. It is the most unpleasant riding surface I’ve ridden yet. Traffic is ok, as the cars mostly slow down either in amazement that someone’s actually enduring the torture or in empathy. Forget waterboarding – bring the folks here, strap ’em to a bike and do 6th street between Grange and Bolivar.

The Port of Milwaukee is not a great place to bicycle. I love ships, and since my wife is always loath to drive around down there as soon as I saw it (I was on my way to South Shore Yacht Club) I decided to go have a look. Bumpy roads strewn with gravel and sand, railroad tracks everywhere crossing the road at angles that guarantee flipping your bike if you don’t swerve just right to cross them perpendicular, and if that wasn’t even to make it really unpleasant, trucks driving around everywhere. They were very polite and gave me tons of space, but still, having a 60k pound truck whizzing by while your dodging road hazards really takes the fun out of it.

The rest of the trip was very nice. I had no problems other than running out of water. I think riding downtown from home is very feasible, and my next goal is to get to Alterra Coffee by the lake front. I think I’ll wait until after Summerfest though 😉

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