The house we now live in had been a vacation home when we purchased it and the purchase price included all of its furnishings including sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, dishes, kitchen equipment, bedroom furniture, couches, tvs and multiple toys to be used on a lake, including the boat. We also inherited several bicycles in the deal for varying ages and genders. We pulled the mom and dad bikes out this spring and have been enjoying them greatly.
Last summer when we were settling in my husband and I made a bucket list of things we wanted to do and see now that we were living back here again, and one of the things on the list was to ride the Elroy-Sparta bike trail. This trail was opened in 1967 as the first rails to trails program using abandoned railroads as bike trails. The trail has been around almost as long as I have been, yet all the while growing up I never once rode on it, even though it started (or ended, depending where you rode it) in practically my back yard.
All the years we made summer trips to visit family we said to each other, "one of these visits we have to ride the bike trail." Yet, like so many things in life we talked about doing it but never did it.
Isn't it funny how God gets someone to do something they have been saying they want to do?
I got three days off in a row last week and we made it a priority to ride the bike trail. We had gotten our bikes checked out by a local bike shop, new tires for Tim's and some gear adjustments for mine. Tim had bought us both new bike seats earlier this summer to make riding a little more comfortable on our behinds and we were ready to roll.
We left our house just before 8am for the 30 minute ride to Elroy. The cost to ride the trail for the day is four dollars but the trail office wasn't open when we got there so we got on the trail anyway with plans to get our tickets at our first stop six miles ahead in Kendall.
And we're ready to roll!
It was a beautiful day, a little on the chilly side as we started out and our first stop was at the official marker at the start of our ride.
The scenery was lovely, the trail was quiet, taking us past farms and cows and fields of wildflowers.
My new bike basket, carried my camera perfectly!
We stopped often to stretch our legs and get a drink and take pictures along the way.
Even though the complete trail is 32 miles we had no intention of riding that far in one day. Our goal was to make it to the first tunnel, nine miles from our start, having to stop in Kendall to get our trail pass. It was a nice even ride with no hills. Once we got to Kendall we got our passes and looked around the railroad museum.
Then we were off to the first tunnel just three miles from Kendall. We were feeling full of ourselves for sure.
When we came back to our bikes we visited with a family who started the trail about midway through and were heading back to their campground. We began our nine mile journey back to our start and were grateful for the downhill ride coming back.
After putting our bikes in the truck we found a cafe across the street and had a nice lunch to end our journey.
It took us about four hours to ride the nine miles twice with stops for pictures and butt relief. We thoroughly enjoyed the ride and have plans to do another portion in the future. If you are ever looking for something to do I highly recommend this trail. You can rent bikes for all sizes and trailers for the little ones too.
Have a blessed week!