Oh yes - I was reallllly thinking about doing this....but due to a recent injury I'm in no shape to make it happen. I did half of this ride from Illinois to Madison with a fellow Chainlink member a long time ago....I could drive the support vehicle but I'm also light on the cash to get that going, plus I could be using that time to get back in shape!! HOWEVER.....La Crosse is located on the Mississippi River near the Great River State Park Trail and the Mississippi River Trail.
This ride stops in New Glarus for New Glarus Brewery beer...and a brewery tour.....their beer is some kind of other-worldly delight, I think, or ambrosia on tap...their bottled beer is not as dreamy but still quite good... I hope the beer will be worth the 4,255 feet of hill climbing and at least 228 miles (not including the trip to Harvard, Illinois) we'll have to complete this ride!
The major backbone of the La Crosse - Madison - Rockford tour is - you guessed it - lots of crushed stone trails. I am really not fond of riding on the road with traffic, since, in my opinion, that's where stuff happens. Here are the major trails which are the focus of the ride:
Anyway the plan is still pending, I don't have it worked out what the stops would be or the campsites (because I ride unsupported - if I were to support the ride I would drive ahead and get things ready for everyone), the route is still not arranged assuring your safety as a cyclist, and no Strava map or preset Google map has been arranged to my standards or checked against Wisconsin DNR's bike maps, local city/ county maps, etc. etc. I am so proud to say through at least 1000 miles of organized touring (which isn't THAT far...I know...) on my rides and the few other multi-day tours I attended, we were never truly lost, we always made it to where we were going, and neither I nor anyone in the group ever suffered any medical emergencies.
So that's all I have to say for now. I'm not doing this ride on Memorial Day. But I'd be happy to help you plan yours!
Elroy-Sparta trail is currently closed from Norwalk to Elroy due to damage from last year's torrential rains. Same for the 400 trail from LaValle to Reedsburg.
No word yet about re-opening dates. i do know that Elroy-Sparta was pretty trashed by the storms.
Badger State Trail is a pleasant ride, you can link to it from Madison's excelent trail system, and taking that into New Glarus will save a lot of climbing!
The Apple River trail runs from New Glarus to Brodhead.
When would you think you'd go? i'm currently working out a route from Hillsboro to the NW 'burbs, possibly for a late summer campaign.
The trail damage is perfect timing for me. Late summer sounds like a plan!!! The route to/from Rockford connecting to the north side of Chicago is a mystery to me but I've always wanted to know what it is.
How about reverse-routing this...start in Illinois and heading north. Do a round trip? I am staring to plan a ride myself. I'd like to drive west to pick up Jane Addams, head north to Badger trail and then ?
Well....I've ridden over 4000 miles commuting through 2021...I think at this point and while COVID is going on my version of recreation doesn't involve a bicycle. Elroy-Sparta is opening back up in 2021 though!!!
Thanks Matt M 18.5KM - Thanks for the update on E->S too.