I love this little heat wave we’re having and my solo 40-mile road ride today was pure joy. My road bike has gotten most of my attention this month and will continue to be my first choice through the end of August. In the fall I hope to enjoy some long days on the trails, especially state trails that I visit infrequently or are new to me.
I’ve never been to the Ahnapee Trail … in fact, I’ve never been to Door County for any reason. The Ahnapee Trail Century on Sep. 24 looks like my kind of late-season ride. Events like that one and the B.A.L.L.S. Ride make me wonder whether we could do something similar closer to home.
For a couple of years I have kicked around a concept I’ve named The Eisengoose, a century that includes the Eisenbahn State Trail and the Wild Goose State Trail. It’s a 50/50 mix of roads and rec trails.
And it’s not dead flat by any means.
Imagine leaving Theresa and riding west through Mayville to meet the Wild Goose at Horicon. The route then passes through Oakfield on its way to Fond du Lac, skirts the south side of the city on the Prairie Trail, then meets the Eisenbahn at Eden. Riding the full length of the Eisenbahn brings you to West Bend, from which you travel a series of sometimes-hilly country roads back to Theresa. The ride would be free of charge and free of support, but as it passes through so many communities you would have ample opportunity to resupply yourself with food and drink.
I admit it’s something of a freak ride, not unlike Cheesehead Roubaix. It’s perfect for a cyclocross bike and definitely doable on a road bike, though I’d go with tires wider than the usual 700x23. A mountain bike would be fine for the gravel trails but perhaps too heavy and inefficient for the 50 miles of paved roads. So, would anybody do this as a September or October group ride?