Sarah and I took advantage of beautiful weather on Sunday to go for a long bike ride. Sunday’s weather in Madison was sunny with a high in the low seventies. With just a few wisps of clouds in the sky and a breeze out of the west, it perfect weather for biking. We grabbed our flat tire kits, some water, and our helmets, jumped on our bikes and started pedaling out of the driveway about 11:00, bound for Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin.
We traveled through Madison and Fitchburg to reach the Military Ridge Trail. The Military Ridge Trail is a rail-trail that runs forty miles from Madison to Dodgeville. The grade is gentle but contstant between Madison and Mt. Horeb, which lies along the trail nearly half-way between the two trail endpoints.
Why Mount Horeb over all the other places we could go? Well, it’s about twenty-two miles from our house to Mt. Horeb’s downtown district. Round-trip that’s a bit over forty miles. That distance is just right about for a pleasant mid-day ride. In addition, we both wanted to get some more lefse from one of the cafes downtown. Finally, we were nearly out of the mustard we bought two weeks ago at the mustard museum.
So, yeah. We biked forty miles yesterday to eat lefse and buy mustard. Call us crazy, but don’t call us out of shape.
The last time we biked to Mt. Horeb, we rode back to Madison in a huge, black ambulance courtesy of the Mt. Horeb Volunteer Fire Department. As we were riding down Segoe on our way out of town, that same ambulance came barreling down Mineral Point Rd. bound for the UW Hospital with all its lights and sirens running. We yelled after it that we’d see it back in Mt. Horeb and continued on our way, both of us hoping that we were just kidding.
The ride along the trail was great. The sun was warm, but not punishing. The air was relatively dry; the breeze was constant but not overwhelming. The trail was dry but not dusty. While there were plenty of people on the trail, we never really ended up in any sort of traffic jam. We made good time and found ourselves in Mt. Horeb in about 13:00.
As we got in to town, the civil defense siren started screeching, and since the skies were absolutely cloudless in all directions, we certainly weren’t worrying about tornadoes. As it turns out, the siren is used to summon the volunteers to man the ambulance. Soon, the large black ambulance we had seen in Madison earlier went screaming down the road toward the east. We crossed the street and started to lock up our bikes. We hadn’t been doing that for more than a few seconds when the big black ambulance came screaming down the street, but now heading west. Suffice it to say that more than one person walking the street was heard to comment that perhaps the folks driving the ambulance needed a map.
Anyway, we got our mustard at the Mustard Museum, and enjoyed a light lunch at one of the local cafes (which included a generous portion of lefse) before getting back in the saddle and heading towards Madison and home.
While the constant, gentle, upward grade of the trail from Madison to Mt. Horeb can be tiresome after a while, essentially coasting twenty miles back to Madison is a heck of a lot of fun.