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Old 06-24-14, 08:35 PM   #1
emdash
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Route from Iowa -> Madison? (and: Ice Age, Military Ridge, Cheese Country trails?)

Hello all-- posting as a long shot in case some kind stranger can help me out.

I'll be wrapping up RAGBRAI this summer and was thinking of continuing on from Guttenberg to Madison over the course of 2 days to see some friends, but am having trouble picking out a general route / approach-- it seems like there are many options. I've ordered the maps from Wisconsin Bike Fed but haven't received them yet.

Does anyone have suggestions? Once I have a general route I'm comfortable with country roads, trails, and can find my way, but there are some big decisions to make...

Google Maps bike directions (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Gutt...IA/Madison,+WI) suggests three different approaches as options. Do you know if the Military Ridge and Ice Age trails are interesting/reasonable to bike on with a touring (but not mountain) bike in those areas?

Thanks in advance for any tips...
-max

(I'd love to keep riding to Chicago after that, but I may be out of time/energy/vacation...)
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Old 06-25-14, 08:25 PM   #2
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I've never biked them but I think the 3 trails listed are all crushed limestone. I don't think road tires would perform very well but 28mm or wider would do good. Also, the Ice Age trail is strictly a hiking trail.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:47 PM   #3
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Ive ridden 23s on the MR trail many times and never had problems. If it's raining, I wouldn't be as confident. Before I decided not to do Ragbrai, I thought out how I'd do it. Here were my scribbles: I was going to take the Cassville ferry, then take the great river road to Tennyson st. That goes until you cross under 151. There is a paved trail that follows 151 for a while that turns into College Farm Road. From there north on Voig rd. and east on XX into Platteville. From Platteville I was going to take the pecitonica (crushed limestone) trail to the cheese county trail to Mineral Point. then take state 23 back to 151 and a paved trail next to 151 until it hits another road (Chris something) back to another trail and then back to 23 N into Dodgeville. You can take MRT from there, or:

I was going to take a different (hilly) way from there...Yz to Y to T into Barnaveld, K to Zwettler, S on F to Blue Mounds Trail, to north on JJ, south on 78 then left onto Moen Valley Rd. From there, merge with the Ironman route and into Madison wherever you need to go. This way is Hilly, so if you are loaded you may not want to do this unless you have low gearing.

If you don't know IM route: KP into Cross Plains, South on P, left on Stagecoach, rt on north birtch, left on Old Saulk pass, right on Timber lane (just a turn with a name change) to Midtown Rd. From there, probably best to check a map based on where you are headed.

Last edited by DogBoy; 06-26-14 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 07-07-14, 09:22 AM   #4
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the Ice Age trail is strictly a hiking trail.
Not true here. Some sections are fine for biking and xc skiing. Other areas are too rocky.
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Old 07-20-14, 09:08 PM   #5
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Not true here. Some sections are fine for biking and xc skiing. Other areas are too rocky.
Interesting. So, a road bike would be ok to use on some sections of the Ice Age trail? I always thought that it was mostly a hiking trail.
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Old 07-27-14, 12:06 PM   #6
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Interesting. So, a road bike would be ok to use on some sections of the Ice Age trail? I always thought that it was mostly a hiking trail.
Some. But I'd still go with something closer to a cyclocross tire. At least 28's like on your Fuji Absolute...32's if they'll fit.
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Old 09-05-14, 08:51 PM   #7
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Interesting. So, a road bike would be ok to use on some sections of the Ice Age trail? I always thought that it was mostly a hiking trail.
The Ice Age Trail follows a mix of roads, bike trails, and hiking trails. Bikes are prohibited on the hiking trails. It's best to get a maps from the Ice Age Trail Alliance in order to know where bikes are allowed.
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Old 09-05-14, 08:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by emdash View Post
Hello all-- posting as a long shot in case some kind stranger can help me out.

I'll be wrapping up RAGBRAI this summer and was thinking of continuing on from Guttenberg to Madison over the course of 2 days to see some friends, but am having trouble picking out a general route / approach-- it seems like there are many options. I've ordered the maps from Wisconsin Bike Fed but haven't received them yet.

Does anyone have suggestions? Once I have a general route I'm comfortable with country roads, trails, and can find my way, but there are some big decisions to make...

Google Maps bike directions (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Gutt...IA/Madison,+WI) suggests three different approaches as options. Do you know if the Military Ridge and Ice Age trails are interesting/reasonable to bike on with a touring (but not mountain) bike in those areas?

Thanks in advance for any tips...
-max

(I'd love to keep riding to Chicago after that, but I may be out of time/energy/vacation...)
The Military Ridge Trail is fine for road bikes, but the Cheese Country Trail, although described as a bike trail, is actually an ATV trail, and is impossible for traditional bikes to travel on. It's possible to get to Chicago from Madison using a mix of trails and roads.
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Old 04-06-15, 08:41 AM   #9
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The Military Ridge Trail is fine for road bikes, but the Cheese Country Trail, although described as a bike trail, is actually an ATV trail, and is impossible for traditional bikes to travel on. It's possible to get to Chicago from Madison using a mix of trails and roads.
Big +1 to this. I've done the Military Ridge trail on a road bike with 23s but wouldn't recommend it. It's a little too bumpy in some areas. 32s are just fine and 28s are probably ok. The Cheese Country Trail really requires a fat bike or maybe a mountain bike with big tires. It's coarse, heavy gravel.
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