Tag Archives: wisconsin

Adventures riding in the cold northland

New fallen snow at the lodge - sidewalks coveredTwo to one ratioDark!Snow covered ice skating pondThis is the hill warning sign on the opposite side of the valley from the hill sign that I took a picture of yesterdayBoth hills in one view
Lake Namekogan - distances to all the cabins along with the names of people living thereSnowmobile and ATV routes criss-cross all the roads up hereSnowmobile stop sign and curve sign (the backs of them)Lake Namekogan looking east - note the snowmobile tracks coming out from under the bridgeIce fishingSnowmobile tracks disappearing into the water
Great Divide of Northern WisconsinSnowmobile pulling an ice fishing hut

Wisconsin Divide, a set on Flickr.

We had an inch and a half of new snow last night so today’s ride was again on the mountain bike. The snow is perfect depth and texture for good riding as I discovered today since the road to the ski resort was completely covered all the way back out to Co Rd M. In northern Wisconsin, all the county roads get treated with salt and plowed on a regular basis so they remain relatively snow and ice free even with temps in the teens. Today I was riding through puddles and wet roads on Co Rd M and Co Rd D even with the temperature hovering around 20 degF.

The ride highlight for the day was on Co Rd D where I unexpected came across this large sign indicating the Great Divide of Northern Wisconsin. On the other side of the divide, was a long downhill. The internet connection here at the hotel is really spotty so I am waiting to upload the ride to see if it was an actual categorized climb. If you are ever wondering what I think about on long bike rides, I spent about 10 minutes of the climb working out in my head the vertical gain needed over a particular distance for it to count as a Strava Cat 4. I think to hit the 3% threshold, you need 158.4 feet of climbing per mile – I worked this out in my head making for a good distraction as I was trying to push the pace realizing that it was probably going to be pretty dark by the time I made it back to the lodge.

I pushed the pace really hard over the top of the climb and all the way back across Co Rd D to Co Rd M. I hit M just after sunset with about 12 miles left to get back to the lodge. With a cloudy, overcast sky it was already pretty dark. I could see fine even without a light, but I had to rely on my bright green neon vest for visibility. I got passed by about five or six cars on the mostly deserted road, but the last car was a local sheriff who put on his lights and told me to get in the truck that I couldn’t be out without a light. He was very nice and gave me a ride the last 3 miles back to the lodge. I apologized profusely for riding without a light as I had expected to be back well before sunset but had gotten delayed on my ride.

All in all, it was a great ride, and the pics at the top of this post are the ones I took along the way.

Yesterday, I did a shorter ride out/back on Co Rd M and also snapped a few pictures. Here they are on flickr enjoy!

Wind burnIce skating pondMountain bike beforehandRolling hills partial snow/ice coverageRustic roadTalk about multi-use … hiking, biking, ATVing, and snowmobiling
You can find hills anywhere if you look hard enough!Telemark ski resort mountainCold and pretty far north - check out the sunrise/sunset times!Finishing just after sunset 16.6 degF

Co Rd M – Mountain Bike, a set on Flickr.

2011 Tour of America’s Dairyland Summary

What a great race series the 2011 Tour of America’s Dairyland was. I’m already looking forward to next year. This year featured 9 criteriums, 1 road race, and 1 time trial. The criteriums were a mix of hilly technical courses and flat, fast courses. This was my first time to race more than six days in a row. By the end of two weeks of racing and riding, I had ridden/raced 824 miles (383 miles the first week and 441 miles the second week). To put that in perspective, that is 15 miles longer than our drive home from Madison, WI to Birmingham, AL. The 441 mile week is my sixth 400+ mile week of the year and most likely the second longest week of my entire racing career. I had a 500+ mile week in college.

All of our criteriums were timed at 90 minutes and depending on the average speed worked out to be around 45 miles in length. The race was so well organized, thanks in part to having a nearly identical schedule very day. I didn’t have a lot to do besides race, so I would frequently start warming up during the pro women’s race and continuing warming up during the masters 1-2-3 race before checking out the course for a few laps during the downtime that was scheduled between the end of the masters race and the start of the pro men’s race. That down-time meant that every one of our races started on time because any kind of delay earlier in the day was worked out by the time our race started.

The road race was an excellent course through the Kettle Moraine state forest area. The hills and crosswinds combined with some rain during the first half of the race made for a challenging course. I was disappointed that I put so much effort into an early break that was brought back and then missed both the break of the day plus a large chase group. I was stuck in the field until the last lap when I bridged to a solo move and worked together with the rider I caught to finish just ahead of the field. It was a good finish to an otherwise disappointing race performance.

Favorite picture and favorite video… the picture is Lapham Peak where I rode to on my rest day in lieu of the Ripon time trial. The video is the last lap sprint of the last race of the series in Madison, WI.

Panoramic view from the top of the Lapham Peak tower (click to enlarge)

Here is a summary of all my results from the races. I was hoping for more top 20s, another top 10, and a top 5 in the road race. So my results weren’t quite what I was expecting, but it was still great experience, great racing, and the longest race series that I have ever done!

Day 1 – Shorewood Criterium 46th 42.6mi 28.0mph 177/191 291/891
Day 2 – Thiensville Criterium 33rd 40.2mi 27.4mph 169/189 291/1242
Day 3 – Grafton Criterium 51st 39.9mi 27.8mph 168/187 281/1360
Day 4 – Waukesha Criterium 20th 40.7mi 27.3mph 167/186 259/845
Day 5 – Greenbush Road Race 17th 79.0mi 24.2mph 148/179 199/1100
Day 6 – Schlitz Park Criterium 19th 37.8mi 24.8mph 158/177 266/939
Day 7 – Ripon TT (rest day) 61.7mi 14.1mph 116/151
Day 8 – Sheboygan Criterium 26th 40.9mi 27.6mph 158/180
Day 9 – Fond du Lac Criterium 26th 43.1mi 29.0mph 158/183
Day 10 – Downer Ave Criterium 16th 49.0mi 28.1mph 160/183
Day 11 – Madison Criterium 9th 43.6mi 28.3mph 159/189

Finally, here a few maps to help illustrate the scope of our fun summer bike racing adventure…
Annotated map showing our entire trip.

Annotated map showing all the places that I raced.

Map showing all my races and commutes to/from awesome host housing in Brookfield. I saw quite a bit of southeastern Wisconsin frequently opting for side streets and country roads instead of interstates.