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What a crazy spring here in Wisconsin. Our average temp in March was warmer than in April. What's next, snow in July? Hope we are not going backwards!
2012 Shuttleguy Openings Filling Fast
Haven't yet made up your mind regarding this year's biking adventures?
If you plan on going with Shuttleguy, don't wait too long to register. Ride interest is high this year and we are filling fast!
Let us Make Life Easy for you. With our Camping Domestique services . . . all you need to do is ride!
| 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.
Mineral Point is our 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: How to Survive Road Hazards
|It's early in the riding year. Let's make sure we are all careful out there!
How to Survive Road Hazards
By Ed Pavelka and Fred Matheny
Cycling is a unique sport because its arena is the open road. That's the same place frequented by traffic, potholes, snarling dogs and absentminded pedestrians.
But sometimes we're our own worst enemy. Inattention and poor technique can put us on the pavement as fast as any hazard. Use these tips and you'll be less likely to take a tumble.
* Always ride with your head up. While cruising along, it's tempting to stare at the whirling pattern of the front spokes or fixate on your cycle computer's numbers. A
momentary downward glance that lasts just a second too long can mean riding into a problem that could easily have been avoided.
* Focus. The smooth and rhythmic motion of pedaling can have a hypnotic effect. Daydreaming cyclists have crashed into the back of parked cars, wandered far into the traffic lane or blithely ridden off the road. Don't let yourself be separated from the outside world by the vivid canvases created by your imagination. Keep your head in the game.
* Keep your bike in top mechanical condition. Repair or replace faulty parts sooner rather than later. It's a loser's game to milk "just one more ride" out of worn brake pads, a frayed cable, or tires with a threadbare tread or bulging sidewall.
Your first line of defense against the challenges of the ...
|Featured Riders: Paul and Connie Edwards|
We started our bicycling experience in the summer of 1977, way back in the dark
ages, well before index shifting and clipless pedals. We went to a Saturday morning bike ride sponsored by the local club, Central Indiana Bicycling Association. We signed up for the 10 mile ride that day. We stared in disbelief at the sign up sheet when we saw that some people were signing up for the 45 mile ride. Naw, we said, nobody can ride a bike that far. After our 10 mile ride, we went home and took a long nap we were so tired.
But in no time, we'd gotten new bikes, new helmets and were riding the long rides with everybody else.
Someone suggested that we go over to Ohio and ride the Tour of the Scioto River Valley (TOSRV). That ride is a two day, 210 mile ride from Columbus, OH, to Portsmouth, OH and back on Mother's Day Weekend in May every year. Never mind that we'd never ridden 100 miles in one day before, we were going to ride 100 miles a day for two days.
That was 1978, still considered by many old timers to be a "classic" TOSRV. Forty degree weather each day, with rain and headwinds each day. But we made it. We've ridden TOSRV about 25 times now. We've had headwinds both days, tailwinds both days, snow some days, 90 degree temps other days, and everything in between.
We also started riding the Hilly Hundred in 1978. This ride in southern Indiana covers 50 miles of challenging terrain each day over a weekend in October. The ride is organized by CIBA, and for a few years, Connie was on the Board of Directors for this ride. Before the days of online registration, all 6000 or so applications came to our house for initial processing. We're sure our letter carrier was happy when the Hilly went to on-line signup. We've done the Hilly Hundred about 20 or 25 times.
Fast forward to the early 1980's. Connie decided she wanted to try bicycle racing. After a couple of citizen's races, she got her racing license to try and compete with the big kids. Then she tried her hand at track racing, as the Major Taylor Velodrome had just opened in Indianapolis. Connie was field fodder for the first year or two, but got better each time out. One year she finished on the podium in 5th place at the Masters National Championship.
Paul wasn't so lucky at track racing. He fell in 1983 during a training session and splintered his right femur. He's fine now, but realized he was too clumsy to be a bike racer.
On the touring front, we did some long tours with other members of our club, CIBA. We rode from Indianapolis to Washington DC one summer, covering about 1100 miles in 14 days, crossing some hellacious climbs in the Appalachians. We also did some self-contained bike rides on our own around Indiana, carrying all our equipment (tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear, etc.) on our bikes. It's amazing how slow a bike will go when it has an extra 50 pounds of equipment strapped to it. It's like your brakes are constantly dragging.
In the mid 1990's we started doing the Touring Ride in Rural Indiana (TRIRI). This ride visited Indiana State Parks each night for a week. The ride would be held in a different part of Indiana each year. The organizers took the riders to places one might never see when traveling by car. The Shoe Tree and the Chainsaw Cemetery come to mind. The nice thing was that the start of the ride was an easy few hour drive from home. The format for TRIRI has evolved over the years, but it's still one of our favorite tours.
|Roush Lake overnight |
TRIRI, June 2006
|Statue of Indiana Gov Frank O'Bannon.|
TRIRI, June 2008, Corydon IN.
|Fireplace at West Baden Springs hotel, made from tiles crafted at Rookwood Pottery. Before the Houston Astrodome was built, the hotel was the largest domed structure in North America.|
TRIRI, June 2009
|Proctor Vermont bridge railing made from local marble. Proctor is home to the VT Marble Museum.|
Bike Vermont Tour, July 2009
In 2003, we went to Iowa and did RAGBRAI, riding with the Sprint Selzer Bicycle Club, or Team Sprint. Team Sprint has done all but two of the RAGBRAI rides over the years, and has one or two members who have done every RAGBRAI. We have done RAGBRAI six times. But the crowds on the roads (as many as 20,000 riders some days) and standing in long lines for everything made us think about finding other organized tours that weren't quite so crowded.
One member of Team Sprint had done Shuttleguy's Bike Ride Exploring Wisconsin, and suggested it to us. We did BREW in 2011, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Tym and his staff took very good care of everyone on the ride. Plus, since Paul is a craft beer aficionado who also makes beer at home, the tour was the perfect combination of two hobbies.
We did think that it was uphill the entire way from Monroe to Mineral Point in 2011. Or it might have been the 20 mph headwind we had all day. And the climb from the bottom of the town to the top of the hill where we camped in Mineral Point was "challenging".
We've already signed up for BREW in 2012. The WISPRIDE ride is another Shuttleguy offering we're thinking about the next time it happens.
|Lunch at Big Time Brewing Company, Nashville, IN, TRIRI, June 2010|
We've enjoyed the rides, the scenery and the camaraderie of the Shuttleguy tour we did and can't wait to ride in Wisconsin many more times.
We ride about 2000 miles a year these days, sometimes 2500. Back when Connie was racing she rode about 7000 or 8000 miles a year.
Best day on a bike, is kind of hard to pin down, as there have been a bunch. Worst day might have been the first day of TOSRV the first time we did the ride in 1978. Or maybe it was the day Paul fell at the velodrome and ended up in the hospital.
We're both retired now. Paul was a civilian Avionics Systems Engineer for the US Navy for 30 years, retiring in 2005. Connie still teaches Spinning at a local fitness center.
Featured Video: Bad Day on the Bike?
|Ever had a bad experience on the bike . . . don't feel bad, even the pro's have an off day every once in a while!|