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On the Trail in Wisconsin (ride report)(10 posts)

On the Trail in Wisconsin (ride report)Andy M-S
Sep 20, 2003 11:30 AM
Yesterday, I decided to take a nice long solo ride. I had cleared my deadlines at work, so I got up early and headed out on the bike trail. Since it's a limestone trail, and since it had rained the night before and was still cold (45F when I started out) I took my touring/bad weather bike (the one with the famous Ugly Cranks (tm))
La Crosse-SpartaAndy M-S
Sep 20, 2003 11:33 AM
The limestone of the trail between La Crosse and Sparta was very wet, so the going was hard. Fortunately, it's one of the most beautiful places to ride on the planet, even when it's overcast:
Sparta-ElroyAndy M-S
Sep 20, 2003 11:35 AM
One of the real attractions of the Wisconsin trail system is the Sparta-Elroy trail. It was on one of the sections of this trail that I spotted some other cyclists--they were looking for a Starbuck's. BTW, Norwalk is the "Black Squirrel Capitol of the World."
Tunnel 3Andy M-S
Sep 20, 2003 11:39 AM
Some of you may have wondered why my bike was carrying a battery and headlight. Here's why. This is the entrance to Tunnel 3, a 3/4-mile long railroad tunnel cut through the rock in the late 19th century. It's dark and wet and cool, and you have to walk your bike. The light at the end? It's not a train, it's just the other end of the tunnel, over 3,000 feet away.
Lunch!Andy M-S
Sep 20, 2003 11:41 AM
Not long after Tunnel 3 and the slightly less spectacular Tunnel 2, you come to Wilton, home of the justifiably famous Gina's. And yes, the pies are square--and very, very good, as is the rest of the menu.
On the trail again...Andy M-S
Sep 20, 2003 11:44 AM
The day was mostly overcast, but for a little while after lunch, the sun came out. I didn't quite travel as far as I wanted, but even with the lousy weather, it was a spectacular 80 miles of sight-seeing. Here's one of the sunnier sections of the trip, headed up toward Tunnel 1 after Wilton, though I turned around before reaching that tunnel.
I rode Elroy-Sparta onceMisJG
Sep 20, 2003 7:40 PM
It must have been in the late '80s. Beautiful country. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories!
I rode Elroy-Sparta onceAndy M-S
Sep 21, 2003 5:04 AM
It's really a nice area, and the fact that the trail used to be a railroad right-of-way means that while there are some rather long climbs, none of them is above 3%, so it's available to recreational cyclists of all stripes. I highly recommend it to any visitors to the midwest. It's not a fast ride by any means, but you get to actually see the area this way. And not just cornfields!
Nice bike, what is it? Great pics!...........nmrwbadley
Sep 20, 2003 7:57 PM
Nice bike, what is it? Great pics!...........nmAndy M-S
Sep 21, 2003 5:01 AM
I have absolutely no idea what the bike is...I bought it used from someone else who bought it's been through a lot of configurations. When I got it, it had a single chainring and a 7-speed rear end.

Currently, it's 3x8, bar-con shifted. The stem is (no kidding) some putple-anodized thing I found in a shop's junk bin, the drivetrain is 105 (with Ultegra bar-cons and an old LX crank), the bars are Icon Onyx that I had from my second-ever road bike, and cut down a bit so that shifters didn't project back. The Avocet Racing saddle came on my second-hand RB2, and seatpost is SR.

With the fenders and cheap semi-slicks (Michelin Dynamics) it makes an excellent rain bike, though we've been rather short of rain in Wisconsin this summer/fall.