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In the Midwest, the days are getting longer and the average daily temperatures are going UP!
Can spring be far behind?
2012 RAGBRAI route announced!
Over 1,000 RAGBRAI riders crammed the Veteran's Convention Center in downtown Des Moines on Saturday night to hear the announcement of the 2012 RAGBRAI route. RAGBRAI Tour Director T.J. Juskiewicz revealed the eight overnight communities for RAGBRAI XL:
Sioux Center - Saturday, July 21
Cherokee - Sunday, July 22
Lake View - Monday, July 23
Webster City - Tuesday, July 24
Marshalltown - Wednesday, July 25
Cedar Rapids - Thursday, July 26
Anamosa - Friday, July 27
Clinton - Saturday, July 28
This year's RAGBRAI route will total 471.1 miles making it the 18th shortest route in history and the 11th flattest route with 16,125 feet of elevation.
Hope you will be able to join us on this year's RAGBRAI, where Shuttleguy staff will attend to your every need. All you need to do is ride!
Go here to learn all about Shuttleguy RAGBRAI services.
For those of you who have been calling and emailing regarding OKFW, the Oklahoma FreeWheel is hoping to have their registration page open in early February.
As soon as they open their registration, we'll turn on our page too. Stay tuned . . . OKFW.
| Article: Featured Ride - BREW |
(Bike Ride Exploring Wisconsin)
August 6 - 10, 2012This five day loop tour begins and ends in Mount Horeb. Come early and take time to see the many shops, including the new Duluth Trading Company's flagship store, restaurants, and carved trolls along the "Trollway." We'll visit the Grumpy Troll Brewery and Restaurant.
Registration Day, August 5
Experience challenging bicycling, craft beer, artisan cheeses, and local wines. A great blend of structured tours, select group meals, personal free time, amazing scenery, quirky attractions and personal attention by dedicated staff who know the area will make this a great bicycle vacation. Five great days of moderate to challenging riding. This is a camping tour with hotel options.
From Mount Horeb, we'll head south to Monroe, passing through New Glarus, home to the New Glarus Brewing Company. Take a tour and enjoy a tasting at the New Glarus Brewing Company and then enjoy the atmosphere of New Glarus, America's "Little Switzerland."
From New Glarus, head south through rolling hills dotted with small towns, farms and woodland pastures. Visit a cheese factory in Monticello, enjoy the beauty of the Sugar River, marvel the art and craftsmanship at a woodworking studio in Albany, immerse yourself in history at the Depot Museum in Brodhead, or relax in the old world charm of the revitalized downtown in Monroe. While in Monroe, take a tour of Minhas Craft Brewery, one of the oldest breweries in the country.
Leaving Monroe, you head north and west through some challenging terrain in an area with many organic and community supported agriculture farms. Take a break from the hills in Blanchardville with a stop for some bakery or organic food or take a tour of an organic farm or wool producer. Then head to Hollandale, home of Nick Englebert's Grandview, a collection of concrete sculptures, something one must truly see to believe. Then it is on to Mineral Point, our host for two nights. Enjoy Brewery Creek Brewpub, many artists, and great restaurants in this historic town.
Today is a layover day. Ride a loop leisurely loop through Wisconsin's beautiful countryside. See Wisconsin's first capitol in Belmont, barn quilts, Amish buggies, historic buildings in Darlington like the depot and the Lafayette County Courthouse, Shullsburg's charming downtown and some of the best riding you will ever see over low-traffic rural paved roads. Or take a day off of the bike in Mineral Point and explore historic Shake Rag Alley or the Pendarvis State Historic Site. Shop in one of the antique shops in the historic downtown area, explore one of the many art galleries and working studios in the area, or take in a round of golf. It is your day. Relax and enjoy. In the evening, take an optional trip to Potosi, home of Potosi Brewing Company and the National Brewery Museum where you will enjoy a wonderful tour and a great meal.
From Mineral Point head north to Dodgeville, where you can find the oldest functioning courthouse in the state, a great bakery and an 1827 cabin. Then head to Governor Dodge State Park where you will be wowed by the beauty of the bluffs, valleys, lakes and waterfall. From there, it is off through more rolling terrain of the Driftless Area on the way to Spring Green where you can tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen. Sample Spring Green's Furthermore Beer as you enjoy a picnic and take in a show at American Players Theatre, an outdoor Shakespearean professional theater. As you leave Spring Green, you begin with a journey through some more of the Driftless Area of Wisconsin on the way to Barneveld. Enjoy seeing and hearing grassland songbirds near Botham Vineyards and Winery at The Nature Conservancy's Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area. On the way relax next to the Hyde Mill, a beautifully restored grinding mill tucked next to a stream. Challenge yourself to ride to the top of the hill in Blue Mound State Park or admire the view of the valley below from Brigham Park as you make your way back to Mount Horeb with five days of wonderful memories behind you.
