My Commute: In Milwaukee, every sign post is a bike rack


Josh and his George's Big Dog Stand.

Customer parking is not a problem for Josh, who sets up his George’s Big Dogs hotdog and bratwurst stand four days a week outside Milwaukee’s National Hardware. The amateur kickball team member offers a grilled dog and toasted bun on his gas grill. Of course, he has three kinds of mustard and sauer kraut. His stand is next to two sign posts where customers lock up to grab lunch and shop in the hardware.

Almost every sign post in downtown Milwaukee has a bicycle locked to it.

Sign post bike rack close up

If every sign post is going to be a bike rack, Milwaukee decided they should be good bike racks.

Seriously! So the city embraced the obvious and has made many downtown sign poles bike racks.

National Hardware

National Hardware provides the Veggie Biker with all sorts of devices for adapting cameras to bicycles. One can find all the pieces to construct an apartment bicycle rack.

Men in coats and ties pedal down the streets and pull up to the nearest sign post, lock up, and go inside businesses. Of course, downtown is full of students from Marquette University, Wisconsin University and the School of Engineering commuting effortlessly up the hills and across the river bridges.

Of course, some poles seem to have bicycles permanently attached. There are bicycles that appear not to have been moved in months. Others, slowly disappear over time as parts are stripped away. However, the Veggie Biker observed the U-Lock and a cable meant never having to worry when you find your very own sign-post bike rack.

Abandoned bike

This forgotten bike has to be pivoted around the sign post each week by the person mowing the parkway. The basket if filled with empty cans and coffee cups.


Book Review: “Just Ride” promotes the Spandex-Free Zone of bicycling

Just Ride

Grant Petersen doesn’t think you need all that gear or all those gears in this guide for everyday people who ride every day.

“Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike” by Grant Petersen is a “just do it!” spandex-free guide to bicycling.

Petersen, a bicycle racer wants to encourage “unracers” to use their bikes as transportation and recreation, not a style statement. It is a reaction against the commodification of bicycling. You can hear his June 5 interview on the website for Lake Effects, WUWM 89.7 public radio, or read a summary of the interview.

In the interview by  AND , He busts three myths about cycling today.

  1. Lycra is a bicyclists’ best friend: Dress for comfort. Dress appropriately for your destination. Bike shops sells clothes to make money, not make you a better cyclist.
  2. Helmets aren’t invincible: There is not much difference, if any, between the $40 helmet and the $400 helmet when it comes to safety. They all have to meet minimum government standards. Petersen advises a helmet does not make you safe. It just softens the blows. Ride like you are not wearing a helmet.
  3. Eight is enough: When we were kids, we had three gears; then 10 gears. Now some bikes have 30 gears. But almost any urban topography can be conquered with 8 gears. (This goes along with the three-speed theory of life. We have 21 possibilities, but habitually use only three.)

WUWM reports Petersen lives in California and owns Rivendell Bicycle Works, a maker of steel bike frames.

My Commute: Thieves continue cannibalizing locked bike

A Schwinn bike first spotted three days ago u-locked to a street sign in Milwaukee, WI, continues to be cannibalized by thieves, it appears. Unless the owner just wants to take it home one part at a time.

A Schwinn bike first spotted three days ago u-locked to a street sign in Milwaukee, WI, continues to be cannibalized by thieves, it appears. Unless the owner just wants to take it home one part at a time.

Thieves continue to cannibalize the carcass of the bicycle locked to a street sign that was featured in a post two days ago. The Veggie Biker really could use that luggage rack.

Stolen bike parts

Your bicycle can prove to be a sidewalk parts store for thieves. There’s a reason one U-Locks the frame and rear wheel to the pole, while running a cable from the front wheel, through the seat to the U-Lock.