The Chainlink

Wanna bike from Milwaukee to Minneapolis with me?

I did Chicago to Milwaukee last summer and I want to bike to Minneapolis now. Maybe from Chicago. Anyway, I’m not a pro. My three longest rides have been 91, 84 and 45 miles, so I’m not very experienced either. I have a heavy old Schwinn. My point is - everybody is welcome. I’d just rather share the experience than do it alone.

Depending on if we start in Milwaukee or Chicago, the ride will be between 340 and 370 miles. I’m hoping to do something like 100 miles a day, with camping or hotels at nighttime. I’m also hoping to hit a brewery or two... hopefully New Glarus just south of Madison I’m also hoping to take the stretch of trails that include the 400 Trail, the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the Great River Trail, all in Wisconsin. About 1/2 or 1/3 of the route would be on rails-trails paths and the rest would be country roads. I’m hoping to do this sometime in April or May, but I’m open.

Let me know if you are interested or know somebody who might be interested! We can meet up and maybe go over the logistics a bit and get to know each other.

Also, any advice on the route would be appreciated!

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Sounds sweet Brian - like a good practice run for me. I'd love to join you if you need a partner. Add me on facebook by searching "Noah Kleinschmidt" or hit me up at 61 two 8680490

Be aware that due to last years heavy rains & flooding, the Elroy-Sparta trail is closed from Elroy to Norwalk.

The 400 trail is closed from LaValle to Reedsburg.

The trails will probably be closed through the summer.

Check with the Wisconsin DNR.

I'm thinking about switchign this to a September or October ride, since I'll have more training. So far I've only gotten a 40 mile ride in (and a couple 20s ea week). Thanks for the info!

If the trails weren't closed and the ride started or ended in Harvard, Illinois at the Metra, this is what Google thinks the ride looks like if it goes past New Glarus Brewery as mentioned in the OP.  DerferMark's route travels east of the brewery.  It's 426 miles or 685 kilometers or 19 miles farther than DerferMark's route which runs through Janesville and Beloit.  The additional mileage over Noah's estimate of 370 miles allows for extensive trail riding (route and miles automatically added and created by Google Maps).  

Matt, thanks a ton for the info! 426 is longer than I thought it would be. I need to practice. You're awesome for mapping this out for me, thanks man

You're welcome.  Of course I can't help but think if it's possible to safely head over east to DerferMark's route from New Glarus, turn back north towards the Glacial Drumlin, head East on the Glacial Drumlin/New Berlin/Oak Leaf Trail, and south on the Robert McClory/Green Bay Trail to Chicago's Millenium Park.  There would be no train at the end of the ride, just pure glory.  OR if one was instead to ride back north using the Badger State Trail and the Capital City Trail to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and then use the Glacial Drumlin trail and proceed to Chicago, Google says it's 530 miles. It appears to be as much effort and mileage on trails to get to Lake Mills as it is on the roads.  It's 60 miles to get to the Sandhill Station campground from the New Glarus campground or very possible for the bike camper fully loaded with gear.

Mike W and Defer, thanks a bunch for the heads up! Good to know

I'd be interested in a trip like this. I have been planning a blast down the Allegheny Passage as a complete, off-road/trail ride since I was planning for a solo ride. But if others are considering something like this, i'd be up for jumping in. 

Ah, April/May. You are already probably close to taking off. I will PM you to see what you are planning. 

SixtyTwo, I am moving it to September or October, hit me up and I'd love to join you. What kind of mileage will it be, and what's your destination? I'll google Allegheny Passage. Hit me up and add me on facebook by searching "Noah Kleinschmidt" or text me at 612868049zero

Chicago to Madison is a decent long weekend trip. three days, two nights and a bus back to Chicago since they take bikes. Matt had a really good route worked out that we used for a few years over Memorial Day.

Allegheny Passage/C&O is a must-do if you have a week or so for it. Take the train overnight to Pittsburgh, 5 or 6 days to reach DC, a day or two in town then another overnight train back to Chicago.

I always thought it was a better plan to avoid the roads.  The Glacial Drumlin Trail is mostly crushed stone but it gets everyone all the way west to Madison without having to deal with suburban Chicago traffic or trains/buses.  Cottage Grove, of course, left us off on the highway shoulder for a couple of miles however.  As far as the tour I basically I got bored of taking the same route every year, plus it was usually pretty expensive.  Definitely check out Noah's Minneapolis tour and always plan everything ahead of time!!!  

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