Optional routes are available each day for those wishing for additional mileage. The route is entirely on paved roads. Several sections run close to non-paved trails if riders wish to use trails.
Article: How to Choose Cycling Shorts
|Ready to cash in on those pre-season sales. Make sure to choose the correct cycling shorts!
How to Choose Cycling Shorts
By Fred Matheny for www.RoadBikeRider.com
You should choose road-cycling shorts based on the quality of materials and construction. But also crucial is how well they conform to your unique anatomy. Sometimes a relatively inexpensive pair may work better for you than a high-zoot model.
Shorts, like saddles, are tough to recommend because of differences in butts, crotches, seats and riding positions. Every rider has to try on shorts, buy the model/size that fits snugly but comfortably, then hope for the best on the bike. It's hit or miss, and some luck is involved. Just as with saddles, there is no universal answer.
That said, here are guidelines that'll point you toward better choices.
* Price. Generally, the more expensive the shorts, the higher the quality. Avoid cheap shorts because the material and construction may be substandard. They may be sewn from only 4 or 6 pieces ("panels"), which won't give you the best anatomical fit. The padded liner ("chamois") may not be large enough, soft enough or sewn without irritating seams. Cheap shorts aren't as durable, either, so in the long run they really aren't a bargain. When touring and washing shorts by hand, wringing can break threads and blow out seams if the manufacturer cut corners on quality.
* Panels. The more the better. Usually, 8-panel shorts conform to your body better than those made from fewer pieces. Better manufacturers use flat-seam stitching so additional panels won't result in abrasion or other discomforts.
* Liner. Crotch liners are synthetic nowadays (not real chamois leather). That's a good thing because the material can't dry, crack and cause more irritation than it prevents. A large, smooth, absorbent, one-piece, moderately padded liner has the best chance of feeling comfortable. Liners that have seams, grooves, distinct sections and/or a waffle-like texture may work fine for you -- or maybe not. There's no way of knowing for sure before riding. Beware of thick padding, which can bunch and chafe. Also problematic are gel inserts. Because they're in plastic compartments, moisture transfer can be blocked, causing excessive dampness and skin irritation.
* Leg length. This goes up and down like hem lengths in the fashion world. Long, so-called "Belgian" shorts . . .
|Featured Riders: Sue Bonthius|
Being invited by friends to take a 30 mile bike trip, staying overnight and bringing our bikes back in our van the next day seemed like quite an adventure and my introduction to more than a ride around the block. Little did I know it was the beginning of even greater adventures for the next 25 years and counting. That led to a couple of MS 150 rides followed by many weeklong rides.
Riding across my home state of Minnesota for 500 miles was my first week ride experience. Seven days on my son's very heavy ten speed bike with an awful saddle was some challenge. It was the first time with toe clips and I fell three times before I remembered to take my feet out before stopping. I still have that bike as a reminder. Two one hundred mile days and almost 100 degree temps at times made me question any decision to do another ride. Okay, if I get a new Cannondale. Done.
Sue finding her way down the road
For the next few years, I did rides in the neighboring states of Wisconsin-Michigan back-to-back, Michigan Rails-to-Trails on a hybrid bike, North Dakota with head winds every day, and Ohio (boring). Wisconsin is one of my favorite states in which to bike. Twice I was talked into doing self contained rides in Wisconsin. One being in the area of the WISPRIDE, but we didn't do all of the hills. It is kind of nice to have all your things with you.
I soon took the challenge of some more exciting rides. Oregon, Colorado, Arizona from Grand Canyon to Nogales, Wyoming, Tennessee, the Finger lakes in New York and Maine. All were breathtaking, mountainous and challenging. The WISPRIDE in southwest Wisconsin was more than challenging enough for me, but a great one because of the people.
|Climbing out of Devil's Lake|
I was urged by several people on the WISPRIDE to take advantage of the Camp Domestique service and relax after a long days ride. I did succumb on the DALMAC ride in Michigan last summer. That's the way to go!
Sue discussing her video segment with Shuttleguy cinematogapher, Chelsea
Closer to sea level were the Nova Scotia and Ireland rides. The Ireland ride was beautiful, lots of fun and only 30 miles a day or less giving us plenty of time to enjoy the local pubs, our wonderful hotels and the friendly people.
|Souvenirs from the Moosejaw Brewery |
Wisconsin Dells, 2011
Living in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota has given me the opportunity to ride the beautiful trails and country roads, hills and all. I enjoy biking in Arizona February through April to keep in shape for the upcoming summer. I don't really think of it as training, but enjoying the beautiful scenery and being on the road with my friends.
Featured Video: RAAM
|Thinking about riding cross country but having a hard time finding the time . . . learn here how to do it in 5-12 days!|