An urban tour of a Sunday

A while back, the Wife and I were drinking a pint or two and solving the problems of the world–or at least positing solutions to our problems–and we fell to talking about the difficulty of taking an extended (or even overnight) tour. Between pet care, other commitments, the general desire to sleep in our own bed, and radically different levels of cycling skill, experience, and attitude, it was pretty clear that we weren’t going to be packing up the panniers and heading out on the open road any time soon.

So I poured another round of pints and hatched the idea of urban touring. Not exactly original, I know–but it’s a new departure for us. The basic premiss is that we take off for a day of cycling, but stay within the confines of the city of Madison. We ride around. We stop to look at things–and most importantly, to eat and drink and generally relax. And then we come home to a hot shower, cold beers on the deck, and a good night’s sleep.

On Sunday we headed out on another urban tour. I can’t tell you the route we took exactly (no GPS allowed on urban tours), but took in the Yahara River path, Tenney Park a few eastside neighborhoods, the Capitol Square and State Street, the Lakeshore Path. She rode her Breezer city bike; I rode the Albatross. Riding fixed makes it easier to keep pace, most of the time.

By the time we reach the Capitol Square, the temperatures were warming and it was clearly time for something cold and wet.

Photo by the Wife

Two goblets of Capitol blonde doppelbock and an order of reuben rolls–punctuated by a good deal of people-watching from our sidewalk table on State St– and we were ready to move on to points further west.

After a loop through the western part of the UW campus via the Lakeshore Path, we maundered back up State St. and washed up at Graze, where we’d not yet been. Sunday brunch service was winding down, but we were able to secure a charcuterie platter and a couple of beers to fortify us for the rest of the ride home.

Urban touring is a pleasant way to spend a warm Sunday afternoon and one that I’m sure we’ll repeat–especially now that the wife is getting the hang of the pleasure of cycling for pleasure. In the future, we’re considering a tour of the new B-cycle facilities (using B-cycles), more neighborhoods for more gardens, and a treasure hunt of Madison taquerias.

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