Monday, October 10, 2011

Oak Leaf in Pictures

I am fortunate to live just a few blocks away from Lake Michigan along the Oak Leaf trail in Milwaukee.  I can bike to work taking a combination of city streets and the trail.  It is a great two a day effort and convenient way of racking up miles on a beautiful route.  I have biked to work a number of times but today I took a camera to capture the beauty of my home town.
About to begin my commute to work
I left the house just a touch before 6:00 AM.  Traffic at this hour is sparse and most traffic lights were blinking yellow or red speeding up my commute.  Headlights and taillights are a must for riding in the dark even if you are on a trail that does not have cars.
Bayview Before Sunrise
The Oak Leaf is discontinuous.  Some of it is city streets with stop lights and some long stretches of uninterrupted trail also exist.  To get around the harbor city streets are the only available option.  For this reason it is important for cyclists and motor vehicles to share the road.  This goes both ways as I have seen plenty of dumb on both sides.  At least two cycling fatalities have occurred along this route that I know of.
Lake Michigan Sunrise off the art museum
The Oak Leaf becomes a continuous trail for over 5 miles from downtown through Estabrook Park.  It is one of my favorite stretches to run and bike.
Taken on the way home, a bridge in Estabrook park
Estabrook park is gorgeous and has a few different trails winding through it.  Much of the path follows the Milwaukee river.  It is easy to forget it is in a city.

The Milwaukee River as viewed from Estabrook park
There may have been some unofficial common use single track along the river I checked out.  I didn't have time to explore all the networks of trails but they do have their own Wikipedia page.  Another day.
Capital Avenue Bridge
The Capital Avenue bridge has been open since this spring.  I am grateful for it.  I never did enjoy crossing Capital.  I used to bike Capital but take a longer route with less traffic these days to reduce my risk of death.
Veterans Park Bridge and marina in the background.
There are  a lot of cool scenic loops and offshoots in the area and far more landmarks to see than I can give justice here.  The Veterans park area is very rich in scenic beauty.
The Milwaukee Art Museum
The art museum is a gorgeous building.  I think the wings were closed because it was windy.  This same building was featured in Transformers Dark of the Moon.
2nd Street Rockwell Automation Clock Tower
2nd street has bike lanes and not much traffic.  It was under construction last year but is complete and functional this year.  I don't understand why cyclists take very busy KK two blocks over.  I did it a couple times before deciding I loved life more than cycling in a traffic lane on a busy bus route.
By the Port of Milwaukee
I would train by the port of Milwaukee all day if I was Rocky.  It has an industrial feel and I love it.  There are a lot of haters but the conveniences of modern life including power, water, sewer, and freight have to be made possible somewhere.
Back home with dog and machine
I finally got a cross country mountain bike this past weekend after a year of thought and after taking out about five different bikes.  It does not make the fastest commuter but goes places I wouldn't want to take my road bike - not that I couldn't.  When the weather cools some more my next big challenge will be running to work and back.  It is close to a 13 mile effort one way and takes just shy of an hour on the bike when traffic lights are cooperative.



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