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Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail (Half) - Total ADV Newb takes his first Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by WalterMitty2, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    PROLOGUE:

    If you just want to read the ride reports, please scroll down, before I can get to that, I've got some debts to pay.

    It's a debt of gratitude for all the folks that make this website possible and make it a community.

    I have been obsessed with motorcycles since I can remember. One of my earliest memories was seeing some kid on a Suzuki RM490 (I think) back in the late 70's early 80's ripping around off road where we used to ride our bmx bikes. It was HUGE...seemed like the seat was up to my neck, the fenders a mile higher than the knobbies, super LOUD...I was hooked.

    Smash cut to 2019, but for a short few years back in mid 90's when I had some sport bikes, I've been an exclusively off road rider (2 strokes). But as the years flew by, I managed to ride less and less each year, and those that I did ride with, either quit riding, or transitioned to this "ADV" thing. I saw the Ewan and Charlie docs, and was very intrigued, but not enough to run out and get a bike....but the seed was planted...a whole new genre of day dreams where created.

    Then about a year ago I somehow found this site...don't remember how (wish I did)....and joined. About a week later, corporate America does what corporate America will sometimes do...my position was eliminated. It was a good run, and while not a total surprise, was a bit "jarring". I took it in stride and started to pour my energy into finding my next gig. I got into a routine of going to my local public library a few days a week just to get out of the house and mix things up. I would network, send out resumes, etc., and when I felt I put in a good chunk of "work" for the day, it was back to this site. Pouring over ride reports, constantly pestering folks about bikes, gear, etc. It provided a great escape, a wealth of knowledge, and again, set in motion all the day dreaming one can use when between jobs. All of which lead to buying a bike (after I got my new job), getting new gear, and tackling a small adv ride.

    So for that I say THANK YOU!!!
    #1
    Ginger Beard, NSFW, Rudy and 4 others like this.
  2. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Warning: I'm going to be a bit "wordy". I've learned a ton from this site and want to provide a lot of detail for those interested.

    The Crew: 4 guys, 3 dual sports, 1 adv bike. Ages 25ish to 50ish

    The Plan: 1/2 the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail. We all live in the "Chicagoland" area, and decided we would all truck the bikes up to Galena, IL (very close to the "official" start and about a 3 hour drive for us) and hit the trail around 10am. We had rooms booked for Friday night in Viroqua, WI, but that was it. We would wing it Saturday, and just see how far we would get before we had to turn around and start heading back on Saturday...leaving some of Saturday and Sunday enough time to get back to our trucks in Galena and then drive home Sunday night.

    Bike: 2019 Honda CRF250L (aka; one of the best bikes ever made, LRP, Lucille "Lucy"). Since I love dirt bikes, I truly prefer the look of a dual sport over most adv bikes, and I'm a bit of a Honda fan boy. Looked hard at the XR650L (couldn't get past carb and air cooled) and the CRF450L (couldn't get past maintenance intervals, needing to spend more $ on ECU and pipe to make it run right, and per the owners manual I'm too fat to ride it), so I decided on the LRP. Cheap, bullet proof, hard to get into trouble power and power delivery, long maintenance intervals. Now I'm big, so it's sort of a fat guy on a little bike story. She performed great, and it was mostly my skill and not the lack of CC's or HP that held me back from keeping up with the 650's and 800 that were on the trip. Once in a while going up a hill when I would have to shift from 6th into 4th and would say "come on Lucy!!!", she would smile and say...."bro, have a salad once in awhile"

    Gear
    Helmet: HJC i90. First modular and I love all the options. Flip it up at stops to talk, flip up visor for some air, put down the internal sunscreen...love it. Maybe a little noisy.

    Jacket: Klim Induction. This was the maiden voyage for this bad boy, and it performed as advertised. I really like the concept of mesh since it gets really hot in the Midwest and I can always layer up underneath as needed. It sure ain't cheap, but I hope to use it a along time, and love the protection that I hope to never have to use.

