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Old 03-17-12, 07:25 AM   #1
shona
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Where to Ride in Wisconsin

If we were to travel to Wisconsin from Texas with our Ritchey road bikes where should we go? We want to stay in one place for about a week. We will be coming in July. We are looking for pretty scenery, nice roads and decent food. Please help. (We are also considering Ithaca, NY.)
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Old 03-17-12, 10:07 AM   #2
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How hilly do you want the rides to be?

The southwest part of the state is VERY hilly. Central very flat. The rest is 'rolling'.

I guess it depends on what your other interests might be, I don't think you can go wrong with
any part of the state in July. You'd be happy and have a great experience.
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Old 03-17-12, 11:38 AM   #3
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Rolling would be perfect. If we want rolling where should we station ourselves? Thanks!
How hilly do you want the rides to be?

The southwest part of the state is VERY hilly. Central very flat. The rest is 'rolling'.

I guess it depends on what your other interests might be, I don't think you can go wrong with
any part of the state in July. You'd be happy and have a great experience.[/QUOTE]
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Old 03-17-12, 02:33 PM   #4
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I would recommend stationing yourself in the northwest Madison area.

The 2016 Olympic Road race course would have been in Blue Mounds, WI if the Olympics had taken place in Chicago. The collegiate Nationals course is about 22 miles and is a great loop. You can also head north to the Baraboo/Devil's lake area for more sloping, longer hills. Otherwise you have the river valley nearby if you want to ride the flats.

There is a huge cycling culture here and you would be able to find group rides if that's your thing. Even the city riding is good here with lots of MUPs.

I PMed you my email, feel free to email me if you want any further info. I'd be happy to help.
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Old 03-17-12, 04:04 PM   #5
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Yeah, if you're used to climbing, then that's a great ride. Most 'normal' people would find that area brutal to ride. It's beautiful, no doubt, but pack a granny gear.

I think any part of the state offers excellent riding in July because unlike many states, gravel roads here are rare. 99% of the secondary roads are paved and in good condition because the dairy industry requires it.

Think about what you might want to do when off the bike. Into airplanes? How about the EAA Airventure in Oshkosh? Camping and fishing? How about the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward? Bicycle Racing? ICC Superweek in Milwaukee - 17 straight days of racing. Waterparks and 'touristy' attractions? Wisconsin Dells!

http://www.wistravel.com/wisconsinevents_july.htm

http://www.wisdells.com/

Really, just pull off the interstate, park your car and ride. It's hard not to get a winner in every time.

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Old 03-18-12, 06:46 PM   #6
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Ummm ... Bluemounds is SW of Madison.

I like staying at the Brew pub in Mineral Point, http://www.brewerycreek.com/

I would also suggest northern WI. Beautiful north-woods roads. Rolling, but not as severe as SW WI.
There is a fun race, the Firehouse 50, http://www.firehouse50.org/ , which is August 4, almost July.
We have a private palce nearby but Lakewoods, http://www.lakewoodsresort.com/ , Garmisch, http://www.garmischresort.com/ , or Telemark, http://www.telemarkresort.com/ , are nice places
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Old 03-18-12, 07:01 PM   #7
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Are the three lodges you mention here in northern WI?
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Ummm ... Bluemounds is SW of Madison.

I like staying at the Brew pub in Mineral Point, http://www.brewerycreek.com/

I would also suggest northern WI. Beautiful north-woods roads. Rolling, but not as severe as SW WI.
There is a fun race, the Firehouse 50, http://www.firehouse50.org/ , which is August 4, almost July.
We have a private palce nearby but Lakewoods, http://www.lakewoodsresort.com/ , Garmisch, http://www.garmischresort.com/ , or Telemark, http://www.telemarkresort.com/ , are nice places
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Old 03-19-12, 08:14 AM   #8
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I think that the best riding opportunities in Wisc are the large and extensive network of bicycle trails.

Where to start? The best (biggest?) is probably the Sparta-Elroy trail. If you ride the entire system you can ride from Reedsburg, WI to Wynona, MN. Aboout 102 miles.
Beautiful and scenic the whole way. http://www.bike4trails.com/

The Sugar River (from Brodhead to New Glarus) trail is also a great trail. The Mountain Bay trail takes you right into Green Bay from the Wausau Area. There is a small system of
great trails in the Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls area.

