I’m sure Sunday’s forecast of temperatures near 70 degrees helped bring out the crowd, but you have to hand it to George Kaptiz and the crew from Broken Spoke for all their work developing group rides in Green Bay. The City Deck development around Broken Spoke’s newish shop on the riverwalk and trail along the Fox River is so hot, the shop has to stay open until 9 on weekends during the summer. In fact, Green Bay seems like it might be the Wisconsin hot bed for growth in cycling lately.
Want more evidence? The founder of the Green Bay Bicycle Collective, Heather Gentry, was named the 2016 Green Bay Press-Gazette Person of the Year for helping to get their bike trails plowed in the winter. That group has gone from a small loosely organized group to a large, respected and effective advocacy organization.
I’m a pretty loud talker (just ask my wife, who is constantly embarrassed by the looks I attract in restaurants) but I should have brought the Bike Fed’s megaphone to do the pre-ride announcement and Spring Classic raffle. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that 96 people showed up on a warm spring day. Broken Spoke had about that many for their beach ride on Global Fat Bike Day, last December 3rd. All in all, the group riding scene in Green Bay and the Fox Cities area in general seems to be off the hook.
Growing up in southeast Wisconsin, when I think Kringles, I think of Racine. But I’m going to have to make an effort to check out Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe in Green Bay, as they baked up some pretty legit pre-ride Danish bakery! Thanks to George for picking up both raspberry and pecan Kringle. Riders were able to get caffeinated with fresh coffee from The Creamery nearby. If that wasn’t enough, Hagermeister Park sponsored post-ride beers, for the lucky riders not driving all the way back to Milwaukee that is.
Perhaps the highlight of my ride was passing a couple walking their pet pig on the bike trail. The pig was on a leash, as required by City ordinance. Thanks again to everyone who rode with us. Last year we had four of these rides and this year we have eleven. So not only did we grow the number of rides in the series, we seem to be attracting more riders each week. Our goal is really just to help promote businesses that support the Bike Fed and organize some free rides for our members around the state. It has helped to have Lowlands Group sponsor the series this year too.
Even though there was a faster 63 mile route and a slower 40 mile option, we didn’t have super good communication about it prior to the start. Add that the pace on this ride was quite a bit faster than normal and I had to drop to the back and do my best rolling Border Collie shepherding to get out-of-towners falling off the pace paired up with locals and other riders who had the route. I hope nobody got lost!
For calculating Flander’s Points, I had 55 degrees at the start of the ride and wind speed of 9 mph (it felt windier that that) with no precipitation. I ended up riding 48 miles, so I earned 44.6 Flanders Points (44.6 = 48 x 50/55 + 0 + 10 – 9). Those who did 63 miles earn 58.3 Flanders Points.
Next Saurday at the Tour de Lowlands I will bring my megaphone, and we will be a little more clear about that before the ride. These rides are advertised as 15 mph to 20 mph, but inevitably there are some who ride faster and some who can’t quite keep up at 15 mph. For that reason, everyone really should download or print the routes from RideWithGPS. You can see all the routes on our Spring Classics map here. Just click on any of the routes, open in RideWithGPS to download the routes to your phone, Garmin or print a map and cue sheet. Click here for the route for next week’s Tour de Lowlands.