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Messages - driftlessregion

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There is one other option to all the hills I mentioned. The New Berlin Trail leaves Milwaukee and the you can hook onto the Glacial Drumlin trail to Cottage Grove about 15 miles outside of Madison. About 60 miles NW of Madison in Reedsburg you can take the first of 3 contiguous state trails ( to La Crosse: 400 Trail, Sparta-Elroy Trail, and the La Crosse River Trail. All nice fairly flat hard packed dirt trails. Then you can ride down the Mississippi River on WI Highway 35 all the way to Cassville which is fairly flat and then take the little ferry across the river and ride the Iowa side to Dubuque. This is much longer but much less hilly and more scenic.

You can get the official WI bike maps from the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin ( and Illinois maps from There are Milwaukee County maps at There are bike trails/routes out of the city and trails southeast out of the county. This will be a great few days of cycling for you. Fairly flat at first then pretty hilly west of Monroe all the way to Dubuque. Monroe is the beginning in southern Wisconsin of the "driftless region" which is the area of the Mississippi Valley that wasn't flattened by the glaciers. Virtually all roads are paved in southern Wisconsin thanks to the dairy industry that needed good roads for the milk trucks. The township roads are often the best choice until Monroe, then they might be hillier than the county or state roads. There's a nice state park, Big Foot Beach, at Lake Geneva then slim pickings for non-commercial campgrounds on your route. There are a couple of state parks in northern Illinois.

There is no Wisconsin Bikeway per se and Kenosha to La Crosse wouldn't be much help anyway. Be careful on the bridge over the big muddy; lots of traffic and windy.

This will be a beautiful route of farms and friendly small towns. Have fun!

Urban Cycling / what bike do you use for pure urban ridin'?
« on: January 28, 2007, 11:54:48 pm »
64 cm Trek 330 from early 80's (?) Reynolds 531 lugged frame bought last year on eBay. 1998 105 triple with Nitto moustache bars and bar end shifters. Fenders of course with a small canvas saddle bag but will get a large Carradice Nelson Long Flap bag soon. Tires are 700/28 at 90 psi.

Gear Talk / Rear bike rack
« on: December 06, 2008, 10:56:40 pm »
Lots of places to buy the Tubus including Wallingford and Peter White. Mine poped a weld (but didn't seem to weaken it at all it is so strong) and it was replaced easily.

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: December 06, 2008, 10:53:52 pm »
"I have a Brooks Professional. It is about 15 years young. I have stretched it out and conditioned it, and once broken in has served me well, but I fear it is at the end of it's life. You are the third person, I have come in contact with who raves about the Brook B-17. "

After 30 years on a Brooks Pro I bought a B-17. It broke down in 2 years so I put back on the old Pro for 2 more years. I bought a new  titanium Pro weeks before the price went up (yea!) and will ride it until I die probably.

If my frame wasn't 64 cm I would definitely have had Waterford build it with S&S. Mine won't fit in the box.

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 23, 2008, 10:26:42 pm »
If you're considering the Co-Motion, consider the Waterford Adventure Cycle.
Both are top notch bike companies making top tourers. You can't go wrong with either.

Gear Talk / B.O.B. trailers
« on: November 02, 2008, 10:01:43 pm »
As you see, this topic has many experiences and opinions. I pull a BOB Yak and like the person who doesn't notice the Burley, my BOB tracks so nicely that I forget it is back there except when standing.  My lifetime high speed is with the BOB.
My question is if you're doing the TransAm route why bother with the extra weight of the shocks on the Ibex unless you're going to be off road.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 20, 2008, 06:29:59 pm »
Regarding steep downhills with a trailer: I ride a very fine bike (a Waterford) yet my high speed is while pulling a BOB, not riding bare. That is more a function of only getting to those really long hills while touring than anything. The point it, the trailer does not factor in to downhill speed. Uphill, that is another story...

Gear Talk / Surly LHT or Trek520
« on: October 20, 2008, 06:33:34 pm »
The 520 is a great touring value at roughly $1000 with the venerable Reynolds 531 tubing.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 06, 2008, 10:03:52 pm »
The Whisperlite is great and as its name implies relatively quiet. After it came the Simmerlite which as the name implies allows lower flame than the Whisperlite for simmering; but it is as noisy as a train in the forest. If traveling with others, a gallon of fuel can be shared,  depends on the length of the trip. I used only 2 liters on 2 week trip with 2 of us, cooking 2X a day.  Check out REI for comparisons of lots of stoves.

Gear Talk / Sandals
« on: October 06, 2008, 10:11:22 pm »
Lake also has wide sizes and more support than sandals. I rode sandals from western MT to Duluth with no problems but wear shoes more often when I want to ride hard.

Gear Talk / Ortlieb Dry Bag
« on: October 06, 2008, 11:05:07 pm »
Six weeks of Northern Tier, rain many nights, lots of dew. BOB dry bag and no problems after putting wet tent into the BOB bag.

Gear Talk / Search for new Rain Jacket
« on: August 03, 2008, 11:44:50 pm »
I find rain pants to be too heavy to justify taking on tour for the little time they might get worn. Your tour might be in cold weather and rain often enough to make it worthwhile. I have had good luck though with tight lycra leg warmers in rain down to 32 degrees. The tight fabric makes it impossible to get waterlogged.

Gear Talk / Brooks saddles and rain
« on: June 23, 2008, 11:05:13 pm »
Now that I think about it, it was 90 minutes hard rain, and 3 more hours light rain. That's a lot for the underside to take. I will treat the underside with Sno Seal which is waterproof and Proofhide on the top.

Gear Talk / Brooks saddles and rain
« on: June 19, 2008, 11:02:10 pm »
A few months ago there was a discussion about whether riding a leather saddle in the rain was hard on it. One writer even suggested that sweating was as bad as rain. Well, after a couple of hours riding in rain last week (barely escaping the rising rivers in Iowa) on my new Brooks Pro it collapsed under my weight when it got wet, even with a cover on underneath me. I had almost 1000 miles on it with lots of sweaty hard rides before that with no breakdown. The Pro is much tougher than the B-17 so I was very surprised at the damage. Had I put on the fenders the saddle would have been protected from the rain.

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