Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gov Dodge

We made a stop at Governor Dodge State Park near Dodgeville WI in the southwestern part of the state.  Nice park, very nice park, but not much for MTB'ing.  It is connected to a nice rail trail called Military Ridge, but it was mostly mountain biking we were after on this little journey.

They have about 9 miles of MTB trail, but some of it looked like this.  It was wet, and I normally would not ride a wet trail, but in this instance I figured some use is better then none.

The above pic is some more of the trail.  These trails are shared with horseback riders.  In all fairness, some of the trail was very nice, but two track.

Come back a little muddy.  Still got it in though.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Riding the City

After riding the John Muir trails, it was off to Madison.  We camped at Capital Springs campground, which the campground itself is a Dane County park connected to the Capital Springs State Recreation Area run by the the WDNR.  We had mistakenly thought it was a state campground.  It wasn't our favorite, but if one had business in Madison, it would work well.  What brought us here is that the Capital City State Trail is connected to this area.  Janice and I rode that trail and added in the Southwest bike path to make a near 20 mile circle on the tandem.

This bridge in Fitchburg is a new addition since the last time I rode around the Madison area.  Very nice addition to the trail, but I would hate to guess the cost.

The Southwest Bicycle Path goes by the Pacific Cycle headquarters.  We do have a Schwinn elipitical trainer, and I have an old Schwinn I am suppose to be rebuilding and that is the extent of any brands we own represented on this sign.  As I googled the company I discoverd it is part of Dorel Industries which is a Canadein company.  I still thought it was cool.

Pacific Cycle building.

These geese did not want to move off the path...and some did not.

The Madison area most likely received a lot of rain recently.  We encountered sereval large puddles on the Capital City Trail...Also for those who do not know, a trail pass is required for most, if not all, of WI state trails run by the DNR.  Click the link for more info on WDNR run trails.  I think the fee is minimial and we willing support these trails.    

Friday, June 25, 2010


Janice and I left Point Beach heading for the Southern Kettles of WI.  We had stopped in Oconowoc for longer than planned...which turned out to be a good thing.  We were going a little further, but it was already beginning to storm, so we pulled into Ottawa Lake camping area.  When we arrived it was storming so bad, we just pulled in and parked.  It wasn't long and the lightening was right outside, windy and mixed in what sounded like to be hail.  It began to let up and not long later the sirens were going down the road running along the edge of the campground.  The sirens lasted for two hours with some police driving through the campground with just lights on.  We knew something was up.
When we continued our journey to the John Muir trails the next morning, we found the reason for the sirens...An F-2 tornado had touched down just south of where we were camped.  It destroyed 25 homes and severely damaged another 100.  We were headed right for it...I am glad we pulled in to camp when we did.

This was another guy that was happy he stopped when he did.  His name is Josh Hobson.  He is bicycling from San Fransisco CA to Brooklyn New York.  He had taken shelter from the storm in the bathroom.  I talked to him for a long time the morning after the storm...very interesting gentleman.  Click his name for more.
We made it to the John Muir trail system Tuesday morning after a few detours.
I was surprised to see that the trails were open as they do close them after heavy rains.  The debris on the bridge is a telling tale of what was to come.
There were a few spots in the trail that looked like this.  It made for some interesting riding as you didn't want to gather too much speed for fear of what was around the next bend. I removed what I could.
There was also some muddy spots to deal with...another reason for caution.  I did get in close to 14 miles of single track though.

If anyone makes it to this great single track trail system, Do Not go by this store with out stopping.  We had lunch there and it was fantastic.  It is the LaGrange General Store.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rawley Trail

After riding MTB'ing Levis on Sunday it was off to Point Beach State park on Lake Michigan for Sunday night.  The following morning we rode the Rawley trail into Two Rivers and hit another trail through town.  It was a nice 20 mile ride on the tandem.
It is not a very long trail, but very scenic.

It seems to follow a ridge with swamp on both sides.

If one decides to stop and admire the magnificent scenery, be prepared...Mosquito galore.

A restored cabin along the way.

