|Join our list |
April . . . time to get the bike(s) to the wrenches for a tune up . . .
but first, Mother Nature's SW Wisconsin
April Fool's Joke!
Shuttleguy at Spring Bicycle Expos
Shuttleguy staff are still on the road talking biking and bicycle touring.
A recent visit was to Madison's annual Bike O' Rama.
Jen and Nedra stopped by to talk touring. Nedra was wearing the latest in biking footwear?!? - Vibram Five Fingers
Our own Shuttleguy tour leader, Derek, and friend Jennifer couldn't help picking up some new wheels!
We'll be in Milwaukee, April 7-10 at the Wheel and Sprocket Show and in St. Paul, MN April 29-30 at the Bike Expo held at the Minnesota State Fair grounds.
Stop by the Shuttleguy booth to say Hello, and to sign up for our drawing, a Tri State Ride registration for two.
|Featured Tour: ShuttleguyTours Tri State Ride|
|Tri State Ride|This ride highlights many of the most scenic areas of Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. As you ride the challenging route, you will experience spectacular hilltop vistas, ride along meandering streams, and enjoy small town charm. And the riding is only part of the draw. Riders will enjoy visiting many local highlights.You start in McGregor, Iowa, nestled along the Mississippi River between towering bluffs. Come early to explore the natural beauty, learn about the local history and experience a great mix of small town charm with a touch of big city flair. Get a taste of the local flavor at the winery and brewery. Visit the local casino or experience local culture at the Mar Mac Arts Center. Hike to unmatched views at Effigy Mounds National Monument and Pikes Peak State Park.Then it's on to Potosi, Wisconsin. Visit the local museum, Passage Thru Time, and learn why Potosi is known as the "The Catfish Capital of Wisconsin". You won't want to miss the newly opened Transportation Museum, the National American Breweriana Museum (ABA) and the new opened National Beer Museum, see how beer is made and sample some of the local brew!
The next day, you are on to Galena, Illinois, where you'll spend two days giving you plenty of time to explore. Kayak and canoe, visit local museums and meander through downtown Galena's shops, galleries and restaurants. Discover why Forbes Traveler named Galena one of the "ten prettiest towns in America". Then it's on to Dyersville. The rich history and the beauty of the area can be seen in the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier. This Catholic churches gothic architecture will take your breath away and is only one of 52 in the United States. Of course, Dyersville is also proud to be the home of the Academy Award nominated film Field of Dreams. Have your photo taken as you run the bases or on the pitching mound as you wind up to throw that special fastball.
Leave time to visit the Farm Toy Museum, the Dyer-Botsford Doll Museum and Becker Woodcarving Museum.We'll complete the loop by heading back to McGregor, biking along the Mississippi River visiting Guttenberg and Pikes Peak State Park.
Lots to do and see on this 230 mile tour.
Click here for the complete itinerary!
|Featured Article of the Month: First Crucial Ride|
Every spring, a goal of all riders should be encouraging others who have not ridden for a while to get back on a bike. Here are some great tips on making sure they keep riding!
The Crucial First Ride
Make Sure a New comer Returns for a Second Ride!
By Ed Pavelka of www.RoadBikeRider.com
If you've been in this sport for long, you've probably seen it happen. An enthusiastic person shows up for his (or her) first ride with the local club. He's a bit intimidated by the lingo he overhears, but that's nothing compared to his anxiety about what to do and how to do it once the ride gets underway. Before long he's trailing behind, spooked by the interplay of bike wheels and feeling as wanted as an IRS agent in a Super Bowl pool.
Do you think this guy will be back for another ride next weekend? Not likely.
It's unfortunate, but experienced cyclists are often pretty tough on newcomers. It may be intentional because of the risks that an unskilled bike-handler creates for everyone, but more often it happens because we forget how much a novice cyclist doesn't know. If you think about it, riding a bike isn't all that easy.
read more about the First Crucial Ride
|Featured Riders: Dave Orr|
I live in Oak Park, IL, which is about ten miles straight west of Chicago's "Loop." I'm writing during the Great Blizzard of 2011, and I know that any day now it will be time to get in that first ride of the season.
I have only the faintest memories of my first bike, a direct-drive model with pedals on the front wheel, and a seat that just seemed cavernous to a four-year-old. Slightly stronger are the memories of flying down the 50 or so feet of
our driveway, with my folks at the end to keep me from heading out on the open road. I suppose down and back would have been a century!
As I got older, there were bigger bikes and longer rides. It was not uncommon during summer days to take off after breakfast and return for dinner after exploring as much as we could. One memorable ride when I was 10 or 11 took three of us from my house in St. Louis north on a fairly busy highway across the narrow old Lewis and Clark Bridges to Alton, IL. It was maybe 30 miles round trip, and that's where the fireworks were . . . During high school, I made frequent trips across another bridge to watch planes at a small airport. In the early '90's I finally realized a lifelong goal and earned my pilot license.
During the mid-1970's I spent a semester abroad in Berlin and when that ended I got a beautiful Peugeot, bought the cheapest train ticket to West Germany, and started riding from near Wolfsburg without much of a plan, or even a very detailed map. But somehow I made it over 1000 miles, riding to the North Sea, through Holland, and ending up in the wine region west of Mannheim known as Rheinland-Pfalz. There are parts of that trip, especially the Eifel Mountains, which I would love to revisit.
I rode very little during the next 25 years while I was in the travel business. But in 2005 my friend Don convinced me to join him on DALMAC, a supported tour in Michigan from Lansing to the Upper Peninsula, culminating in a spectacular ride across the Mackinac Bridge.
|Dave at the MAC bridge |
(note photos of grandkids on bike seat, a sure way to meet new friends)
There have been four more DALMACs since then, certainly made easier with the luxury of Shuttleguy. And in 2008 I rode the first Shuttleguy Tri-State Tour through some very scenic country in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
Dave cresting "the wall" on DALMAC
While I much prefer riding on country roads, it's often difficult to find time to get out of the metro area. So most of my rides are from Oak Park to the southwest suburbs of Chicago, which offer great roads and relatively fewer cars. I can plan my route to provide anywhere from 20- to 60-mile rides. And believe it or not, there are some hills to be found in the Des Plaines River Valley.
A few times each year I ride downtown then take the Lakefront Path. If you'll be in Chicago I recommend it, especially on weekdays. Bike rentals are easy to find.
In 2009, I tried some nsupported touring, with a three-day ride to Springfield, IL on my Surly Long-Haul Trucker, and a two-day ride to Dodgeville, WI, through the countryside surrounding Shuttleguy headquarters. Those trips left me wanting more, and longer, tours.
Dave and typcial Chicago kit
In addition to teaching piano I recently started working for a local company, ShipBikes.com which facilitates bicycle shipping. I frequently help our customers ship their bicycles to events and tours and enjoy hearing about each adventure.
Mostly, I love being with my family and five grandkids.
Next year I'll turn 60, and dream of an epic tour across the US.