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With the snow gone and the temps in the high 60's, it's time to ride here in Wisconsin. Hope you are getting out too!
| 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 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, 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 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: The First Crucial Ride
|It's early in the riding year and every one is excited to get out for that first ride. Here is how to make sure that friend of yours returns for a second ride!
The First Crucial 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.
Gero McGuffin has thought about it. She was 30 years old before she climbed onto a bike the first time, so she vividly recalls how intimidating beginning can be. Now a polished cyclist and the wife of cycling author Arnie Baker, M.D., Gero enjoys helping new riders get started in a way that ensures they'll have a great time and come back for more.
Gero's recommendations can be used anytime we're riding with a newcomer. If you're a beginning rider, these tips can help you have a more positive experience as you learn the sport.
Gero's core advice is useful when helping any new rider: "Treat them kindly, go slowly, and keep your expectations low. Give it your best shot, and you will help a person become a cyclist for the rest of their life."
Now, here's a digest of her specific tips.
- Don't project your own cycling goals. They are much different for an experienced rider compared to a new rider. Let the person evolve. If he's interested only in casual cycling, let him be. If he's interested in fast recreational riding or racing, encourage him - but explain the dangers of trying to advance too fast before developing a foundation of skills and fitness.
- Take nothing for granted. Err on the side of proceeding too slowly and explaining too much. A new rider has lots of knowledge gaps.
- Watch your language. If you're saying things like "upshift one cog" or "feather the brakes," a newcomer isn't going to understand and may be too embarrassed to admit it.
- Be polite. Even if made in jest, negative actions or comments can have a long-lasting impact.
|Featured Riders: Lisa and David Cooper|
Hi I'm David and I guess you
could say I've been riding all my life. I mean, just about every kid starts life out with a bike if they're fortunate. Unfortunately, some lose interest or forget the joy and freedom of riding. I really got interested in riding in 1972 when I was 12 years old and purchased and new Raleigh Super Course (a beautiful dark green 10-speed with a Reynolds 531 double butted frame) with money I had saved up for new wheels. We lived out in the country, so I had to ride to town, eight miles each way, to see friends and hang out. I frequently rode to school rather than ride the bus. By the time I headed to college, I had the Brooks saddle worn in perfectly. Unfortunately, my Raleigh was stolen out of a garage while I was in college. I still look for it.
Through college, I rode sporadically, but took up running once I started working as a way to keep active and still be able to enjoy a couple of pints of beer. I found that as I got older, I started getting injured more easily and frequently from running. In 2005, I thought maybe I should get back on a bike. I had given my old road bike to my brother, so I needed wheels. I bought a bike and fell in love with riding again. I now tell people I'm a recovering runner. That February while skiing in Colorado with my brother, I casually mentioned to him it might be fun to throw our names in the lottery for the "Ride The Rockies" tour. Our names were drawn and the following June we did the ride. We had a gas! We were both hooked and decided to do the "Bicycle Tour of Colorado" (BTC) the following year. We have since done three BTCs and may soon sign up for another one. We have used Shuttleguy for each BTC; you always make it a pleasure to end the day and see our tent.
David heading over Loveland Pass, Colorado.
I think my most challenging ride on a bike was during the 2010 BTC, riding from Crested Butte, Co to Buena Vista, Co over Cottonwood Pass. The road over the pass, when traveling in that direction, is hard-packed gravel that is basically a long series of switchbacks to the top. About four miles from the top it started to rain and the temperature began dropping. The pass was clouded over, so I put my head down and kept climbing. By the time I made the top, it was pouring rain and the air temperature was about 34 degrees. I snapped a quick photo of the sign for the pass, and started down. The road (paved on the way down) was wet and slick. I witnessed a nasty crash. I had to stop five times on the way down to try to get the feeling back in my hands and feet. As it turned out, the ride organizers stopped the ride and trucked riders down in U-Hauls shortly after I went over the top. Numerous riders were treated for hypothermia. That afternoon's shower felt better than any I've had before or since.
Lisa and I met in September 2008. We were supposed to go for a bike ride on our first date, but ended up talking and getting to know one another and it didn't happen until a few weeks later; that ride led to many more. Now, we ride together a great deal in Northern Michigan. We are so lucky to live in an area that has some of the best and most beautiful bicycling roads in the state.
On weekdays after work, we ride out on Old Mission Peninsula; a narrow landmass that juts out into Grand Traverse Bay north of Traverse City. You are rarely out of sight of water when riding the routes available to us. And if you want hills, there are plenty. On weekends, we like to ride in Leelanau County - the "Little Finger" of the Michigan "Mitten". I've lived in northern Michigan most of my life and still think Leelanau County is one of the most beautiful places in the world to ride a bike.
Last year, Lisa and I signed up for the Shuttleguy BREW Tour. It was Lisa's first cycling vacation and the perfect trip for the two of us. We so enjoyed riding together through Wisconsin's countryside, visiting various breweries, and making new friends. And who would have guessed...Wisconsin has hills! The riding was fantastic! We came home from the ride looking forward to next season's trip. I am so glad it is something we both enjoy and doing it together makes it even more special. I know riding together is something we'll do all our lives . . .
. . . and I'm Lisa. I've had a bike for recreational use my entire life, but got into riding for exercise in the last ten years or so. It started with paved bike trails and designated rural roads in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and, after meeting David, has turned into one of my all-time favorite pastimes. In fact, my wedding present from him was a beautiful Cannondale Synapse. What an astounding improvement in riding! It took a little while for me to adjust to paddle shifting and clipped-in toes....I have a nice 44-stitch scar on my left elbow as my merit badge!
I've never called myself a serious runner, but ran for exercise quite a bit and never really enjoyed it too much. With riding, I love the fact that it takes you farther than running and you can use the gears in your favor. That's another thing I had to learn........anticipating different terrain and shifting accordingly. David has been an excellent (and very patient) teacher. And he's right, riding is something we will do together for a very long time. As I write this and look out at the snow-covered roads in Traverse City, I can't help but get excited to hop on our bikes as soon as weather permits and get back into the groove this season.
David, Tym and Lisa after a VERY successful 2011 BREW ride.
Featured Video: All Downhill!
|Worried about that first ride of the year . . . it wil be nothing like this one!|