2012 New Glarus Cycling Trip

For those who haven’t been to New Glarus, it’s a small town located near Mount Horeb, and about a three hour drive from Naperville, IL. Every year Larry Alvino organizes this three day cycling trip in early September, and he always does a great job. This year he had a great turnout, especially for the Saturday ride — 20 riders I think.

The trip begins Friday, with a 1pm ride to Blanchardville, about 45 miles, then on Saturday with a 65 mile ride, and Sunday with a 42 mile ride. Most of the riders stay at the — Chalet Landhaus. Though some stay in local B&Bs.

Friday

Leaving Naperville it was raining like crazy, though once I hit DeKalb, the sun was out, and based on the radar when I left, it looked like the ride was going to take place. 12 riders left New Glarus at 1pm, headed for Blanchardville. It was a little cold, windy, but the rain was holding off. Once we got to a town called Postville, we decided to cut the ride a short, since the rain was starting. During the ride I was keeping an eye out for Eric Peterson, since he was unable to make the ride start, but was still planning on doing the ride.

When we got back, it was cold, and still raining, and we should have done the whole ride, given the rain wasn’t all that bad. Some of us met on the patio for beer, thanks to Janet. While sitting there, Eric arrives on his bike. He rode the whole thing. We told him we cut it short — kidding, he called us a bunch of pussies.

At 6pm we had dinner at the Glarner Stube, which is a small bar / restaurant within walking distance of our hotel. After dinner we had more beer in the lobby, and some stayed up to wait for those arriving late.

Saturday

Still a bit out of it, from the night before, we pushed off at 8:30am, after having a big breakfast at the hotel, which is included in your bill. The sun was out, but a bit on the cool side, though some like Dave and Dietmar did not wear arm warmers. Within a few miles, my arm warmers came down.

It was a bit windy, heading to Mount Horeb, and the peloton of 20 riders soon broke into smaller groups — Dietmar, Ed, and Erik were pushing the pace. We regrouped at the first rest stop of the day, in Mount Horeb. Next, we headed to Blue Mounds State Park. After descending a switch back, we broke into groups. Michelle in her pick socks pulled a bunch of us for like two miles or more. Mike said she must be doping.

When we hit Ryan Road, those who were aware, of what was coming started to pace themselves. Dave on the other hand, went off the front. I was going to say something, but Carla said, don’t tell him. As we started the 13% climb, everyone went at their pace. I was next to Ed, also his first time doing this hill, and he said, this hill is shit. Meaning it was hard. Though, he did it twice for fun.

At the top, meaning the park at the top of Blue Mounds, we climbed the look out tower, and took some photos. We then headed down to Blue Mounds, the very small town, and got some food.

Heading back, except for some headwinds, it was mostly a tailwind back. We regrouped at Highway A, and then headed to the last rest stop, at the church. Some took a short break, some longer. We had a tailwind, but we also had some more climbing to do. After descending, where Alex passed me at 50 mph, we hit the last hard climb of the day, I managed to catch up with Ed, then Jane, and behind me Carole was hammering up the hill. The four of us, rode back together, with Jane and myself putting the hammer down. We caught Eric, and almost caught Dietmar, and Lee who left before us.

After the ride, some went to the brewery, and some went to town for beer at Puempels Olde Tavern. We ended up staying there until dinner, which was at 6pm, and we ended up drinking almost five pitchers. After dinner some stayed in town for a beer, before heading (walking) back to the hotel, for one more. It is Wisconsin by the way.

Sunday

Sunday’s ride starts early, since we need to get back in time to shower, before checking out, which is 11am. So, at 7am we headed out. The sun was coming up, it was cool, but not too bad, and it was nice to have cool weather all three days, especially when you’re climbing. We regrouped a number of times, and there is no rest stop on this day. We got back around 10:15am, after 42 miles, and showered. Then we all had bunch on the patio, before heading home.

Highlights, and if I had to give out awards, to certain riders:

  • Not that I need help going up hills, but Ed on Sunday was pushing me.
  • Ed says to Dietmar, at that mailbox, let’s start the sprint up the hill. They did and neither one noticed Erik, who ended up winning the sprint.

Most Surprising Kick Ass Riders:

  • Irish — climbs hills like a mountain goat, who knew, he’s been holding out on us.
  • Carole — who lost control of her bike on Saturday, but managed to stay upright, before riding off the road, only to come back strong by the end of the day.
  • Kevin — after crashing early on, Sunday morning, due to gravel, finished the day strong.

First Time Riders:

  • Ed — since he only rode on Sunday last year.
  • Michelle and Dave
  • George H.

Hardiest Rider:

  • Eric Peterson — since he rode the whole route on Friday in the rain.

Stats and mechanicals:

  • The steepest grade was on Saturday at 13%.
  • Top speed by some of the riders — 50 mph (downhill)
  • Two riders dropped their chains, no flats.