Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Rusco Trailhead Groundbreaking

It has begun! The southern terminus of the Eisenbahn State Trail at Rusco Drive will have several new amenities this year, and today a group of about 50 people turned out to celebrate the beginning of construction. The ground is being cleared on both sides of the trail to accommodate off-street parking, a bike repair stand, portable toilets, and more. This picture gives some idea of the orientation of the parking spaces:

Several local dignitaries were on hand from the City of West Bend and from Washington County government. County Executive Josh Schoemann read a proclamation honoring the work of Bike Friendly West Bend President Jeff Puetz, who addressed the audience:

Bike Friendly West Bend raised $20,000 for the project and played a key role in keeping the conversation going for more than 5 years. The project stalled when a telephone company raised the issue of liability if construction disturbs its underground lines. BFWB helped to coordinate conversations with all stakeholders at the local, county, and state levels to overcome the opposition.

Puetz is now the outgoing president of BFWB. He is retiring from corporate life at the end of the month and will step away from his leadership role in the advocacy group soon thereafter as he moves on to a new set of goals. Replacing him will be hard—it might be impossible—but there’s still more work for BFWB to do. If you have an interest in that role or would like to volunteer to help BFWB in some other capacity, then let me know. Let’s keep the ball rolling!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


April 3-7 was uncommonly nice in Washington County: 5 straight days in the 70s. That’s about 20° above the average daytime high for that time of year, and of course it couldn’t last. When things went back to normal I went back to accepting any excuse not to ride my bike. On the days that failed to reach 50° I could argue—if only to myself—that it was too cold. On other days it was too windy or too rainy. One week ago today it was too snowy, and for proof I recall to your memory the 100-car pileup on Interstate 41 that left one person dead and sent several others to the hospital.

Today was … just OK. Yeah, you read that right. Sure, we got back above 70° for the first time since April 7, and I did my first full-distance Eisenbahn State Trail ride of 2021. But it was 74° when I started at 1 p.m. and only 61° when I got back at 4:30. The wind shifted from southeast to northeast when I was about 12 miles into my 50-mile ride. I had studied the forecast and expected the shift to come a little later and a little more gradually, but when it came it was like somebody threw a switch labeled “Screw you, Dave.”

And keeping with the theme of just OK, that badly neglected bridge south of Old Fond du Lac Road in Kewaskum has been repaired. It’s far better than the decaying mess it had become, but I’m not a fan of bridge decking that runs in the same direction as bicycle traffic:

The perpendicular decking is great: a bike rider will hit that at a 90-degree angle. But the middle of the bridge will be a problem eventually. Decking pops up when it wears out. When the perpendicular planks start to pop up, they will do so at the edges of the bridge where there’s no traffic. In the middle of the bridge, planks will pop up in a high traffic area. That’s a tripping hazard for walkers and a potential over-the-bars danger for bike riders. There’s also expansion and contraction to consider. It’s not a problem when the gaps between perpendicular planks get a little wider—your tires will handle that easily—but it’s a bicycle tire trap when gaps appear between planks running in the same direction as the trail. I asked a Washington County administrator with oversight for this project to ensure that all bridge decking be perpendicular, but I was ignored. So, good luck to you. Don’t be the person who proves me right.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Coming Soon: Celebrate Trails Day

Next Saturday, April 24, is the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s nationwide Celebrate Trails Day. Here in Washington County we have lots of trails, but only one rail trail: the Eisenbahn. Washington County government will provide cleanup kits and instructions for volunteers who want to help with litter removal. If you can help, then please see the county’s Facebook event page or go directly to the signup website.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Breaking Ground South Of Town

This is a big deal! Bike Friendly West Bend, the City of West Bend, Washington County, the DNR, the DOT … lots of different groups have looked at the southern terminus of the Eisenbahn State Trail over the years and always they have agreed that the trailhead needed to be improved. Standing in their way, however, was a telephone company whose buried lines in the old railroad corridor might be compromised by construction. All opposition is finally laid aside and the trailhead improvements are coming soon! Watch for off-street parking, a portable toilet, a bike repair stand, and other amenities. The new trailhead will have come a long way from its origins. Check out this picture I took in 2004, before paving and even before the old rails were pulled from the road:

Thursday, April 8, 2021

2021 Washington Park Velodrome Schedule

Track racing is returning to the Washington Park Velodrome in Kenosha. Here’s the schedule for the 2021 season:

Saturday, April 3, 2021

The 2021 WORS Schedule Redux

Way back on July 6, 2020, WORS announced its 2021 schedule. Yesterday it made a big splash across social media with a new announcement, and people reacted as if all the information were minty fresh. In truth, the new schedule is almost identical to the original. But whatever; people are excited about the return of bike racing, and that’s a good thing. Here’s the revised schedule:

Friday, April 2, 2021

For Sale: Cycling Fan Bundle

All items: cash only.

$5 each or $20 for the lot
  • American Flyers
  • Breaking Away
  • The Flying Scotsman
  • Joe Kid on a Stingray: The History of BMX
  • 2003 Liege-Bastogne-Liege & Fl├Ęche Wallonne
  • 2004 Paris-Roubaix
  • 2006 Giro d’Italia

Rabobank Replica Jersey (Men’s XL)

Team Discovery Channel Fan Pack
  • 2 water bottles (never used)
  • 1 LIVESTRONG bracelet

Thursday, April 1, 2021

For Sale: 26-inch Mountain Bike Wheels


This is a mismatched set of 26-inch wheels. Front: Matrix 550 rim, Trek / Gary Fisher OEM alloy hub, black. Rear: Alex x2000 rim, Shimano FH-RM-40-8 8-speed hub, silver. Both rims are drilled for Schrader valves. No rim strips. Cash only.