A Visitors Guide to Milwaukee by Bike
Whether you want to race, tour, mountain bike or just see the sights by bike, Milwaukee is a great destination. On this page visitors will find information about where to go and what to do in Milwaukee by Bike.
If would like an organized bicycle tour of the City, visit http://www.brewcitybiketours.com.
Or to see the sights as someone else pedals, contact http://www.creamcityrickshaw.com/
Hotel Metro: Guests have access to the hotel's fleet of bicycles. 411 East Mason St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202 414.272.1937
Milwaukee Bike & Skate Rental, McKinely Marina, Milwaukee, WI 53202 414.273.5224
Ben's Cycle & Fitness, 1018 W. Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53215 414.384.2236
Cory The Bike Fixer, 2410 N Murray Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211
Jim and Nori on the Oak Leaf Trail (photo by Richard Beauchamp)
Halloween Cross Race
Paved Trails: Milwaukee has hundreds of miles of trails. For more information, see the maps page, the Oak Leaf Trail page and the Hank Aaron State Trail page. The Ozaukee Interurban Trail is just north of Milwaukee, and connects to the Oak Leaf via the Brown Deer Trail. You can also find the trails by zooming in on Google Maps, and tips about trails at Craig Holl's comprehensive website of area trails.
Mountain Biking: The Milwaukee area is blessed with many miles of great singletrack moutain bike trails. The county parks dept. trails are shown on the Milwaukee by Bike map. The Alpa trail is near a small ski hill and runs through the woods along the Menomonee River. The trails near Hoyt Park run for almost 15 miles heading north along the Menomonee River. The Southern and Northern Kettle Morraine State Forests are less than an hour's drive from Milwaukee and have some of the nicest moutain biking you will find in the Midwest.
World Class: Joe and Jake make it fluid Milwaukee style
Racing: What is your passion? Do you like to chase down the break on the road, rip single track through the woods, or is old school track more your thing?
From world class road racing, killer mountain bike races, triathalons, cross, Alleycats every first Friday, great BMX for all ages, and bike polo, Milwaukee has it all going on.
Check out our Racing page here for more details.
Milwaukee is also a great place to see by Bike. Below are a number of random tips and suggestions I have given over the years to those new to the area. There is no real order to these suggestions and they are far from complete. If you have other specific questions about things to do by bicycle in Milwaukee, feel free to contact me directly. Unfortunately I am not allowed to place live links to for profit businesses on the City website, so you will have to look up the websites on your own through a search engine.
For a short ride across town, I am particularly fond of the Hank Aaron State trail. It is an interesting mix of urban and natural with some art and interpretative signs along the trail. When the Salmon are running the Menomonee River is thick with them. When there is not a game on, you can park at Miller Park in their lot, or up the hill at Doyne Park. I encourage you to ride on the bike lanes into the third ward and on to the lakefront. Our museums and Lakeshore State park are pretty cool. The Milwaukee Public Market is also nice, as are most of the places in the Third Ward. The Third Ward has many nice shops and places to eat and drink as well. I also suggest you continue all the way to the lakefront an visit the new museums and the new Lakeshore State Park.
If you don't want to go that far, grab a bite to eat at any of the great Mexican or Cuban restaurants just south of the roundabout on 5th Street near National Ave. A fabulous place to stop for a drink is the new Iron Horse Hotel, super cool. Nearby is the great new Harley Davidson Museum, which also has super food and drinks. The Hank Aaron State Trail map shows all those connections and the connections with the Oak Leaf Trail into Wauwatosa. The village of Wauwatosa also has a number of nice places to eat and shop, inlcuding restaurants, ice cream, a pattisserie, a starbucks and a number of other nice restaurants and shops.
I also really like the section of Oak Leaf trail that starts at South Shore Park by the marina and heads south along the lake. You can park down there at the marina or in the park. Very pretty views of the lake and the section in the woods by Grant Park is very pretty as well. There is also a great place called Groppi's (http://www.ggroppifoodmarket.com) to get some food to take along or to eat on their patio. But beware, the pannini's are HUGE! I can hardly eat a half.
The section of the Oak Leaf that heads north along the lake from the new Lakeshore State Park is also worth riding. The park is pretty nice and heading north you can cross over Lincoln Memorial Drive at the Brady Street Bridge bike and continue the Oak Leaf on a path and parkway drive almost all the way to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. The Urban Ecology Center is a great place to stop and visit a totally green building. It is just north of Bellview.
Or you can just ride along the lakefront to Bradford Beach Pavillion and the North Point Custard Stand, which are both really nice and has great burgers, tacos frozen custard (a Milwaukee tradition) and drinks.
If you are cycling that way along the east side or in Wauwatosa, you might enjoy the bicycle themed Cafe Hollander: http://www.cafehollander.com/ for good beer, food and a cycling based cafe. The village of Wauwatosa at State and Harwood has a few other restaurants right off the Oak Leaf trail near Hollander as well. One is French and another is Italian. A similar French cafe with a french theme is Trocadero (www.ztrocadero.com) near the Marsupial bridge and the Beer Line Trail. And our two major local coffee roasters Alterra and Stone Creek both are very pro cycling and sponsor teams and have bicycle themed coffees.
For other eating tips, I like Polonez
for Polish and Karl Ratzch's
for German. You can find those places and many other good reviews of cafes, restaurants and bars here: http://www.onmilwaukee.com/dining/