Cycling Around the World
Show MenuHide Menu

Racy Racine

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Heading down the shore of Lake Michigan, my next stop would be Racine and a stay with another Warmshower host. First though I would ride through Milwaukee, which would have been an overnight stop had I not been catered for on both sides. It seemed very industrial to me, even if at the moment I’m confused as to which photographs belong where, a result of falling well behind with the blog. Although I’m now Back in Canada (in Windsor), I am still writing about my travels of more than a week ago.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Being told not to miss the Milwaukee Art Museum on my ride down to Racine I’m glad I took John’s advice, because it is certainly a very impressive building which houses over 35,000 works of art. I couldn’t quite work out why the car outside was wrapped around the post though…

A sobering reminder of poor driving?

I didn’t really do much exploring in Milwaukee, but from what I did see there was not much of interest for a photographer other than the Art Museum, which is worth another picture. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong place?  If so, sorry Milwaukee.

Another view of the Milwaukee Art Museum

Arriving in Racine, another John made me very welcome and cooked a great meal as I sorted out my washing. As I was only staying the one night we arranged to take a look around the sights in the morning and then John would ride part of the way to Chicago with me. It ended up being a good tour as I got to visit and go up inside the local lighthouse, quite a treat.

Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine

After listening to a presentation given on the history of the lighthouse, the old lighthouse keeper was on hand to proudly show off the fresnel lens. I loved his passion and knowledge of his subject.

What a lovely (and very knowledgeable) old ‘gentleman’

Struggling with the 144 steps (I counted them) to the top of the lighthouse, the view out over Lake Michigan was superb and certainly worth the effort to get there, even if my photography doesn’t do it justice. To be fair it was rather hazy.

144 circular steps…

…and the view from the top.

Racine is a pretty nice place, especially the harbour area. Although this was just a quick look round, I could so easily have spent much more time here, but really needed to get to Chicago the next day. So we settled for photographing each other around the main highlights…

My host John in front of the harbour

We parted company just after visiting Highland Park and John would have a long ride back to his vehicle, while I would continue onto Chicago. It had been nice to have someone to share riding with as I’ve not done this for quite a long time, so thanks again John.

Interesting old cabin, shame about the sign stuck on it.

On the outskirts of Chicago (Wilmette, just north on Evanston) I came across what I at first thought was a mosque, but in fact it is the oldest surviving Bahá’í House of Worship in the world, and the only one in the United States. The sun was directly overhead so I struggled to get a good picture and this is the best of them:

No, it’s not a mosque!

And then I was in Chicago, one of the places I have always dreamed of visiting due to my love of architecture. I would be staying a few days, taking both a bike and boat tour of the city and I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog coming soon…

Can’t wait?  well here’s a taster of the fantastic scenery I photographed and some rather interesting information about it:

Chicago’s famous Ferris Wheel

The world’s first Ferris Wheel was erected in Chicago for the Columbian Exposition in 1893. Built on speculation by George W. Ferris, a bridge builder from Pittsburgh, the wheel rose to 264 feet, surpassing the Eiffel Tower, and offering breathtaking views of the fair and the city. Here’s another interesting fact: the London Eye was until 2006 the largest Ferris Wheel in the world!

More soon…

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 3:23 am

Derek. Was so glad that I got a chance to meet you and spend some time share some food and enjoy a bike ride with you. Sharing a walk up the lighthouse was fantastic. Lived here over 50 years and that was my first time up. Come back to Racine any time! John

Patrick Hugens
Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 12:10 am

Hello Derek,
Thanks for keeping up the blog, we enjoy following your journey. Bala, the cyclist you met in Duluth just arrived in Boise today.

    Friday, July 25, 2014 at 1:28 am

    He’s a good lad with a wise head on (very) young shoulders. Hope he’s enjoyed his journey.

Karl Swainston
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Well done, Derek! Are you the Derek Boocock, who once played chess for Leeds Chess Club?

    Friday, July 25, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Hi Karl, yes that would be me – but oh boy it seems like a lifetime ago!

    Send me an email at and tell me all your news please…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *