Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Amtrak to La Crosse, then ride home.

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Amtrak to La Crosse, then ride home.

Old 10-13-10, 10:38 PM
  #1  
Planet Saver
Thread Starter
 
billwatson58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Near western burb of Chicago
Posts: 289

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD-10, Novara Randonee, Raleigh Super Grand Prix, Schwinn Mirada Sport winter beater

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Amtrak to La Crosse, then ride home.

Amtrak to La Crosse, then ride home.

On September 27th I boarded the 2:15pm Amtrak train from Union Station in Chicago for La Crosse with my Novara Randonee in a box, and arrived in time to watch most of the Bears-Packers game with my couch surfing host Kyle at a local pub. Tuesday morning I started my ride back to Chicago by riding 35 miles to south and east to Viroqua and got there in time to have a delicious lunch at the Viroqua Food Co-Op. Tuesday night I couch surfed again, and my host was Bjorn who works for AmeriCorp and teaches local kids how to eat healthy. Bjorn is an avid cyclist, and is car free. We walked to the Driftless Cafe for dinner.

Wednesday I headed mostly east on a 83 mile ride to Baraboo, where long time friends of mine Marc and Lollie who own and operate Wheeler's Campground which is very near Devil's Lake State Park. Lollie's mom and my mom were college roommates, and so as kids our families spent a lot of vacations together.

Thursday's ride was 68 miles from Baraboo to rural Princeton. The wind shifted Wednesday night to the northwest which made for a challenging day. Two hours after I arrived at my friends Johan & Sara's place they got picked up for a trip up to Bayfield to go sailing for a few days, so I had their country retreat to myself except for their four cats. A little after 8pm the coyotes started their loud high pitched calling. The first three days had some steep hills, some long hills, and some steep and long hills, the final two days got progressively flatter. By couch surfing and staying with friends, I was able to travel sans tent and sleeping bag and front rack and panniers, which definitely helped.

Friday I headed mostly east toward Oostburg, stopping for some yummy fair trade organic Alterra coffee at Sugar Lips in Green Lake. Friday's ride was the longest of the week thus far, 92 miles, but my average was nearly 16mph (thanks to a decent tailwind) with previous daily averages being 11.85, 13.1, and 13.5 respectively. In Eden WI I stopped for lunch at the Eden Cafe which had been recommended to me and and enjoyed a great veggie omelet. Upon my arrival in Oostburg I asked a local where the best fish fry was (Wisconsin + Friday night = fish fry) and to my dismay he informed there wasn't one anymore since the place across the street from where we standing closed. Bummer! I rode on to my couch surfing hosts Bob and Diane who had a nice house close to Lake Michigan with it's own hiking trail on their 13 acre property and a hot tub which I took advantage of.

Saturday turned out to be quite a day. A front came through on Friday so Saturday the wind was 20mph+ out of the north. Early in the ride I figured that with a 20mph+ tailwind friend in my corner I should just go for it and ride all the way home in one day. North of Milwaukee, three roadies out for a morning spin caught up to me and I rode with them for about a half an hour. Riding into Milwaukee with car traffic was a bit of an adjustment after riding on quiet country roads the previous four days. In Kenosha I stopped for lunch at Harborside Common Grounds for a needed sandwich and coffee. It ended up being a long day, 10 hours door to door, 145 miles with a 17.0 average, besting my previous longest day of 128 miles. Without the tailwind I would not have considered it. Saturday night I was pretty wiped, but took the dog for a walk just to give the legs a stretch.

It was a great 5 days: challenging riding; beautiful scenery and outstanding weather; lots of good food; and I met a some really nice people. This was my first solo bike tour of this duration, and it far exceeded my expectations. Tour on!

Last edited by billwatson58; 10-15-10 at 08:22 AM.
billwatson58 is offline  
Old 10-14-10, 05:47 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wilmette, IL
Posts: 6,890
Liked 751 Times in 358 Posts
That sounds like a great ride. I read your thread a couple weeks ago when you were planning this ride. It gave me some inspiration to go touring next year. I always wanted to go touring in my youth and then I took up bike racing. It was my passion for awhile and never did the touring thing.

I'm in Glenview. Il and was thinking of a route that would hop from one Wisconsin State Park to the next. First stop Big Foot Beach in Lake Geneva. West to New Glarus. Up to Devils Lake, Over to Governor Dodge. Perhaps meet up with my wife and kids and camp out at Gov. Dodge for a lond weekend and return home by car.

Just in the planning stages now. I do like the Amtrak out of Chicago and ride back idea. Maybe head up to Green Bay and tour around Door County and return home along the lake.

I'll be dreaming and planning all winter. Hope I can put aside the time to tour next summer.
big chainring is offline  
Old 10-14-10, 06:46 PM
  #3  
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 15 Posts
Interesting tour and glad to see you used Amtrak. Would it be possible to use some spaces or paragraphs to make it easier to read?

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Old 10-14-10, 07:04 PM
  #4  
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,564

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Liked 2,247 Times in 1,509 Posts
Another suggestion is post in a regional forum or provide details - there are a lot of Union Stations in the country.
StanSeven is offline  
Old 10-15-10, 08:22 AM
  #5  
Planet Saver
Thread Starter
 
billwatson58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Near western burb of Chicago
Posts: 289

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD-10, Novara Randonee, Raleigh Super Grand Prix, Schwinn Mirada Sport winter beater

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Add some paragraphs and which Union Station. I'm working on a longer write up with more hopefully not boring details.
billwatson58 is offline  
Old 10-15-10, 02:53 PM
  #6  
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by billwatson58
Add some paragraphs and which Union Station. I'm working on a longer write up with more hopefully not boring details.
Thanks...Makes for a much easier read for these old eyes!

I love using Amtrak, in fact my dream tour includes a Bike Friday NWT and a Amtrak Pass!

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
raybo
Touring
13
05-17-19 04:58 PM
Happy Feet
Touring
13
07-14-17 12:06 AM
iron lungs
Great Lakes
7
11-13-15 05:34 PM
Papa Tom
Northeast
2
09-25-14 06:35 PM
telios
Pacific Northwest
1
09-07-11 07:47 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.