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Old World Wisconsin Itinerary 2024
Friday May 31: Afternoon Warm up Ride around Madison
A town of dual capital roles----Wisconsin’s State Capitol and Capital of cycling. Expect to be riding on a scenic paved bike path along a lake shore, through a park, on a quiet street, or a wide bike lane. It won’t take long to realize you are biking through a model for the rest of the country to follow. Our loop ride for the afternoon begins and ends at the paved Capital City Trail, right at the front door of the Clarion Suites Madison on the shores of Lake Monona.
No matter what your destination, you can get there safely by bike in Madison. And at the end of the ride there are dinner choices nearby for any desire, followed by time to meet other riders and hear how easy it will be to find ice cream in the week ahead.
The Madison Clarion Suites is the ideal place to begin and end our tour. Pool, workout room, and miles of paved bike path at the door. Free airport shuttle available.
In the morning leave your car in the Clarion lot, put your bags on the truck, and get on your bike for a week of outstanding cycling!
Saturday June 1: Madison to Whitewater 52 miles
It's always nice to leave the car behind, put your bags on the truck and get on your bike. That's all you have to do to start on your way as we exit Madison on Saturday morning. Taking advantage of how much Madison has done for cycling leaving town is scenic and simple. A beautiful local bike path through forests and lakes helps us exit Madison nearly traffic-free!
We suddenly find ourselves in the heart of America's dairyland, a Northwest tailwind pushing us quickly towards Whitewater, Home of University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. A small school, it's not to be confused with U of W--Madison. On the way there are some great food choices in Ft. Atkinson where you can find more energy than needed to propel you past the nearby grazing cows. As we near Whitewater a network of scenic back roads brings us to Baymont Inn and PAW Social Hours the next two nights.
Longtime PAW Alums will recall the first tour in PAW's history going to Whitewater in 1985. It was the first of many years of anticipated weekends. This is one of those areas that has not changed much over the years, in short, an area still great to cycle. A place where the glacier was just friendly enough to come to a halt after arranging the curve of the earth so as to be bike friendly. All routes lead to the LaGrange General Store where one can enjoy a top quality lunch and have your bike worked on at the same time.
Now it's your turn to ride this blend of dairyland roads mixed with gently rolling rustic byways. The route is arranged in a loop to offer choice of miles for those who want extra time in the pool, hiking on the Ice Age Trail, or browsing in town.
Whitewater is home to University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, and has a variety of places to eat and drink plus two good bike shops.
Sunday June 2: Kettle Moraine Whitewater Lake Recreational Area
Scenic loop options up to 60 miles
Monday June 3: Whitewater to New Glarus 55 miles
Excitement builds as we head for the well known town of New Glarus. Founded in 1845, New Glarus was named after Canton of Glarus in Switzerland. In the early 1840's when failed crops created poverty in Glarus, 193 residents left for the New World seeking better times. They found their way to Wisconsin and bought two square miles of land along the little Sugar River for $1.25 an acre because the valley with its surrounding hilltops reminded them of home. Today, Swiss architecture abounds in New Glarus which has become known as "America's Little Switzerland." The town has many interesting places of Swiss origin to visit, has specialty shops and good restaurants and is surrounded by both beauty and scenic back roads to bike. Our home tonight is the Chalet Landhaus, a prominent New Glarus Swiss style landmark. Dinner tonight at Chalet Landhaus.
Tuesday June 4: New Glarus Layover Loops: 20, 40 or 55 miles
2 Nights in New Glarus!
Way back in PAW's 1st year, 1985, New Glarus served as an excellent location for a weekend tour that was well attended for about 20 years. Today, we are excited to have 2 nights in scenic & historic New Glarus on Old World Wisconsin. Our layover route features mileage options which include choice roads from our original routes. The area today remains unspoiled and lightly traveled, just like back in 1985. Cycle your choice of mileage and still have time to visit the New Glarus Brewery, just 1.5 miles from our hotel easily accessed by bicycle path directly behind hotel, or walk in town which is just around the corner.
Dinner tonight on your own, plenty of excellent choices await in New Glarus!
Wednesday June 5: New Glarus to Spring Green 50 miles
The thought of leaving New Glarus behind is a sad one but today it’s ok because we are headed for Spring Green and using some choice routes to get there.
We approach Spring Green rolling over the the gentle roads across the Wisconsin River Valley heading straight to the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center, a structure known for it's architecture, informational reading material, and good food. From there it's just a short spin over the Wisconsin River and through town to the Round Barn Hotel & Spring Valley Inn, our home the next two nights.
Thursday June 6: Spring Green Layover Loops
Optional routes up to 60 miles
As always on "layover" days there is a supported ride departing after breakfast. But one of the reasons for a "your choice" day is the choices here are so good. Taliesin beckons and if you are a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast you have come to the "Wright" place.
You will find in Spring Green that there still is a town left with a few small book shops. There are also a sprinkling of galleries, specialty shops, and watering holes. Spring Green is home to the American Theatre Players and the well known House on the Rock is not far away (10 miles). In the early 1800’s Spring Green was home to the Ho Chunk Indians who now manage area casinos.
Frank Lloyd Wright was born in nearby Richland Center and spent a great deal of time on his Uncle’s farm just south of Spring Green. In later years he would write frequently about the magical lands of Wisconsin and the look of the green fields and red barns as seen against a background of hills and bluffs at the end of the valley. Bring your camera or clear space on your smartypants phone!
Group dinner tonight at Arthurs Supper Club.
Friday June 7: Spring Green to Madison 56
If a good tour has to end it's hard to think of anywhere better than Madison as the scene. On the way we will enjoy a traffic free network of backroads through Mezomanie, Black Earth & Cross Plains. Approaching the Clarion Suites Madison from the West we travel lightly traveled beautiful roads know well to local cyclists &, easy riding to Clarion Suits. And as the saying goes, PAW tours never really end because the fond memories last forever.
Arrival at the Clarion Suites Madison offers a variety of choices, all of them good. See some of Madison you missed before the tour, return to a good lunch spot, or stay over and enjoy an extra day. Those who have to leave will find their highway right at the door.
"PAW does it again! Superb scenery with gorgeous lakes, forests, and wildlife to enjoy. Very little traffic and good roads. Dr. J. has found roads even we from Wisconsin have not ridden on. Thanks to Dr. J. and his excellent crew for a perfect vacation." Mary Ann Duckert- Waukesha WI.
Ice-cream buffet..you know you're on a PAW trip.
Kettle-Moraine Whitewater Lakes and recreation area.
Madison Wisconsin--Beautiful riding around Lake Mendota
Traffic-free backroads are waiting!
Enjoy terrific group dinners
Almost back...PAW Social Hour is near!
(All roads on tour are paved, even this road...Ken needs photography lessons.)