Old 08-21-17, 08:50 AM
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Well I'm glad everyone had a fine time. I'm jealous as I spent that day still resting. The recuperation is coming along. I took my first pain-free ride since last year exactly 1 week ago and I did 45 minutes yesterday. Granted, it felt like 4 hours. I am not up to par just yet.

Also, thanks for the pictures and write ups. Very nice.

One thing I have read here and some emails, the ride support pretty much sucked. When I first started this thread, I mentioned the other challenge ride in Wisconsin is the Horribly Hilly Hundreds. I hate it. Crappy "roadie" food. Crappy start/finish. And the participants are typically the Strava-loving-this-is-a-race-I-must-win types. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but that is not the vibe I like.

When I started riding the Dare, it was not like the HHH. Correct me if I am wrong, but after riding last year and the reports of this year, the Dare is more like the HHH than the Dare of yesteryear.

So I have had some offline discussions with Robbie and we wanted to bring up the subject of changing venues.

There is a ride in Wisconsin called Bike the Barns (they actually have a challenge ride early spring around LaCrosse, but I'm talking about the Madison ride). Links are below. I rode this in 2008 and 2010 and after talking with friends, it has not changed its vibe since then. The long route (this year, 78 miles) typically stops at 3 CSA farms, many of them organic. Absolutely, without any doubt, the best supported ride I have ever experienced. My .02, better than Cino. I had a BLT there that is still the best I have ever eaten. Some farms you pick your own berries. Freshly made ice cream. When I can, I'll make a Flickr album of my 2008 ride. I rode alone in 2010.

Not only live music at the end, live music at stops. The atmosphere is so relaxed. More like the BF General forum, definately not like the BF Road forum. I doubt anyone on the ride has heard of Strava.

Caveats. While never flat, this is not a challenge ride like the Dare. It is in mid-September, so those with kids in school, it may be more difficult to attend. And finally, a bit more spendy, $125 registration fee. They do offer a $65 registration fee, but then you are committed to raising a minimum of $100 in donations to support the low-income program of this CSA farm coalition. A good cause. You can read about it on their website.

So what do you think? All opinions wanted and valued. The ride is typically on a Sunday and we certainly can do a Saturday night dinner in the greater Madison area. Show venue is still to be determined. This ride typically starts at a public park and many do not even have a warming house. I am thinking of going up to this year's ride to talk with the organizers.

Pictures of previous years rides. Please note, the 2016 pictures stay tiny, but all the years before will expand bigly.

Previous routes. Kind of cool, they never do the same route.

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