7.25.2016

BIKE WITH JOE

What year is this?

2016?

OK, then that means this year's BIKE WITH JOE scenic social bike ride over Labor Day weekend in northern Wisconsin is the 17th annual.

Who's in?

In 1999, some #RAGBRAI friends and I got together over Labor Day weekend and rode our bikes from my folks' cabin on Shell Lake WI to Stone Lake WI, some 23 miles away, stopping at various locales for refreshment and socializing.

Then we just did it every year thereafter and it became a thing.

Attendance has varied year to year. Originally, the ride was called BIKE WITH MELINDA after my friend Melinda who was one of the early attendees. But after she stopped coming a few years into it, that moniker just confused future attendees. So...since I am the only consistent participant every year, a consensus was reached a couple years back to rename it BIKE WITH JOE, retroactively effective to the first year.

One year, I was the only attendee, and I decided to run/walk the 10 miles around Shell Lake rather than bike to Stone Lake. I was a better runner then.

Anyway, we usually congregate at the cabin on Saturday of Labor Day weekend and chillax. Then on Sunday, we leave the cabin at a leisurely pace and bike to a breakfast stop by way of a beverage stop. Much merriment ensues as we bike the rolling hills on to Stone Lake. Anyone not wanting to bike the return trip from Stone Lake (56 miles round trip) can get picked up in the "sag wagon," which is basically my car with a bike rack on it, driven by my folks or another volunteer. On the holiday Monday, we help my folks tidy up the cabin before it gets closed up for the winter (this is the "entrance fee" for the ride). Winter in northern Wisconsin starts in mid-September and ends in mid-May, just before Memorial Day weekend.

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