Visit Milwaukee Blog
by Guest Blogger Margaret Casey
Cyclists compete in colorful Riverwest 24 this weekend!
Want a change from the lakefront festivals? Head WEST this weekend – to Riverwest – to the annual Riverwest 24 bike race. This marathon 24-hour bike race has grown each year since it began in 2008 as a way to showcase one of Milwaukee’s most diverse neighborhoods and encourage urban biking. You know it will be a colorful event in Riverwest, with riders of all abilities dressed in everything from spandex to tutus. Lively music, unicycles and jugglers will entertain residents and visitors as they line the streets to cheer on the cyclists.
From 7:00 p.m. Friday, July 26 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, July 27, solo riders, tandems and teams (multiple riders with one bike or multiple riders with different bikes) will face the challenges of sleep deprivation, heat, sore muscles and dehydration as they cycle past mandatory check points and keep track of “manifests” (10 laps). Along the way riders can make up laps by taking on the challenge of quirky bonus points revealed on race day, which in the past have ranged from tattoos to edgy haircuts to slip-n-slides.
For an up close and personal take on the race, check out last year’s Dear MKE film that featured Nicole, a former bike messenger and now Kohl’s fashion designer, as she prepared for her solo race and then made her goal of 40 laps in the 24 hour race.
Registration for the race is now closed, but you can still sign up to volunteer for this event. Click RW24 for more information and for the route, and see them on Facebook here.
So grab some camp chairs and see how Riverwest with its proud “can-do” spirit unites residents and businesses, volunteers and community sponsors in organizing one of the city’s most unique sporting events dedicated to “stamina, team work and merriment.”
They do it up big, and they do it with flair and fun that you’ll only find in Milwaukee’s Riverwest!
7pm - 7pm
By Jeannine Sherman
Director of Public Relations
When you’re located on one of the largest freshwater bodies on the planet, you’re bound to have a storied maritime heritage. “Come Sail Away” finds Milwaukee’s love of the water still going strong - with a 21st-century twist - as Dear MKE profiles one of the few local women skippers sailing Lake Michigan.
Cate Muller started sailing when she was eight years old. Today, Muller, who has made a career out of selling sailboats when she’s not at the helm, says the sport has “pretty much turned into my life.” A former Chicagoan who came to Milwaukee to attend college, Muller fell in love with the city and its laid back, friendly vibe. The fact that it had an active sailing scene and what Muller calls “amazing” access to the water was icing on the cake.
Dear MKE’s film crew joined Skipper Muller and her crew in one of the Milwaukee Yacht Club’s Wednesday night races to see her skills in action. While flying along at speeds of up to 20 mph, the film captures the visually stunning lakefront and the friendly, but competitive, nature and teamwork necessary to command a 24-foot sailboat across the water.
I caught up with Cate between sails to get her take on what makes Milwaukee and the Lake so special.
You’re a transplanted Chicagoan. What makes Milwaukee feel like home:
I love downtown, the East Side. I came here to go to Marquette, and it’s so laid back and just an easy place to hang out. It’s easy to make new friends. If I’m in Chicago for more than a week it’s “get me back to Milwaukee.”
How big an impact did the sailing scene have on your decision? How easy is it for the average person to get into sailing?
Milwaukee has amazing access to the water. There’s the Milwaukee Yacht Club, the South Shore Yacht Club, the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, which is one of the top community sailing programs in the nation. It makes sailing a viable option for people who think they may not have the money or the skills. Sailing doesn’t have to be expensive. It takes one person to own a boat, but you need several who are willing to crew.
How unique is it to be a female skipper on the Lake?
There are definitely not a lot of girls out driving boats in the Midwest. It’s few and far between but I think it’s changing. I’m seeing more and more women excited about sailing, who want to learn and understand more about driving and being in charge of their own boats. Girls should feel just as empowered as men do.
What does it feel like to be sailing Lake Michigan?
The Lake is really a natural wonder of the world. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being out on the water and looking back on the city and thinking “I live here. This is cool!” Not a lot of people get to do that, view the city from that perspective. Once you realize you’re making this boat move with your skills, the wind and the water, it’s freeing and calming at the same time. It changes you. It’s a sense of freedom that few other things in our everyday lives can offer.
