Chicago – Day 4

Today was our excursion out of state. We hopped in the car, pulled out of our insanely expensive parking spot, and wandered around Chicago until we got enough GPS signal to get out to the highway. From there, we drove up to Milwaukee to spend the day at the Harley-Davidson Museum and take a tour of the Pilgrim Road plant. Once we got out of Chicago, the drive was pretty easy, and getting to the museum was no big deal.

We had booked the earlier of the two Steel Toe Tours, so we had a little time to go through some of the museum, checking out the really old bikes in the middle and some of the side exhibits before grabbing some lunch. The cafe on site has some pretty good food, and apparently we picked a good day to be there because it was pretty empty. After filling our bellies, we went back to the museum to meet up with our group and start the tour.

We took a shuttle over to the Pilgrim Road plant, put on our steel toe caps, safety glasses, and hearing protection before starting the tour. This is an active plant, not a museum, so we were dodging workers and machinery as we walked around. I did the Capital Drive plant tour years ago and was amazed at how much things have changed since then. This facility is a significant improvement over that one. One of Reese’s favorite TV shows is How It’s Made, so this tour was like a live version of one of the shows for him. At the end of the tour we bought some souvenirs before getting back on the shuttle and heading back to the museum.

Once we got back to the museum, we took our time going through the rest of the museum, checking out the exhibits and taking in the really cool bikes. On the bottom floor they had some bikes that you could hop on to try out how they fit. I tried on an Ultra and hated it. The ergonomics are terrible, especially the heel-toe shifter. But the Dyna, on the other hand, was really nice. Both Reese and I liked how we felt on that one. Too bad it doesn’t have a full fairing…

Finally, we hit the gift shop to pick up some more loot then hit the road to get back to Chicago. We rolled in and actually got a spot in the same parking lot, still overpriced, but conveniently located.