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Checking out for a while by bike: Where would you bike? What would you bring?

If you could go on the ultimate bike trip, where would you ride? What would you bring with you? For Jasmine, it is her violin and her dog.

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Well the state of Wisconsin used to map something called The Wisconsin Bikeway, a route of small bike-friendly roads from Kenosha to LaCrosse on the Mississippi River.  And there were detailed maps they'd send you.  But no longer.  However that link has route instructions for E to W and W to E plus county maps that you can download to your phone.

Alternatively Wisconsin has a wonderful network of rural and rustic paved roads.  And the best general road maps of the state that are excellent for biking, used to be available from the Milwaukee Map Service.  But like the State site, the MMS seems to have closed too.  No one wants to pay for good maps anymore.  So they don't exist.  Just another couple fatalities of the Internet Age. 

The Wisconsin maps &c. are also fatalities of loss of funding to the DNR. i was able to find the excellent regional MMS maps at a couple of QuickTrip gas stations last summer, and i believe they're still in print and available in better stocked stations- the QuickTrip and similar gas stations have become the centers of social life in small towns statewide.

  Google maps and the Delorme atlases are indispensable tools for trip planning. Ride with GPS and Plot a Route are handy resources if one uses a smart 'phone or GPS unit. The advantage of a paper map is you'll never need batteries or worry of you have coverage.

"The advantage of a paper map is you'll never need batteries or worry if you have coverage."

There are many advantages to carrying a paper map.  You can read them in bright sunlight.  You can hold them at arm's length, or hold them close to your nose.  You can use a pencil to draw notes or add roads or mark routes.

I've done a lot of traveling ( I started in 1993 when a paper map or copies was all that was available but then changed over to digital maps.  I can['t really explain this but I've found that paper is better - and it's hard to come up with a real reason why.

A decent paper map and a reliable compass should be in every traveler's kit.


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