Dave Schlabowske
Bike Czar

Join a Bike Ride Under the Polish Moon

Sign up for slow-moving, family-friendly, 8-mile, summer night ride through the South Side.

By , Bike Federation of Wisconsin - Jun 1st, 2018 01:53 pm
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Kicking off the Polish Moon Ride with the National Anthem. I will try to get four accordion players this year. You can never have too many accordions!

Kicking off the Polish Moon Ride with the National Anthem. I will try to get four accordion players this year. You can never have too many accordions!

Join us at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 22nd, for our annual Polish Moon Ride, a unique, family-friendly bike tour through Milwaukee’s historic Polish neighborhoods. You can Register here. The easy, slow roll through the real “Streets of Old Milwaukee” honors the area’s Polish and German history while it celebrates the present-day Latino culture. Be sure to bring the whole family for this ride. The pace and distance are slow enough for all ages and abilities, and the police keep everyone safe. Kids of all ages love the feeling of riding around on these historic streets of old Milwaukee as the sun sets!

The pre-ride party features lively Norteña music, or Mexican Polka. Milwaukee’s formerly Polish immigrants on near south side have shifted to mostly Mexican immigrants now, but luckily both cultures love Polka.

The pre-ride party features lively Norteña music, or Mexican Polka. Milwaukee’s formerly Polish immigrants on near south side have shifted to mostly Mexican immigrants now, but luckily both cultures love Polka.

This year the ride will be hosted by the super cool new Fuel Cafe 5th Street location and Nomad Nacional across the street. Both are new businesses who opened on the recently reconstructed South 5th Street. Nomad Nacional’s 2018 Fanzone is a new summer hub for alfresco eats & drinks, colorful vibes, dance nights and world music, and all things FIFA World Cup!

Come hungry, because the Polish Moon Ride begins at 5 p.m. with delicious Polish and Mexican food. The grill masters from Ben’s Cycle and Milwaukee Bicycle Co.pany will man the barbeque, featuring Klements Polish sausage on Sciortino’s buns. Fuel Cafe and Nomad Nacional will be serving amazing Mexican food and Pierogies as well. Of course we will have free ice cream again for the kids thanks to Wisconsin’s Cedar Crest, who also donate for the kids races at ToADMX Rudigo Norteño, one of Milwaukee’s hottest norteña bands, will play at Fuel to get you warmed up for the ride. Nomad Nacional will also have a mariachi band.

The family friendly ride starts at dusk, under the always full Polish Moon, AKA the Allen-Bradley Clocktower.

The family friendly ride starts at dusk, under the always full Polish Moon, AKA the Allen-Bradley Clocktower.

Best of all, our good friends Milwaukee Brewing Company have donated some Polish Moon Stout! It was a conversation over a Polish Moon Stout where I orginally came up with the idea for the Polish Moon Bike Ride. There will be plenty of other barley pops, drinks and non-alcoholic bevies available as well to keep you hydrated before and after the ride. We were talking about scheduling a family-friendly full moon ride in Milwaukee, and I looked at my beer and realized the Polish Moon is always full.

Not familiar with the ride? Check out the video below done Walker’s Point Expat by Richard Beauchamp at the inaugural warm, but foggy Polish Moon Ride. Richard is a friend and a professional photographer who had a studio in the Walker’s Point neighborhood for about 20 years. The video was edited by our bicycle crazy pals at Mainly Editing.

The police-led ride starts at 7 p.m. with accordion players like the crowd favorite Uncle Kenny cranking out polka on the back of cargo bikes along the entire 8-mile, family-friendly ride. Be prepared to be amazed, as the crowd of people on bikes last year stretched 10 city blocks! This is a SLOW ride, so no need for spandex! There will also be lots of short stops along the route as the police hold us at intersections. We will have ride support in case you have a flat or mechanical.

As soon as you get back to the start at Fuel Cafe, the Polish Moon Polka Trio kicks off the after-party with their special Milwaukee style of Polka, so bring shoes you can dance in. Still hungry? No problem, as there will be more great food and Milwaukee Brewing Company will be pouring Polish Moon Stout and other tasty brews.

If you have joined us in the past, we haven’t changed much except the location. You can listen to awesome Norteña music while you stuff yourself with great Mexican and Polish food and Cedar Crest ice cream before the ride. The police-led, family friendly 8-mile ride begins at 7 p.m. and will again feature live accordion players pumping out the Polka from the backs of cargo bikes. We will finish back where we started for more food and drink specials while you are entertained by the world famous Polish Moon Polka Trio.

If you have never done the ride, please come join us for the casual, slow, mostly flat, family-friendly ride. Be sure to bring your kids (we have special family rates), as the kids on the ride love the chance to ride at night on urban streets. We hire the Milwaukee Police Department to surround us with officers on motorcycles to keep everyone safe and motor vehicle traffic out of the ride.

A beautiful night for a ride ends under a blue moon.

A beautiful night for a ride ends under a blue moon.

A huge thanks go out to our hosts, sponsors and particularly our media sponsors at Urban Milwaukee and 88 Nine Radio Milwaukee for helping to spread the word about this fun ride that supports our Mobile Bike Repair Program. The Wisconsin Bike Fed operates two Mobile Repair Programs in Milwaukee, bringing free bike repairs to the community — by bike! Repair Coordinators partner with high school-aged youth who are trained and hired to do bike repairs at parks, schools, special events, and more. One program is based out of the Milwaukee Bike Fed office on the south side and the other out of North Division High School on the north side

Brennon and Jean repair a bike at Burnham Park while the owner waits with a neighbor.

Brennon and Jean repair a bike at Burnham Park while the owner waits with a neighbor.

Not familiar with Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood? Watch this awesome new video from our sponsor 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. John Gurda gives a great overview of the neighborhood.

Check out our fun Polish Moon Ride Facebook Event Page, which has interesting quizzes about the history of the area and updates on the ride.

2018 Polish Moon Ride Details

  • When: Eat: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Ride: 7  p.m. to 9 p.m. Polka 9 p.m.M to 11:00 p.m., Friday, June 22nd, 2018.
  • Where: Fuel Cafe and Nomad Nacional Fanzone,  630 .S 5th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204, in Milwaukee’s hip Walker’s Point Neighborhood.
  • How far: 8 miles of slow, easy pedaling with plenty of rest stops to regroup
  • How long: The ride typically takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours from roll-out to finish.

Register Here!

2 thoughts on “Bike Czar: Join a Bike Ride Under the Polish Moon”

  1. Donna says:

    Sounds very good for everyone. But please don’t kick it off with the National Anthem! Will we all be expected to stand? Or worse to put our hands over our hearts (this is actually for the Pledge of Allegiance)! The National Anthem belongs at important national events not at ball games and bike rides. We need separation of Sport and State.

  2. robert dohnal says:

    This is really neat, good job Dave. Join the Wisconsin bike fed, come out tot he Miwlaukee Mile on Wed nites.

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