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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Hey Noah, great idea. I did this last June taking Amtrak to Twin Cities to start. Their roll-on service is great.  Took Metra home from Harvard.  Here's route we did.  If you want any more info, message me. Good luck!

Tues. 6/26   4 mi. to Motel 6 after 10pm arrival Amtrak (MM 4)
Wed. 6/27  57 mi. to Frontenac State Park camp (MM 61)
Thur. 6/28  93 mi. to Bluebird Springs camp (MM 154)
Fri.   6/29  73 mi. to LaValle warmshowers.org  (MM 227)
Sat.  6/30  76 mi. to Cottage Grove WI  (MM 303)
Sun. 7/01 104 mi. to Harvard Metra (MM 407)

DerferMark thanks a ton for the route info! Did you all find the route by looking at county maps? I’ve used the Amtrak before (to start my Milwaukee-back to Chicago trip) and wish I knew I was supposed to talk with the ticketing people and put my bike on the train a half hour early, they seemed annoyed lol. Thank you so much for the info!

The route is a combo of lots of info from blogs, friends, Google Maps (bike mode), Strava Heatmap, etc.  and adjusting for places we were spending the night.  Lots of other ways to get from Point A to B of course!  Elroy-Sparta trail was for sure the highlight.  We even noted places to stop to eat, some include:

MM5    Bruegger’s Bagels, Sun Ray Shopping Center  2133 Hudson Rd, St. Paul, MN
MM48   Maries Underground Grill & Tap House, 217 Plum St, Red Wing, MN
MM63   Whistle Stop (6am-8pm), 234 Hwy 61 N, Frontenac, MN
MM152  Creekside Gill & Pub (4pm open) W5450 Keil Coulee Rd, La Crosse, WI
MM164  West Salem Family Rest. (opens 5AM), 341 Jefferson St. E, West Salem, WI
MM200  Dorset Valley School Rest.  26147 WI-71, Wilton, WI (stay on trail if we aren’t hungry but this spot looks good!)
MM272  Spring Creek Rest. & Bar, 118 S Main, Lodi, WI
MM328  Brickhaus Café (opens 7AM) 126 E Milwaukee St., Jefferson, WI
MM359  Milio’s Sandwiches (opens 10AM), 1604 E Racine St, Janesville WI ( DQ in next block)

Thanks for the info! I'll definitely use your suggestions on route-finding

Looks like a great ride. Can I ask how the elevation was?

I love hills so it was great! ;)  It's not bad really. Up and down bluffs along Mississippi River first couple of days you do get the heart pumping a bit.  Elevation profile should be on that mapmyride link.

Nice!

I don't know if I can tag along this time, but this is a ride I definitely want to do eventually. 

Nice, hell yeah. Samuel, you think maaaaybe you'd be up for this in Summer or Fall?

The Fall might work, I'm not entirely sure. I'll be starting up a new job soon so it all depends. i do want to do that ride though. I've made the ride up to Milwaukee a couple of times and have been interested in getting up to Minneapolis at some point. 

Ok! I’ll bug ou about it later in the summer if I still haven’t found a partner

Sounds great, I did the ride to Minneapolis a few years back, mostly trails, Chicago to Milwaukee ( Green Bay trail, McClory trail and Oak Leaf trails) to Madison (Glacial Drumlin trail) then up to Reedsburg and the 400 and Sparta Elroy and Great River trails) its a beautiful ride and loved seeing the eagles over the bluffs along the Mississippi. 

The trails were great, the rolling country roads were tough since I'm used to the flat grid here in the city. I'm hoping to go Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison this summer.

Good luck!

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