Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Badger State Trail

Tim's on vacation for two weeks so he can watch the Tour de France and not have to stay up too late on a "school night" (aka work night). When he's not watching the race, and I'm not working, we've been working on some projects around the house and riding our bikes. On Sunday we rode the Badger State Trail from our front door to Monroe, WI. We stayed overnight at the Gasthaus and then rode home the following day. Round trip it was just shy of 100 miles, including meal stops. The section of the trail that runs from the Southwest Bike Trail in Madison to Purcell Road in Fitchburg is not yet completed. The train tracks were removed a couple of years ago but it has not yet been graded. Supposedly it will be completed next year when the funding finally comes through. The trail is only about 2 years old and seems like it is not yet heavily used by bicycles. According to the website, limestone provides a hard surface...not so much. The trip south to Monroe runs at a slight incline the entire way and the gravel was so thick at times that you would spin out. It made for slow, frustrating going and a long day. 48 miles later, upon our arrival in Monroe, tired and dirty from the trail we found that our motel was at the far south end of town and not near any local dining. So back on the bikes we went in search of dinner before it got dark and we had to ride our tired butts back in the dark. The highlight of the trail comes about 4 miles south of Belleville, where there is a 1200 foot tunnel, which I found out the hard way, with my sunglasses still on is quite dark and under water at the entry. Oh well, I took off my glasses and with the aid of my bike light and a flashlight could see much better, and my shoes and socks dried eventually. While going through the tunnel you can hear the bats singing their happy songs--good to have a bike helmet on if you're scared of bats!

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