Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bicycle camping....Day 1

Janice and I decided three weeks ago to try some bicycle camping and some touring by bicycle in the future. We did the majority of our shopping at Northwest Outlet in Superior. Steve Stubblefield was very helpful in picking out our gear and the things we needed to get going. He is very knowledgeable in light weight backpacking and camping. I would highly recommend Steve for anyone looking for camping and hiking...biking gear.

We also purchased a B.O.B. bicycle trailer and some other goodies from REI. Between the two stores, we figured we were ready to go.

We decided to do three days, two nights and about 140 miles, from Camp Douglas, WI to Elroy to Union City to Wonewoc to Hillsboro back to Elroy to Kendall to Wilton to Norwalk to Sparta and on to Rockland to Banger to West Salem to Medary then North to Onalaska to Midway to New Amsterdam to Brice Prairie on to Trempealeau and Perrot State Park.
We dropped a vehicle off at Perrot State Park and then were driven to the start of our trip at Camp Douglas.
These were the two generous young gentlemen that helped us with the logistics. We could not have done it without their help....Mitch on the left....Michael on the right.
This is us at the start.
This is the first trail that we rode on. It is a Juneau County trail that leads from Camp Douglas to Hustler and on to Elroy where it meets up with the 400 State Trail and the Elroy/Sparta State Trail. It is an asphalt trail. The daily trail fee is $ well spent.
There are several new bridges on this trail.
This is the first of four tunnels we will pass through on our ride.

These towns are bicycle towns. The people are friendly, traffic is courteous, and trails are well marked. I can't express how bicycle friendly this area is.
We intended to ride to the trail closure and then on to Hillsboro and back to Union Center. When we arrived in Wonewoc, I had a flat tire. Seeing how we would be back tracking anyway, we turned around there and headed back to Elroy to setup camp, as I had used one of my CO2's and had only a patched tube to go on.

This is the trail going up to the walk-in campground at Elroy. This hill is steep and long. The campground sits on top of a huge mound on the edge of town. This would haunt us later.
View from the campsite.
Around midnight we could see lightning surrounding the area. At 2:30 a.m. it came rolling through where we were camped. This was bad as we were camped on the TOP of one of the largest hills in the area.... in a clearing.... during a lightning storm. It stormed until about 4:00 a.m.Steve really helped us with picking out our gear, as the wind blew and it rained hard. Everything stayed dry, including us....that's a good thing.
This was a bad thing. Going into the walk-in campground required passing through a large culvert that went under the highway. We had passed through the culvert three times....when the forth time came around Janice wanted to push her bike through. I told her she had made it three times why not ride again...but do what you want. She decided to ride again.... and....this was the result. I felt really bad about this. Lesson...keep mouth shut. When riding bicycles you need to think about where you want the bicycle to go...not where you do not want it to go. You will learn that when you mountain bike....or you had better learn it.
We got started at about 12:15 p.m. and set up camp at 5:30. We logged a tad over 35 miles today. Working on day two, will post later.

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