For reasons I don’t know and try not to think too much on, the weather here in the Midwest of the United States has been unusually mild. Like, “I don’t need a coat” mild. “I think I’ll leave the windows open” mild.
Having a motorcycle, and having made the (surprisingly difficult) choice not to ride this winter, this reprieve from winter, however temporary, has been embraced eagerly. So, when a local vintage motorcycle group decided a Saturday afternoon would be a good time for a ride, it took very little encouragement for me to skip out on the writing I was supposed to be doing on Volume Two of Pain, Curiosity and a Bear and join them for a ride about town.
After some coffee, and some soda, and maybe a muffin, to allow everyone who was going to brave the 70 degree weather to reach the starting location, a decision was made on where we were headed next. This particular group, on small old bikes of occasionally questionable mechanical stability, usually take rides through Milwaukee’s urban landscape – the definitive Cafe Run if you like. This weekend was the last weekend of Milwaukee’s outdoor biergarten – and yeah I spelled that correctly.
Bier was sold by the liter and half liter, and liters were 50% off since this was the last weekend of the season. The line was pretty long so the group claimed some space and qued up.
I don’t drink when riding, but joined them in the line anyway. The bier was being sold in extremely nice glass mugs, for which you had to leave a $5 deposit. I mentioned “So you can buy the mugs for $5” in an off hand way, but apparently I wasn’t the first person to notice this –
No, everyone didn’t get all biered up (is that the right word?) and get back on the bikes. In fact, everyone seemed to limit themselves to a single beverage (that I saw, anyway), and we stayed at the biergarten for just short of two hours. I’m still glad I didn’t have anything, but I am also glad no one seemed to be staggering back to where we had parked.
There was some discussion on where were headed next, and somewhere I got the wrong information. Not that it mattered, since I was just following the group. Following the group is easy, you don’t have to know where you are going. We ended up at the Iron Horse Hotel, though it wasn’t completely clear why and we didn’t stay much longer than enough time for a game of pool. Along the way one of the bike developed a mechanical problem and had to peel off, though the rider returned later on a different bike. Yay vintage.
It seems during the pool game an irresistible urge for hotdogs had developed (no, I don’t know how that happened, but it was infectious and soon I wanted one too) so we remounted our steeds, some of whom were smoking in a somewhat unhealthy manner, and headed for the House of Harley, which was having some sort of party in their parking lot for Veteran’s Day and where, it was hoped, there would be hotdogs.
The plan didn’t quite work out.
By this time the need for hotdogs had grown in the group to levels which would not be denied by things like there not being a party at the House of Harley, and a new plan to head for Martino’s, a Vienna beef hotdog restaurant nearby, was quickly developed.
Sadly, I had to break off at this point, since I was meeting my family for dinner. We were going to Tenuta’s, in my opinion the best Italian place in the area, which helped with the pain of missing out on the hotdog.
I don’t know how many miles I rode, it probably wasn’t much. Call the whole day from 11am to 4pm for me, I don’t know how much longer the group stayed together. It was good day and I would do it again tomorrow – expect tomorrow it’s supposed to be a lot colder.