Wisconsin Bike Tour cont.

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 10th, 2011

To co-workers and friends I billed it as an “Extreme Leisure” bike tour. It was an intentional spoof and antidote to the extreme rides some had taken recently, like the Arrowhead ride; 138 miles of snowmobile trails in the dead of winter, or the Continental Divide Race; from Canada to Mexico on jeep tracks and mountain bike trails at a pace of 120 miles per day. My plan: 50 miles per day, lots of lounging, photos, talking with the locals.

In reality, it was a little tougher, with one 88 mile day and several days of 60 plus miles. I also rode through temperatures over 90 degrees, with high humidity and one day that started in the 40s, with 20 mph winds. Today, my last day, looks to be in the low 50s with a light drizzle.

I wandered off the planned route several times just because the road ahead looked better than the one I was on. I also spent several mid-days laying on picnic tables in the shade whle waiting for the most intense heat and sunlight of the day to pass. Met a Mennonite family and talked with them as I was buying asparagus directly from their garden and spent an hour in a bar, drinking a beer and eating pork rib sandwiches as my phone charged in an outlet. Spent one night in a campsite next to a gurgling, boulder-filled river and a couple of nights in a state park with warm showers. Those are the experiences that make a bike trip for me. Mega miles and extreme conditions test your limits and provide their own kind of experience, but they don’t work for me.

I finish this afternoon. Total miles will be approximately 370. My only regret is that the trip wasn’t longer. It takes several days just to settle into the routine, and my trip was broken up with a visit to family- enjoyable, but it diisrupted the flow I was developing. I’m hungry for another tour.

My apologies to anyone who didn’t get their orders fulfilled immediately while I was on vacation. I made the best arrangements I could think of, but some things fell through the cracks.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc