Saturday, July 15, 2006

Day Ride: Holy Hill, WI

Today was going to be a hot one, forecast was calling for 95 degrees. Thank goodness the humidity was low, it didn‘t feel all that uncomfortable, although there weren’t any clouds in the sky, no relief from the blazing sun. I got on the 900SS and took off. Then the coolest thing happed, I passed two bikes just like the one I was riding myself, a yellow one and a red one, we all weaved to each other.

I was meeting Chris, Sandy and a friend of theirs in Eagle, WI at 10AM. I was one hour late getting there. I tell you, the traffic is just getting worst and worst and it’s taking me longer and longer to get out of Dodge.

First delay, two cars in front of me, one of them has a muffler on fire and another car is trying to get the car with the muffler on fire to pull over. Then I followed a truck going 40 mph in 55 for 15 minutes, could't pass it, then I followed a farming implement and the cars behind it at 20 mph in 55 for at least 10 minutes. By the time he turned off there were at least 18 cars behind him, how rude. Then the road I was on was detoured to another road and just before that construction.

After I got to the meeting spot which was a gas station, I needed to take a break. The others only arrived thirty minutes before me.

After a break the four of us took off for Holy Hill in Hubertus, Wisconsin for no particular reason, I‘ve been to the area before but I have never been up to the church.

Holy Hill and my 900SS

Holy Hill, a neo-Romanesque Church located 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee, built on the highest point in the state, 1350 feet above sea level, is also a Wisconsin and registered U.S. landmark.

Here you can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside, sculpted by the last glacier over 10,000 years ago and on a clear day you can see Milwaukee and Madison.

Views from the tower

For 50 cents you can climb to the observation tower's, it’s 178 steps to the top, which we did. The views were amazing from the top but climbing so many steps on a hot day like today was probably not the best idea.

Chris and Sandy climbing the tower

The last few steps to the top of the tower

After that we were ready for lunch and ended up at Gilligan's Bar & Grill. Right on Lake Okauchee in Okauchee, WI. We sat outside in the shade on the deck, it was very pleasant.

Lake Okauchee

Three Ducs

Sandy about to dip her toes in Lake Okauchee

Me dipping my toes in Lake Okauchee ... feels nice

The little fish were nibbling on my toes

After lunch the group parted ways and I took off by myself and started to head towards the northern suburbs of Chicago for my friend’s BBQ. But I still had a bunch of time to kill so I just kept riding this road and that road, curiously, I always ended up on RT 83.

I made it to Rick’s house by 7:15PM. Now at 260 miles for the day, I was ready for a long break. The 900SS is not as comfortable as my other bikes, but it sure looks pretty.

As always, Rick’s BBQ’s was a good time. We all had fun exchanging road and trip stories. The majority of the people left before 11PM, there were just a few of us sitting and gabbing until wee hours of the night.

Rick had made some coffee, I ended having two cups. I got on the road shortly after 2AM heading from the northern to the western suburbs. The night was so beautiful. 77 degrees and clear skies, no traffic. I forget how nice it is to ride though the suburbs late at night, even on a Saturday night, I don't ride at night that much.

Curiously, I got close to my house and then I passed my house. The coffee gave me new found energy and I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I decided to take a spin towards "the city" maybe even watch the sunrise.

Traffic close to Chicago was still pretty heavy and nutty at times and once I got to Lake Shore Drive I realized, tonight was "the night ride", a huge Chicago night bicycle event. They had some street closed so I ended up sitting in traffic more than I would have wanted to.

Lake Shore Drive downtown Chicago

I turned on Lake Shore Drive and headed north, as far as the eye could see on the lake front bicycle path, there were bicycles, for miles and miles and miles. There was too much activity tonight near the lake for me to hang out and wait for the sunrise, which wasn’t for another two hours. After running almost to the end of LSD I turned around and headed back to downtown and then back to the interstate, stopping just once downtown Chicago on LSD for some night time photos. On interstate more nutty traffic, the city never sleeps. I pulled in to my driveway about 4:30AM.

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