Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That bike tour write up...

OT Loaded bike

In the first week of August 2010, I did my first multi-destination bike tour. While I had done a lot of camping trips by bike, I had never done a trip where I would be contained on my bike for multiple days. This would also be one of the first “real” vacations that I had ever taken.


In the past, whenever I took vacation it was to go back to Washington State to visit my family. Doing a trip that involved multiple days off and no 4 hour flight was a real treat. I had a few ideas for ride, which I thought were all pretty promising. Would I ride halfway around Lake Michigan and utilize the ferry? How about taking the Amtrak down to St. Louis and riding along the Mississippi River? I also looked at a circle around a national forest in Michigan.

Eventually, I decided to do what I titled, the Oddity Tour. This was a ride that would visit some side-show esque sites in Wisconsin. While I’m sure that there are many more strange places in Wisconsin, I stuck to the western end of the eastern part of Wisconsin. For the most part, I stuck to about a 50 mile radius of Madison.

I’ll do a day by day detail of the ride, along with some reflections. The days ended up like so:

Day one: Making a balloon mermaid, Metra to Harvard, IL to Kettle Morraine State Park via Delavan, a former circus colony.

Day two: Riding to Madison and learning about the geologic structure of Wisconsin.

Day three: Visiting Madison, which included the Mustard Museum, a dead squirrel museum and amazing bike infrastructure

Day 4: Riding to Barraboo, Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron, my biggest hill yet, swimming and hula-hooping in Devils Lake and couchsurfing for the first time.

Day 5: Visiting the Circus world museum and the clown hall of fame, riding along a river to Spring Green.

Day 6: Passing some Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, climbing to House on the Rock, seeing the whole thing and still having time to camp all alone.

Day 7: Surviving the night, fixing my chain, visiting “Little Norway” searching for Trolls, and finding Bavaria in Wisconsin.

Day 8: Deciding that seeing Pleasantville, riding in a gold cart, boating, swimming and enjoying the summer would be better than a long ride and facing more hills.

Stay tuned!

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