Need/want more info? Check them all out at www.railstotrails.org
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Old 03-19-12, 08:21 AM   #9
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Ummm ... Bluemounds is SW of Madison.
Actually more west... but the area northwest of madison gives you decent rides to Blue Mounds, Devils Lake, the river valley, and the downtown Madison area.

You had some excellent suggestions, as well.
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Old 03-19-12, 05:31 PM   #10
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If I were headed from Texas to Wisconsin to ride, my first choice would be up by Ashland. I know it's way the hell up there, but if you came all the way to the "Great Lakes States" you shouldn't deprive yourself the experience of the greatest of the Lakes. That area is full of thick forest, wild rivers and, of course, the great gitche gumee. Get a cabin on the lake, plan a post-ride excursion to the Apostle Islands, and enjoy the Northwoods. You'll be glad you did.

(You should also pack some bug spray because they are saying the mosquitos are going to be horrific this year... and it won't matter where in the state you are.)
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Old 03-19-12, 06:02 PM   #11
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All of the above suggestions are great. I would also suggest Southwest Wisconsin forthe Elroy-Sparta Trail, the Great River State Trail, the Mississippi RiverTrail, and the roads in Trempealeau County. Trempealeau County riding was discussed in a couple of bicycle magazineswithin the last year given the quality of the roads and little road use. It is in a dairy area so the roads serve thedairy farms and little else. There aresome awesome rides in Minnesota as well—just on the other side of theriver. A good place for a central location might be La Crosse. However,the surrounding area offers many lodging areas for hopping around. Camping could also be considered. A good break from biking could be a hike up Brady'sBluff in the Perrot State Park. You could also head over to the Madison area as some suggest after a couple ofdays.

Heck, take a couple of weeks off and try them all. There were no bad suggestions.
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Old 03-19-12, 07:07 PM   #12
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As Wisco indicates, Madison is a good anchor point. You've got the road circuits he mentioned, plus if you want to go more leisurely, you can hit the trails. You can go south and hook up with the aforementioned Sugar River Trail or on into Illinois, west to the Blue Mounds road routes he mentioned, or on into Dodgeville, or east to Milwaukee. A day just doing the City of Madison paved trails would be a work-out. New Glarus, Tyranena, Capitol Breweries offer tours. If you prefer wine, tour Wollersheim Winery which just shocked the wine world and won several best in class awards recently in California. Tour Trek Bicycles in Waterloo. Obviously, lots of cheesemakers and shops. Look at the Madison Hilton in downtown Madison overlooking Lake Monona. A city bike trail right out your back door will take you to any of the other trails I mentioned. Out your front door is the square, the capitol, and State St - restaurants, nightlife, quirky shopping.
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Old 03-20-12, 10:39 AM   #13
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If your interested in riding on rails to trails paths i cant recommend Madison enough as a starting point enough.

You have the Military Ridge and Badger trail all starting here. From there you can branch off to the Sugar River. The Glacial Drumlin starts is a 10 minute drive from the city and the Elroy Sparta area is 45 minutes.

If your interested in riding on rails to trails, check out my blog. You can find maps, photos, etc for many of the trails near the Madison area.

http://bartsbiking.com/
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Old 03-20-12, 11:33 AM   #14
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Not much else I can add to these great suggestions but I don't think the OP's question about the lodges iab mentioned was answered. Yes they are all in north central WI and there are wonderful rolling roads in that area that curve around all the lakes in that region.

I assume living in TX that you are used to heat and humidity but if you plan to camp it can get stifleing here at times in July. As mentioned the south shore of Lake Superior will be cooler as would Door County. There isn't as much elevation change in Door Co. but wonderful back roads and nice little towns that can get quite busy on weekends however.

It has been said already but you really can't go wrong in any area of the state. After reading this I want to re-explore some places that were mentioned.
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Old 03-20-12, 06:44 PM   #15
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Chet 31 states: “Look at the Madison Hilton in downtown Madison overlooking Lake Monona. A city bike trail right out your back door will take you to any of the other trails I mentioned.” It really is surprising how fast you can bike from downtown to the rural areas. Many of the places mentioned can be reached by some of the most popular bike routes in Dane County. I might suggest getting the book, Great Dane Rides, by the Bombay Bicycle Club which has over 40 routes in it. You’ll also be close to a lot of LBS and they can be a great source of information as well.
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Old 03-23-12, 09:19 AM   #16
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Here is all you need to know! http://www.ridebctc.com/ I, too live in Texas and have ridden a lot of places in Wisconsin and Michigan, but if I'm not going to the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan then I'm going to this place in Wisconsin! Fantastic roads, VERY similiar to riding in and around Fredericksburg, TX but greener! About the same elevation, about the same degree of slope to most hills, VERY little traffic, LOTS of friendly people and nice places to stay and hang out!
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Old 03-23-12, 11:40 AM   #17
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I've been all over Wisconsin, but I would not want to bike near Madison, those hills would be killers on a cyclist like a slightly out-of-shape cyclist like me.

