The day started with a great breakfast at Ginny’s Cupboard café. The cinnamon rolls were excellent and so was the homemade granola. Last nights supper there was great so I knew this morning’s breakfast would be good as well. Earnie, who only eats breakfast at McDonalds came by and met Ken C and myself so we could ride out together.
Today was the Sparta-Elroy bike trail and the 400 bike trail. These two trails are probably the best know of all of the rails to trails routes. The Sparta – Elroy bike trail was one of the first routes. It is approximately 32 miles long and is a crushed limestone surface which is very ride able on road bike tires. The 400 bike trail starts in Elroy and and runs up to Reedsburg. It is 22 miles long. I believe it was named after the express passenger train which ran up this route. Today it is a tree lined piece of bike heaven.
Earnie, Ken C and I started the day with photos of Ben Biken the giant statute in Sparta of a man on a penny farthing bike. Then on down the trail we went. It was just beautiful with the sun shining through the trees. The first 7 miles are about 2% grade up to tunnel #3 which is 3800 feet long. The sign said it was completed in 1837 using dynamite. However I don’t think dynamite was invented until much later. You have to walk the tunnel as the surface is quite rough and there is a lot of water dripping down making the surface inside the tunnel slippery. On down the trail to the next tunnel which is much shorter and dry in side. The last tunnel is only a few hundred feet and a person could easily ride it but I chose to walk it as I don’t need a stupid accident to end my trip.
Riding along under the green canopy so far from all the cars and traffic was absolutely great. I am just going to let the pictures speak for them selves.
At the end of the trails we had a further 17 miles to ride down some rather hilly back roads to get into Baraboo. Earnie has been telling us he knew a great place to camp at this place but when we got here there is a construction project under way on Earnie’s spot.