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Hope your summer has started on a high note and you've been outdoors experiencing the beautiful biking weather!
As the BREW Tours quickly approach, keep in mind all of the great local attractions to check out when passing through the southwestern Wisconsin.
Mineral Point offers the best burger around at Midway Bar And Grill and is surrounded by a wide variety of local businesses. A great selection of microbrews, hand crafted wares, and delicious home made food is available in Mineral Point.
Dodgeville is a relaxing interim between three bustling small towns (Spring Green, Mount Horeb, and Mineral Point) with many natural and historical attractions. Governor Dodge State Park is located just outside of Dodgeville and provides 5,350 acres of gorgeous scenery, with opportunities to do a variety of activities within the park.
Spring Green is known for its rich creative scene, including Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, the Cedar Grove Cheese Inc. and Weggy Winery, River View Terrace Café, the Arcadia Bookstore, as well as many other local shops, and the American Players Theater.
Mount Horeb, famous for being the "Troll Capital of the world," is an eclectic town that has attractions ranging from breweries to the National Mustard Museum (formerly Mount Horeb Mustard Museum), along with a varied range of appeals to tourism.
Make sure to check out the plethora of restaurants, shops, and sights in these areas that retain all of the charm of a small town without sacrificing the excitement of a big city!
|Featured Tour: ShuttleguyTours BREW|
(Bike Ride Exploring Wisconsin)
July 8-12, 2013 & August 5-9, 2013
Experience challenging bicycling, expertly crafted beer, artisan cheeses, and local wines, as well as 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 for a memorable bicycle vacation. Five varied days provide moderate to challenging riding, and this is a camping tour with hotel options.
Make note riders, upon registering, each rider will receive free camp domestique tent service for the BREW tour only!
The five day loop tour begins and ends in New Glarus, Wisconsin, home to the New Glarus Brewing Company. Take a tour and enjoy a tasting at the New Glarus Brewing Company, then enjoy the atmosphere of the town known as America's "Little Switzerland."
From New Glarus, head south through rolling hills dotted with small towns, farms and woodland pastures to 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 of Monroe. While in Monroe, take a tour of Minhas Craft Brewery, one of the oldest breweries in the country.
Leaving Monroe and heading northwest through some challenging terrain is an area with many organic and community supported agriculture farms. Take a break from the hills in Blanchardville with a stop for some bakery treats or organic food, or take a tour of a wool producer. Then, head to Hollandale, home of Nick Englebert's Grandview, a collection of concrete sculptures that one must truly see to believe. From there, head towards Mineral Point, our host for two nights. Enjoy Brewery Creek Brewpub, many artists, and great restaurants in this historic town.
This will be followed by a layover day. Ride a leisurely loop through Wisconsin's beautiful countryside of rolling hills and abundant farmland. See Wisconsin's first capitol in Belmont, barn quilts, Amish buggies, historic buildings in Darlington such as The Depot and the Lafayette County Courthouse, Shullsburg's charming downtown and experience some of the best riding you will ever see over low-traffic rural paved roads. Or, take a day off from 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 around, or take in a round of golf. It's your day to relax and enjoy yourself! In the evening, take an optional trip to Potosi, home of Potosi Brewing Company and the National Brewery Museum where you will enjoy a tantalizing tour and great meal.
From Mineral Point head north to Dodgeville, where you can find the oldest functioning courthouse in the state, a delicious bakery and a cabin from 1827. Then, head to Governor Dodge State Park where you will feel wonder and awe for the beauty of the bluffs, valleys, lakes and waterfalls. From there, through the rolling terrain of the driftless area, is the way to Spring Green where you can tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen, sample Spring Green's Furthermore Beer and enjoy a picnic while taking in a show at American Players Theatre, a professional Shakespearean theater located outdoors.
From Spring Green, the journey through the driftless area of Wisconsin continues on the way to Barneveld and Botham Vineyards and Winery. You may relax next to the Hyde Mill, a beautifully restored grinding mill tucked next to a stream, or challenge yourself to ride to the top of the hill in Blue Mound State Park. Admire the view of the valley below from Brigham Park as you make your way to Mount Horeb, Troll Capital of the World and take some time to see the many shops, restaurants, and carved trolls along the "Trollway." From Mount Horeb, head back to New Glarus with five days of wonderful memories to travel back with you.
The route is entirely on paved roads, and optional routes are available each day for those wishing to log additional mileage. Several sections run close to non-paved trails if riders wish to use trails.
|Featured Rider: Jerry Brust|
Jerry Brust (pictured on the right, with Tym Allison-center and Jim Story-left) began biking when he was young, taking periodic bicycling vacations to places such as Vermont and Germany, but he didn't attempt any long distance tours until RAGBRAI. Over a decade later, he says attempting and completing long distance tours has been one of the best retirement decisions he's made.
Of all of the reasons to continue doing bike tours, Jerry contends that the most important factor is "the camaraderie with the other bikers, being able to see beautiful parts of the country up close" much more intimately than one might see them "from the car." His love of biking is only intensified by the companionship of the other bikers and the lush natural beauty that he encounters while traveling through the countryside. Participating in bike tours has given Jerry the opportunity to not only associate with other like minds, but forge lasting bonds and create truly cherished memories.
When asked to share any fond memories from his biking career thus far he reminisced over a Freewheel Tour from the past: "It had been raining all throughout the tour and the we were soaked. The campgrounds that we were supposed to stay at had flooded, so Tym arranged for us to stay in and sleep at a boot factory. There were showers and restrooms, and they had a dry warm space for us all ready. He (Tym) just rolls with the punches and is the kind of guy that takes things in stride. I give him kudos."
Jerry discovered Shuttleguy when he and his brother were browsing the website for the Freewheel tour years ago. After reading about the services Shuttleguy offers, he says, "We thought it sounded like a good deal." That was in 2005, and since then, Jerry has remained loyal to Shuttleguy, saying that he appreciates and enjoys the "great crews" and admires "whatever technique Tym uses to select them, because they're a great bunch."
Currently, Jerry completes multiple tours a year, doing them simply for the love of biking and company of his friends. He affirms that the Shuttleguy crew and Tym have greatly enhanced his enjoyment of bike tours, and Jerry is so glad he decided to give the company a chance.
We're glad you chose Shuttleguy, Jerry!
Above all else, he loves "just being out riding," and though it may initially seem basic, is it clear that this simple pleasure is certainly the most captivating and beautiful part of his story.
| Links of the month:|
Each month we like to share links about all things biking for your education or enjoyment.
The Collective is a group of mountain bikers based in British Columbia that document their experiences with biking by filming them. This is a 40 minute video that combines gorgeous imagery with the awesome dynamic stunts and adventures that this group encounters. Enjoy!
(Click on the image to view the video)