Check out the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive in southeast Wisconsin. Even just the southern part of it. There's a nice little ma 'n pa cycle shop where it intersects US 12. Ride north from there. It is rolling hills, very twisty roads, mostly with no more than 35 mph speed limits. Through some lush woods like you don't have in Texas, I'd wager.

Then, to mix it up, ride the northern unit some other day. The northern unit is even twistier and starts to have more pine trees. The north end of the northern unit is very near to Elkhart Lake, WI, which is the home of Road America. See what will be racing during the time you're up there. Road America is IDEAL for cyclists; you can see the whole course with no problem at all.

Wisconsin DNR links:
http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/spe...kmscenicdrive/

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/kms/


Road America link:
http://www.roadamerica.com/
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Old 03-24-12, 03:40 PM   #18
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Realistically WI is great for biking just about anywhere. We have it all - flat, hilly, urban, rural, coast, interior, farm ,forest.

I myself would either do the "Northwoods" maybe Vilas Cty, plenty of lodging, food etc.
http://www.northwoodsbiking.com/vilas.htm

And you can't beat Door county for scenery, good food, B&B's. The main roads along the shore are busy but from my experience traffic is non existant in the interior.
http://doorcountybiking.com/BicyclingResources.html

I always bring a bike to Road America. Lets you get around much easier. You can actually ride the track during "Tour de Road America"
http://www.pelotonride.org/


Bike Fed has some good info too.
http://bfw.org/for-your-ride/maps/
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Old 04-03-12, 08:20 PM   #19
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I can heartily endorse Viroqua and its surrounds.
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Old 04-03-12, 08:22 PM   #20
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I've ridden alot in Vilas Cty and can recommend it. Boulder Junction, Star Lake, Sayner, Conover (Hwy K) - good stuff!
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Old 04-03-12, 08:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Realistically WI is great for biking just about anywhere. We have it all - flat, hilly, urban, rural, coast, interior, farm ,forest. easier.

Bike Fed has some good info too.
http://bfw.org/for-your-ride/maps/
+1 to the set of four maps. Regardless of where you end up biking in WI, this set will prove useful. These maps are color-coded. Red roads=bike unfriendly or not permitted (like interstates), Green=most friendly Blue=moderately friendly. Every state should make up a set of maps like these. Truely worth every penny. And they are not expensive.
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Old 04-04-12, 06:37 AM   #22
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+1 to the set of four maps.....Truely worth every penny. And they are not expensive.
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Old 05-27-12, 06:35 PM   #23
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And you can't beat Door county for scenery, good food, B&B's. The main roads along the shore are busy but from my experience traffic is non existant in the interior.
http://doorcountybiking.com/BicyclingResources.html
definitely! look into visiting door county! sounds more what you're going for.
http://www.doorcounty.com/

"Door County is a bike pedaler's paradise. Scenic backroads blanket a peninsula with over 300 miles of shoreline and an endless array of gift shops, restaurants and lodging options."

it's the peninsula of northeast wisconsin, so you're surrounded by lake michigan and woods with beautiful scenery, there are lots of things to do up north. many art galleries and little shops to check out too.
http://www.peninsulaplayers.com/ is a really neat experience i would recommend. an outdoor theater nestled in the woods overlooking the bay.
there's also a ferry that takes you to washington island...
http://www.wisferry.com/
http://washingtonisland-wi.com/island-information/

lots of other things to do too!

i just recently got into biking so i don't know much for biking on the roads except that it shouldn't be a problem! i've seen large groups of bikers in sturgeon bay in the past, i am pretty sure as part of this:
http://www.doorcountycentury.com/
there are maps on that website to show the route they take, so that could be very useful for you to plan something out on the roads. also, if you work your way down to southern door county there is the ahnapee state trail, which is a really nice peaceful and scenic crushed limestone trail, i love it!
http://www.ahnapeetrail.org/

there is also peninsula state park which is one of the most popular parks in WI.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxP4Y...feature=relmfu

i hope this helps.
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