Entries Tagged as 'upaf'

UPAF’s Ride for the Arts

June 11th, 2011 · 1 Comment

As I mentioned before, last weekend my brother, my dad and I did UPAF’s Ride for the Arts. One of the largest one-day recreational bike rides in the United States, UPAF’s Ride for the Arts has raised more than $7 million for the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), which helps fund 34 performing arts groups throughout Southeast Wisconsin. So a big “thanks!” to everyone who sponsored us. We were able to raise over $100. And if you meant to sponsor us, but didn’t, you still can here.

UPAF Ride for the Arts start line.

Dad & Richard at the start.

Richard and Rachelle at the start.

We selected to do the 25-mile ride. There are also 5, 12, 50 and 75-mile bike routes. I think if it were up to my dad he’d go for the 75! But no way for Richard and I! Since the ride starts early Sunday morning, I drove down on Saturday night. Well, I attempted to. My car broke down on the way there, but that’s another story! On Saturday it was in the 80s or 90s and I was kind of scared for Sunday, but it really cooled down. Dad was complaining he was cold, even!

We got up early on Sunday, after only about 6 hours of sleep (See the part above about my car breaking down. Long story!) and just ate something very light. The grounds of Summerfest were the starting point, so we loaded the bikes onto my brother’s bike carrier thing-a-ma-jigy for the car and headed up. On the way there we stopped for air for the bike tires. I didn’t realize that my tires were very under inflated. When we got there, I took my bike off the rack and it tried it out. It felt so nice riding with inflated tires! haha.

The photos above are of us at the start line. There was a bit of confusion at the start of the race. Where to line up, which way to face. It ended up starting 20 minutes late. We didn’t know why at the time, but afterwards I read this article and found out that they were doing last-minute patches on the bridge route (see below). One thing that I did not mind is that in the confusion we totally missed all of the speeches by the big wigs welcoming us and what not. Let’s just go! Although last year I did like it when they announced we’d all be getting free hotdogs!

Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

Dad on the Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

Don’t know why my brother is doing this.

Hoan Bridge

Hoan Bridge

This year there were two 25-mile routes. One went over the Hoan Bridge and one that stayed at ground level and went through the Historic Third Ward. Since we went through the Third Ward last year, we opted for the Hoan Bridge this year. Plus, who knows if they’ll ever cut off traffic and offer that option again! This was the first legal opportunity to ride on the bridge in nearly 30 years. This was our route.

First Oasis

Getting snacks.


The first rest stop, ahem “oasis,” is at mile 5 at a church in St. Francis. Last year there was play acting for entertainment. This year was drumming. I liked the drumming better. We got refueled on fruit and granola and water and were back on the road.

Riding on from the first oasis.

Oasis Two

Dad at the second oasis.

Dad and Richard at the second oasis.

Big bike at the second oasis.

The next oasis didn’t come until the halfway point, down in Grant Park. There was a guy there with a big, old fashioned bike. I called BS on him riding it all the way through the ride. I thought he was just showing it off at the oasis… but just after we finished the ride we saw him pull in past the finish line!

They stole our matching costume idea!

Richard and my dad.

Belly dancers at the last oasis.

Riding back up towards Milwaukee.. the last oasis was at about mile 20 or 21 and was at the Coast Guard post. There were belly dancers for entertainment here.

At the finish line!

At the finish line. I was feeling pretty good. I was only winded a couple times on the ride and only for a few minutes. I was tired, but I felt a lot better than I did last year.


Free hotdogs and “cheese”

So, at the Summerfest grounds, on to the reward! We got ice-cold Miller beer. Always tastes like the best beer you ever had. There were also a ton of free Sun Chips, Kangaroo pita chips, Rold Gold pretzels, and granola bars. Like last year, we were also promised free hotdogs courtesy of Gahn Meat. We got our pathetic hot dogs and they were ok. Not the best, but hit the spot after the ride. This year we were also promised free cheese. Well, it turned out to be a pack of pretzel or cracker sticks with some processed cheese dip. Kind of a bummer. And ironic, since Sargento is always now advertising how they make such exceptional cheeses, not processed, with high-quality ingredients.

Fiat pace cars

These guys were so happy it was creepy.

The Love Monkeys. My brother said they’re a pretty popular local cover band.

More jugglers

At the Summerfest grounds there were a lot of entertainers. We walked around and checked out all of the displays, jugglers, musicians.

Summerfest Grounds

Until next year…. !

Jessica at Culver’s

Oh, one more photo. Later on we met up with Amanda, Jess, Steph and my mom and went to Culver’s. Compare this photo of Jess at Culver’s with my last photo of Jess at Culver’s. Crazy!

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UPAF’s Ride For The Arts

May 25th, 2011 · No Comments

Please consider sponsoring my family on our ride. To do so, click here.

On June 5th, my dad and my brother and I are participating in the UPAF Ride for the Arts in the Milwaukee area. My brother and my dad have done this bike ride in years past, and last year my brother and I did it, but we’ve never all gone together. We will be riding the 25-mile route on bike to help raise awareness and money for the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), which supports 34 performing arts groups in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Since 1981, over a quarter of a million people have participated in the UPAF’s Ride for the Arts and it is considered to be one of the nation’s largest one-day recreational bike rides. This year is the 31st year of the event, which has generated $7 million for the UPAF. The money is used to help UPAF’s member groups produce over 2,000 live performances of music, dance, theater and opera each year. When you support the arts, you’re helping your local economy, improving education, and strengthening outreach programs to the disabled and elderly – all while adding culture to your own life.

