Archive for October, 2013

Northfield/Faribault Bike Routes for your Phone

Posted by Doug Shidell, October 28th , 2013.

Bikeverywhere’s series of maps for your phone now includes the Northfield/Faribault area.

This map covers a lot of area, from Cannon Falls, at the start of the popular Cannon Valley Bike Trail, to Faribault and the start of the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail.  The terrain is flat to low rolling hills with a series of scenic lakes to the west of Interstate 35. Most of the bike routes are on low traffic, paved roads, but gravel grinders will  find a small selection of gravel roads that weave through farm country on very low traffic routes.

Northfield is home to St. Olaf College and Carlton College so it has an urban setting and cultural amenities not often found in a town of 20,000 people. The Mill Towns Trail winds through historic downtown and around Sechler Park, offering views of both the Cannon River and the railroad.  Paved and unpaved bike routes radiate in all four directions from downtown.

Faribault is slightly bigger than Northfield at 23,000 people but the culture is entirely different. It’s an attractive town with well established neighborhoods, and great cycling options. Head southwest to enjoy the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail. Follow one of the many scenic road routes to the west to circle a variety of lakes or explore the rolling hills and farm country of Rice County. None of the hills are extremely steep, but some can climb, or descend for nearly a mile.


Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

La Crosse Area Bike Route Map for your Phone

Posted by Doug Shidell, October 20th , 2013.

The La Crosse, WI area is the first of a new series of bike route maps that I am developing for your phone or mobile devices. La Crosse is in the southwest corner of Wisconsin on the Mississippi River and in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless area. The city itself, and the city of Onalaska to the north, are in the relatively flat valley created by the confluence of the LaCrosse and Mississippi Rivers. Head east to ride on some of the most remote, scenic, and hilly roads you will find anywhere in the continental US.

The Driftless area is an unglaciated part of the state that has been cut into narrow valleys, called coulees, and rolling ridges.  Expect climbs up to a mile in length as you ride from coulee to ridge, and exhilarating descents as you come back down. This is farm country with small farms and woodlots in the coulees and larger farms on the ridges. Wisconsin’s history as a dairy state works well for bicyclists. The state has paved nearly every road in the area so milk trucks can get milk from farm to market under any weather conditions. For bicyclists that means paved roads, often with as few as 50 cars per day.

The map is available for your iPhone, Android or tablet. The first step is to download the free app from either the iTunes Store or Google Play. This is a one time download.  You can now download any map on the Avenza Map Store. To find the La Crosse map, search for LaCrosse, WI Bike Routes. Or just search for Bikeverywhere to see more maps as I develop them.

I’m giving away the first 50 downloads of the La Crosse Bike Routes map with the hope that I can get feedback that will help me make it even better. After the first 50 downloads, I will charge $4.00.

The free map app has a lot of features. The most important is that you can use it with the GPS in your phone to track where you are. This only works, of course, if you are in the La Crosse area. But even before you get there, you can lay out routes, add points of interest, measure distances and numerous other things. Check it out. The app is always free, but hurry on the map. It won’t take long to get to 50 downloads.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

New Trails in the Milwaukee Area

Posted by Doug Shidell, October 6th , 2013.

Three new trails opened in the Milwaukee area this summer:

  1. Three Bridges Trail. This is a linear park that acts as a branch of the Hank Aaron Trail. It runs between the Urban Ecology Center at 37th Street and the Mitchell Park domes.
  2. Southern extension of the Interurban trail from Brown Deer Park to Mill Road as part of Milwaukee County’s Oak Leaf Trail system. A Glendale trail, finished last year connects Mill Road to Sydney Pl allowing an alternative route from downtown Milwaukee to Brown Deer Park.
  3. Two new sections of the Kinnickinnic River Trail. The first runs between Washington Street and Maple Street parallel to and to the east of First Street. The second runs from Lincoln Avenue, just east of First Street, south and swinging west to Sixth Street at Rosedale St. A new bridge takes the trail across Chase Street. There is no connection at Chase. To get from the first to the second section, go east on Maple St to First Street and then  south on First to Lincoln.

It was also announced that the western portion of the Hank Aaron Trail will be closed starting next year to allow reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News