With the cuts to the budget and proposed repeal of complete streets, anyone who likes to ride a bike here may be feeling a little down on Wisconsin lately. It might also be getting harder for our great state cycling industry to do business here with the proposed new tax on bicycles and our state’s sinking reputation. We all have to continue to let our state legislators what bad ideas those are, but I thought this blog post about our annual “Train, Train, Train” fundraising trip might cheer people up.
Despite the attacks, Wisconsin remains a great state in which to ride a bike. While we are not at the top anymore, we still have about 1,800 miles of trails and a wonderful network of paved, low traffic roads. Our annual trip up to La Crosse on vintage Brook Stevens designed train cars and the three-day ride back to Milwaukee via the Great River Road, trails like the iconic Elroy-Sparta, and rolling town roads highlights all that is great about Wisconsin.
Regular readers may remember reading this blog post about the first time we were invited on Tom Schuler’s Train, Train, Train trip three years ago. Tom is Wisconsin cycling royalty. He raced on the famed 7-Eleven Team, is a member of the Bicycle Hall of Fame and currently is part of the team that puts on the Tour of America’s Dairyland, the largest race series in the country. It has been an honor to get invited on this trip, and we are especially grateful that Tom lets us auction off a couple of spots on his ride at our Saris Gala.
You can read more about the ride in our first blog post about it, but today I just wanted to share something positive about riding a bike in our state. This trip is a perfect example of why cycling is important to us here. From Driver Dave’s Diner where we eat our first delicious lunch to Stockholm Pie and General Store where we get desert, to the Historic Trempeleau Hotel where we stay our first night to Candy’s Merrimac Cafe where we eat our last breakfast, our group leaves thousands of dollars behind supporting small businesses across the state. We hope we also leave behind smiles and a network of new friends we look forward to seeing for years to come.