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The day we left Madison it was raining. We were 90 miles from Milwaukee and decided to split it into two days. We had a delightfully slow morning in Madison as we tooled around the city on our bikes and drank coffee. Our goal was to get on the road by 2 o'clock and have a short day into the town of Johnson Creek. We left at 4. We ate lunch standing up outside a Madison grocery store in the rain. It wasn't the most excited we have ever been to ride. The tides changed as we started to make some calls for a place to stay for the night. We called a Johnson Creek church and Pastor Jim said we couldn't sleep in the church but he'd love to buy us a hotel room for the night. Sometime you just gotta take what you can get, and sometime what you can get is a room at the Comfort Suites. We perked up. The rain cleared and the road turned to beautiful bike trail through Wisconsin marshland. We never even got to meet Jim but were overwhelmed by his generosity and will not cease to talk of his goodness. For those familiar with the Johnson Creek Comfort Suites then you know it's got the best continental breakfast in town

After overdoing it at the continental breakfast and taking muffins for the road we started to make our way to Milwaukee. We had about 60 miles to ride but we treated it like a short day. Long distance biking is such a mental game that lying to yourself a bit can go a long way. We skipped lunch, it was a short day after all, and got to Milwaukee in great time. Milwaukee, like the rest of Wisconsin, is incredibly accessible by bike. We were staying with the family of a friend of mine and we were able to almost ride to their front door on a bike trail. The Marten family banged pots and pans as we pulled up on our bike and within 10 minutes we were eating cheese curds and drinking beer. My friend Marinna and her family toured us around the city and filled us with a surprising variety of dairy products.

We overlooked Milwaukee when planning our trip. I'm sure most people do. The city maintains a small town Midwest feel which charmed us. We regret not spending more time there.

Photos: Exploring Lake Michigan//Us with our host Marinna in from of the Art Museum//Fried Cheese Curds

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