Spring Classic: Verona to New Glarus
A chilly start gave everyone’s Flanders Points a boost for this new “Classic” ride organized Rocket Bikes. The sunny day helped push temperatures into the 50s quickly, but the mercury was not the only thing that climbed. Although this ride was the shortest distance of all the Spring Classics it certainly wasn’t the flattest. The steep hills of the eastern driftless region broke up the pack from the get go.
What a gorgeous route though. The beautiful rolling hills and wide sweeping turns on low traffic country roads made for a funstastic ride to New Glarus. Among cyclists, New Glarus might be best know for their brewery, but the quaint community of about 2,000 has managed to hold on to much of its old world heritage since it was founded as a Swiss colony in 1845. There are 14 historical buildings to explore, including an original settler’s log home, Swiss church, Swiss bee haus and a country school.
Surrounded by amazing road riding, New Glarus is located at the intersection of the Badger State Trail and the Sugar River Trail. If you go there to ride the trails, be sure to ride through the Stewart Tunnel. Check with the WNDR though, as it has been closed for inspection recently. Here is a mapthat shows where the tunnel is located and detour routes.
Many of the faster riders took off rather than grab caffeine or bakery at the Fat Cat Coffee Works. Perhaps they were not hungry or maybe the mountain goats wanted to sprint up the hills at their own pace. No worries as that left the rest of us to make our way up a series of steep climbs at our own conversational pace.
Upon leaving New Glarus we met a hill that just kept on giving. As we gasped over the crest of the first section, we were able to see two thirds of our climb still remained! The view was worth it though, and the feeling that we earned our smiles on the long ride back down. The second group stuck together for the rest of the ride, and we finished together back at Rocket Bike Studios with 44 miles on the odometer.
Thanks to Jessica and Rocket Bikes for a great new ride and for the donuts and coffee back at their cool shop in Verona.