    Gloves: Revitt Sand 3. Maiden voyage for these as well. Loved them. That said, I followed the sizing advice that I read...I measure out around a L/XL and usually order an XL, so per the advice I read I went XXL for these and they fit great...once you get them on. The wrist part REALLY hugs your wrist, and it's a great fit, but getting that opening over your hand takes more effort than any glove that I've ever had.

    Pants: Jeans. I'm still on the fence on what I want, but I supplemented by wearing MX knee pads...looked like a dork, but I don't care

    Boots: Gaerne MX Boots. I'm still on the fence on what to buy here as well, so I just went with what I have. I really love the protection, but they are not too walk around in.

    GPS: Had the tracks loaded on my Garmin Zumo, and iPhone using Scenic. Also used Relive to create a video of the trip as well.

    Anyone still reading?

    Day 1 (Friday): 180 miles

    The Start.....

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    #2
    TDC_ERock and Ginger Beard like this.
  3. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    Day 1 Continued.....

    Right out of the gates the ride doesn't disappoint, after some rolling hills of paved roads through farmland, you are soon enough on maybe the best part of the entire trip. Rolling gravel roads that are completely tunneled by trees.

    Our first water crossing, and that rock that everyone takes a pic by.....

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    #3
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  4. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Day 1 continued.....

    Traffic jam crossing the Mighty Miss into Iowa....

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    In real life this is the middle of a hill, looking up and down.....

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    #4
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  5. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 1 continued.....

    Lunch stop in Iowa:


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    #5
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  6. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Day 1 continued.....

    Sure beats a day in the office......

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    That's a wrap for the first day. About 180 miles, new personal record mileage day for me.....

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    #6
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  7. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 1 - Video:

    #7
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  8. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 2: 246 miles (new person record!!!)

    Small bike means travelling lite.....

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    Another bridge crossing, and making sure we are on the right route....

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    #8
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  9. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 2 continued.....

    Ginny's Cupboard in Sparta, WI

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    #9
  10. Hakatan

    Hakatan quality > quantity

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
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    Location:
    Perusing my Colorado Benchmark...
    Enjoying the ride report so far. Looking forward to seeing the rest.
    #10
    Rudy likes this.
  11. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 2 continued....

    Venturing off track a bit to explore the ATV trails near the Black River Falls area.....

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    We reach our turnaround! At this point, it's about 4pm on Saturday, we've done 300+ miles of the trail and need to make some of our way South on Saturday.

    This was a great spot to turn around though...Lake Arbutus, WI:

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    #11
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  12. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 2 continued...

    The return was off the trail, but we stayed off highways and used the "curvy" routing option in Scenic.

    Dinner stop was the Hillsboro Brewing Co, in Hillsboro, WI

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    #12
  13. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 2 continued....

    We would have loved to stay the night in Hillsboro, but when "winging it" you get what you can. Unfortunately, Hillsboro was booked up, so we had to ride to Reedsburg (about 22 miles away) to find a spot for the night.

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    Nothing Super about this, and there's definitely not 8 present. Maybe they are environmentalists?

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    #13
  14. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 3: 148 miles

    Gassing up in the AM. If you have a CRF250L with a stock tank, you're going to get a lot of practice pumping gas. I don't mind though, my old body likes the frequent breaks.

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    First stop was Devil's Lake, WI

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    #14
  15. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 3 continued...

    Next stop was Merrimac, WI to take the Merrimac Ferry across Lake Wisconsin. It probably took longer than just riding around it, but it was free and "adventurous".....

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    Rule was you had to stay on the bikes....

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    #15
  16. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 3 continued....

    Lunch at Vintage Brewing Co. in Sauk City, WI

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    #16
  17. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 3 continued....

    Next up was Yellowstone Lake State Park in Blanchardville, WI

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    #17
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  18. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

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    nwa
    #18
  19. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 3 continued....

    Last stop downtown Galena, IL

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    And then traded 2 wheels for 4 for the drive back home.....


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    #19
  20. WalterMitty2

    WalterMitty2 Been here awhile

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    Day 2 & 3 videos:



    #20