I hear last summer you made a dinner deal with the crew. Tell me about that.
I offered a $12 dinner if we won, but if we lost it was a $2 hot dog. That really got me in trouble for a few weeks because we kept winning!
Besides a hearty appetite, what does it take to make Cate Muller’s crew?
To be on my boat, you need to be excited about it, be willing to make the extra effort, to ask questions, to learn. I love getting people stoked about getting on the water. It’s the tie that ties everyone together, whether in competition or just out for fun. It’s all about the stoke.
Details: www.DearMKE.com | www.youtube.com/DearMKE
The Dear MKE film series is a first-ever collaborative project that brings together an all-Milwaukee creative team under the direction of VISIT Milwaukee and Hollywood producer Jack Turner, who grew up in Milwaukee.
When complete, the 12-film series and image campaign will paint a picture of Milwaukee and its many facets as told through the stories of Milwaukeeans. The project is designed to dispel old perceptions of Milwaukee, drive brand awareness, entice new talent, attract new businesses, and bring more visitors – and remind locals why we embrace the essence of what makes life good here.
To see an additional 300+ video clips, stories and photos of Milwaukeeans sharing their love, pride and stories about Milwaukee, go to DearMKE.com.
Dear MKE is on Facebook (Facebook.com/DearMKE) and Twitter (Twitter.com/DearMKE).
by Guest Blogger Margaret Casey
Want a great, easy way to explore the city on foot? Stroll along Milwaukee’s RiverWalk through the heart of downtown and learn about the history of the city, while you check out some of our best restaurants, brewpubs, shops and waterfront nightlife.
In the early 1990’s a dedicated committee of downtown visionaries dreamed big. The newly formed Milwaukee RiverWalk District teamed up with the City of Milwaukee, and years of development and several national awards later, today’s RiverWalk winds more than 20 blocks through the heart of the city, tying together three distinct riverfront neighborhoods — the Historic Third Ward, Downtown, and Beerline B.
Who needs"SoHo" when you’ve got the Historic Third Ward? The ward has become a hub for artistic activity in Milwaukee and is currently home to more than 20 galleries and art studios, the bustling Milwaukee Public Market, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, the Broadway Theatre Center, shops and numerous restaurants featuring al fresco dining.
Past and present artfully connect along the Downtown RiverWalk. This section passes by the thumbs-up Bronze Fonz and through the main theater district including the Pabst Theater, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. On warm summer evenings you’ll see folks dancing along to free Wednesday evening concerts at the riverside Pere Marquette Park. And don’t pass up the chance to celebrate Milwaukee's German heritage along Old World Third Street.
Award-winning brewery tour anyone? Lakefront Brewery, an anchor of the Beerline B area on the RiverWalk, boasts one of the top-ranked brewery tours in the nation per Tripadvisor. Beerline B is a former industrial corridor, redeveloped into a neighborhood of modern, riverside condominiums in cutting-edge architectural designs.
While each RiverWalk segment has a distinct personality, they are unified by a unique, urban, outdoor gallery. RiverSculpture includes both permanent pieces and temporary installations by national, regional and local artists. Currently 20 sculptures, ranging from small, whimsical sculptures such as Gertie, the world's most celebrated duck, to sizeable and striking abstract works and intricate wrought-iron trellises grace the RiverWalk.
The clanging you hear will be coming from one of the sixteen bridges spanning the Milwaukee River from the northernmost point of the RiverWalk — the Humboldt Street Bridge — to the southern end — the Milwaukee Street Bridge in the Historic Third Ward. Along with the standard “fixed” bridge, these include different types of movable bridges allowing for boat traffic. The design of bridge operator houses reflects the time period in which the bridges were built, and include Neoclassical, Art Deco and Modern.
Colorful signs along the way direct you to downtown’s attractions and informative historical markers will fill you in on the infamous “Bridge Wars” and the city’s German heritage. And watch for the urban outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling and pleasure boating — right in the heart of the city. Warmer months also mean a steady stream of tour boats operating along the RiverWalk, offering everything from history and architecture tours to America's only brewery tour by boat.
So make a day of it – discover the charms of downtown Milwaukee on a leisurely stroll down our award-winning RiverWalk!