Saturday, March 12, 2016


This morning I traveled to Oshkosh for the Fox Valley Bike Sale. It was a well-run, well-attended event at the Sunnyview Expo Center, site of one of my favorite cyclocross races in 2015. I was in the market for tires—very specific tires—but I left the sale empty-handed. Carpool partner Jeff Wren did OK though, finding several items he needed.

It was a warm and sunny afternoon, so we left the bike sale and headed 3 miles down the street to the Wiouwash State Trail. Neither Jeff nor I had ever ridden it, but we had our cyclocross bikes with us and our plan was to travel north to the trail’s end at Hortonville. That would have been 36 miles round-trip. Unfortunately, we soon realized that the trail was still soft and wet in many places, and very tough going. My solo ride on the Eisenbahn earlier this week gave me hope that the unpaved rec trails in the area were all firm enough to ride, but the Wiouwash was a mess. Frustrated, we abandoned the north-south Wiouwash as soon as we reached the east-west Friendship Trail. But the latter also was soft, so in turn we abandoned it in favor of local roads. With not too much further trouble we felt our way back to the trailhead from which we had started. Our 27 miles were slow and, at times, sloppy. Still, it was better than a day on the turbo trainer!

The Wiouwash deserves another look. I will wait until I know it’s dry and I will begin in the heart of Oshkosh to see the trail in its entirety. Today’s ride missed the section along Lake Butte des Morts, which must be its most scenic feature.

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