Last year the ride was not easy, but very do-able. I thought I’d be dying and sore the next day, but I surprisingly was not. Sure, the day of there were lots of aches and pains, but they did not last. And since Miller Lite sponsors The Ride, the finish line party on the Summerfest Grounds is really fun. Last year there were bands playing and it was a total celebration. I’m not going to lie, the I only made it through the last few miles of the bike ride because I was thinking of ice-cold Miller Lite. Honestly, it was the best beer I ever tasted. Last year there was also one sponsor who donated 5,000 hotdogs to the event, so everyone got a free hotdog on completion. Looking forward to the ride this year and to helping support UPAF’s great cause.

Please consider sponsoring my family on our ride. To do so, click here.

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UPAF’s Ride for the Arts

June 12th, 2010 · 5 Comments

As I mentioned before, last weekend my brother and I did UPAF’s Ride for the Arts. The ride is considered one of the nations’s largest one-day recreational bike rides. This year was the 30th year of the event, which has raised more than $6.7 million for the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF). That’s quite an accomplishment! Thanks to everyone who sponsored us! And if you meant to, but didn’t you still can here.

Dick and I selected the 25-mile ride. There are also 5, 12, 65, and 75 mile routes. Since they all started early in the morning on Sunday, I drove up to stay over night on Saturday. It was pouring so hard on my drive up that I couldn’t see anything and at one point traffic slowed to 10-miles-per-hour. I was afraid that the weather would be bad on Sunday, but it actually turned out perfect. Not too cold, not too hot, no rain.

We got up early on Sunday and just ate something very light. I had an English muffin and Dick had a banana. The grounds of Summerfest were the starting point and there was free parking, so we loaded the bikes in my brother’s new truck and headed up. Here’s my brother making sure his bike is in good order. He’s had issues on past rides with pedals breaking off and stuff.

And here we are at the start line.

Maybe next year this photo will have my dad in it too. He and my brother have done the ride the last few years and I haven’t been able to. Wouldn’t you know that the year I’m free my mom and dad are on vacation. One year we’ll all do it together.

The start line was right at the Italian Community Center, where I think I attended a wedding once, but it was 10+ years ago and my memory isn’t what it used to be, so I’m not 100% sure this is the place.

Anyway, there were a lot of people taking turns talking on the microphone. The only one I listened to was the one that promised ice cold Miller at the finish line and told us that one of the sponsors donated 5,000 hotdogs for us to eat when we were done with the ride.

No one with a bike really cared what anyone on the podium was saying. We just wanted to go already!

The 25-mile bike route initially went through Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and then south through the lakeshore communities down to Grant Park and back. This is roughly the route:

View UPAF 25 Mile Ride in a larger map

The 25-mile ride had 3 oasis stops where you could rest, get some water, and have something to eat like apples, bananas and granola. The first oasis was on the edge of St. Francis at about mile 5 or 6.

Some people flew by without stopping, but a lot were ready for a rest. In hindsight, I think the first 5 miles were the most difficult for me, so I definitely welcomed taking a break!

We saw all kinds of different bikes.

Some people pulled kid trailers behind them for 25 miles. I don’t think I could have done that.

This oasis had some people off to the side playacting.

At first I didn’t get why, but then I remembered… the arts. We were basically raising money to fund these guy’s programs, so they decided to entertain us.

The next oasis didn’t come until the halfway point, down in Grant Park. Here there was a guy playing all kinds of stringed instruments. When I walked by he was talking to a bike rider about guitar playing.

The last oasis was at about mile 20 or 21 and was at the Coast Guard post. By this time there wasn’t much for snacks left, but it was good to get off the bike one last time and make a pit stop. The last few miles were kind of hard, but I just kept my mind on the prize: Ice cold Miller and hotdogs!

And here we are at the finish. I wasn’t sure before the event if I could ride for 25 miles. My brother convinced me I could, so I signed up. My trainer suggested I take some spinning classes to prepare, which I never got around to doing. And I meant to ride my bike a bit to get used to it this season, but the weather and my foot injury prevented that.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that before this 25-mile ride, I’d been on my bike for all of 5-10 minutes this year. I was pretty sore the day of the race, but the next day? Not really. I thought I would be dying, but I wasn’t at all. I guess this is testament to the fact that I really am in the gym 3-4 times every week. It felt good to do the ride, like it was an accomplishment, and it felt great that I wasn’t dying afterwards.

After the ride, we put our bikes back in the truck and headed in to the Summerfest grounds to join in the Finish Line Party where there was live entertainment with performances by local Milwaukee musicians and members of the UPAF.

There were a lot of sponsors giving away snacks. This guy was handing out Kangaroo brand pita chips.

The best Miller I ever tasted.

This was a pretty pitiful hotdog, but it was free, and I was so hungry it tasted delicious.

My brother and I also split this plate of appetizers from Saz’s. Sour cream & onion fries, mozzarella sticks, and white cheddar cheese curds.

After eating, we walked around the grounds to see what was to see. This is what was to see:

Pedal Tavern? I wish I’d taken that the 25 miles!

We didn’t hang around too long. I went back to the house, took a quick shower, drove to Chicago, took a quick nap and headed to the airport. I had to fly to Utah that night for work… but that’s another story!

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