In the park, the trail is like a freeway with each way having its own lane.
There are 9 bridges along the trail.

It is a very nice campground with the added luxury of a nice family trail to enjoy.

The Internet as been sporadic at best, so I haven't had the time to devote more to this.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


After Lowes Creek in Eau Claire, it was on to Levis-Trow Mounds east of Merrillan WI in Clark county Wisconsin.  These are some of the best trails in the Midwest.  We had never been there, but had heard of them, and are sure glad we went.  The facilities are great with a small camp ground on the premises.  While there we visited with the other two groups that were camped also.  The one group was three guys from the Twin Cities and one girl from Canada.  The other group was Darin Braun and his girlfriend Lynn.  Darin is a very good rider placing 4th last year, his first year I might add, in the WORS...Wisconsin Off Road Series.  This is America's largest mountain biking series.  They say he will be on the top soon.  But, more than being a very good rider, they are both very nice people.  Two nicer people one could not meet...and that I will guarantee.  I put a link to his blog named "The Pursuit of Happiness" with the other links.

Epic...they are not kidding.
Bring your legs..and lungs.
The names of these trails tell you something.  You ride switchbacks to near the top and ride on the cliff. 

There are intermittent maps such as these, but I carried a map supplied at the trail head that worked very well.
Many of the trails going up were like this.

And this.

Near the top of one of the bluffs was interesting bridge segment.  This was the approach...or the descent depending on which way you are traveling.  Most trails are two way.

The middle section of the bridge series.
The other end...and you do not want to ride off the end of this section ! !

Nearing the top.

Closer to the top.

The next two pictures below are from the rocks you see across the gap here. 
I rode to the top of three bluffs while here, but I may have missed one...not sure.  The second day I was going ride everything I hadn't the first day.  It didn't work out as when I got near what I think may have been the last bluff, I was almost out of water.  I brought one bottle of water and didn't want to bonk out there.
This was two very nice rides and would recommend these to anyone.  If you do not want to climb, there are some nice single track trails that follow the bottoms...and if you do want to climb, see pictures included.  You will not be disappointed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lowes Creek MTB

The MTB has been neglected this year...so it was time to remedy that. 

We started out by heading south to Lowes Creek in Eau Claire.  I hit every trail there and man, did it feel good.
They have made some re-routes since the last time I was there...for the good IMO.

When I first started coming here, this hill on the Red Flint was dirt.  It has been rock for I think at least two years.  It used to be when you come to the bottom of the hill, there was a bridge you needed to cross.  That bridge could be tricky if you were carrying to much speed.  I witnessed people crashing there during the Fire Cracker race one year.  Bridge is now history due to re-route.
Some log crossings, but most have a go-around.

Some nice trails here.

What I think is the signature trail at Lowes...The Onion.

On to Levis next ! !

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2nd Day of 2010 MS150

This was our ride for the MS150 this year, and last year for that matter.  The Burley...not the Ford.

Day two's second rest stop was at Rush City.  We had a little later start than the first day, so there were many more people out ahead of us.
Lunch was seved at North Branch the second day.  We arrived at 9:10 AM and it was already busy.

The grain mills of North Branch served as a nice parking area this day.

North Branch rest stop.

Some entertainment at the Wyoming rest stop.

Last rest area of the ride in Hugo MN...some are dragging in and still others are looking for more.

The amount of support people on this ride is phenominal.  There were officers at most intersections, along with what has to be thousands of volunteers.  This is very well run event.

Some may say this was our goal of the weekend, but in reality the ultimate goal is to put an end to Multiple Sceloris.  The raising of what they hoping to be 2.6 million dollars which funds MS research has to help.  They are making great strides in fighting this disease.  When you are riding this event and being greeted by people who are afflicted, it makes a person feel good to know that in a small selfish way, you are making a difference.

Century College was the finish this year.  There were people lined up here for nearly two blocks to greet us when we arrived,

All smiles for the Gitchigumi Gear Mashers after finishing of the 2010 MS150.  Thanks again to all of our supporters and to those chose to read through these last two we posted up.