Glacial Drumlin Trail
Today was more like five days than one. South on Wisconsin State Highway 113 out of Lodi into Waunakee. "The Only Waunakee in the World." Moderately hilly. Transferred on to Dane County Highway Q with a long downhill off the terminal moraine towards Lake Mendota. Around the lake through the Madison suburbs on Lake Mendota Drive then a bike path past the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Across the isthmus. One lap around the capitol, which is surrounded by a green market today. A small army of people are enjoying this cool, sunny day. Over to the new Monona Terrace Community Center, Frank Lloyd Wright's basic design built 40 years after his death. Down to Lake Monona. There's a bike lane but it doesn't go very far. On to city streets, guessing the way to go. East on Dane County Highway BB (Cottage Grove Road) then south briefly on N to the trail head.
I ride east on the Glacial Drumlin Trail. This is a long trail, about 50 miles, but there are hardly any cyclists. I run into a ranger on a scooter who asks me for my trail pass. Long straight stretches and minimal grades. Crushed gravel, but it's reasonably compacted. Still, I'm wasting energy with an average speed of 11 mph or less. Glacial Drumlin is a set of connected railroad right of ways, not one continuous line. Halfway through there's a break and it's on to lightly trafficked rural roads to avoid a monstrous malting plant in the middle of nowhere. The second segment is not well compacted. It's like riding on mashed potatoes. I must be averaging 8 mph here. It's gotten overcast and cold. I can see it's raining ahead of me. By the time I hit Waukesha County it's sunny again. If you don't like the weather in Wisconsin just wait ten minutes. The last 8 miles or so are paved and downhill out of Kettle Moraine from Wales to Waukesha. Another ranger asks me if I have a pass but doesn't ask me stop. "Do you have a pass?" "Yes I do." That was easy.
At the trail head I see bike route signs. Six inch disks, light green on white. You have to get right up to them to see the arrows. Local streets. Stop in to visit Renee, Scott and my new nephew. The dogs are confused. Lucky is expecting a walk. A quick bottle of Sprecher root beer and I'm off again following the arrows toward the New Berlin Recreational Trail; built on a Wisconsin Electric Power Company right of way and maintained by the county. The first three-quarters of a mile have not been graded. It's just two ruts in the grass. I've never ridden this section. I didn't know it was a part of the trail until today. Back on to crushed stone. This segment is familiar. It ends in the middle of Greenfield Park Golf Course where it connects with the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail (formerly known as the 76). A combination of separate trail and lightly trafficked local streets for six miles to my parents' house. Stop in to visit Karyn for a few minutes on the way. Ken is at the gala opening of the new Midwest Express (Convention) Center. I will be hanging out at my parents' house for a few days.