Wisconsin Michigan Dual Sport Adventure Run 2011

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by snowjob, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. snowjob

    snowjob Thinking about bikes....

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    Seems a bunch of folks are interested in a mid-west ride this summer, especially the Trans-Wisconsin trail that rokklym put together. I figured I would start this thread to start planning the details. I am thinking late-May, 1+ week long, camping along the route, spending time in Iowa, Minnesota & Wisconsin. Fair warning, I have been riding on the street for over 20 years, but am pretty green at this dual sport stuff. Who wants to go? What week(s) are good? What suggestions do you have for route?
    #1
  2. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Are the end of the day's ride stops all camping?
    Have a map to display for a rough idea about where it is taking the riders?
    #2
  3. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I rode the TWAT in October from Prairie du Chien to Cornucopia. Except for a few short stretches in the Chequamagon, and about a hundred yards of a stretch right next to I94, you could ride any road bike. Most of it is paved, or very good gravel. A week is more than enough time.

    It's easy to avoid the sugar sand of the Chequamagon. If the fire road doesn't have a road sign with a name, chances are that it could get soft.

    More info here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Trans-Wisconsin-Adventure-Trail/78153239595
    #3
  4. snowjob

    snowjob Thinking about bikes....

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    Don't mistake "green" for not interested in some more difficult stuff. My ride is an XT600 and we did ok on the Bucky even though it was my first time in the rain/mud. I just have never loaded it up with luggage for an Adventure trip. I assume the weight will limit my excitement for real technical stuff, but I definitely still want some challenges.

    As for the camping, I am flexible. Since this is my first time on the route I am happy to take the recommendations of those more experienced.

    Someone on the TWAT thread even talked about some trips into IA & MN that add some more offroad to the trek, that sounds great.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343821

    Random ramble - Does everyone else hate winter as much as I do. Ridden my bike to work a couple times in the snow. Still waiting for a cheap tire stud gun to pop up on eBay......now that's adventure!
    #4
  5. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Except for one technical mistake coming out of a sand wash, where I was going too slow, I was completely inside my comfort zone, on my '96 1100GS. I could have ridden all but a few miles of sand on my old R1100RS. If there is supposed to be technical single track, I did not find it. I know it's supposed to be an adventure trail, but IMHO, it was more of a scenic leisure ride. It was very fun. I would do it again, 2-up, in a heartbeat.
    #5
  6. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    banaman is right. leaving madison to the start of the TWT, ride it and return to madison in 4 days is very easy on a XT600. heck I rode from Green Bay to the start, then up the TWT and back to GB in 3 days on a KLR...but I'm an idiot and was with another one :lol3

    the dirt part is graded gravel and starts near neilsville.

    have a good ride...:thumb
    #6
  7. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

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    trail/road conditions: Your results may vary depending on weather and the time of year ridden. I have always told people that the T.W.A.T. is the most fun when really wet :evil. There can be a lot of factors that raise or lower the difficulty of the route, when its been dry you could probably ride a sport bike on a big chunk of it and when its been wet, you might have a lot of fun on a small dual sport.

    I laid out the route to go near ATV trails, its up to the rider to seek these out if they choose to have more fun. The reason I didn't add them to the route was because they aren't always open, where the rest of the route is on public roads. Doing all the available ATV trails along the route can really change it, so depending on what you are looking for you can tailor it to suite your style.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The sand can get deep in a few spots too: photo by Jim Klas
    [​IMG]

    Clark County ATV trail, Knobby Ridge Singletrack(if open), Perkinstown ATV trail, and Dead Horse Run can really change the route.

    I'd be up for a group ride on the route, not sure how much vacation time I want to dedicate to it though. I know enough gravel to start in Illinois or Iowa and add several hundred more miles to the route.
    #7
  8. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    For maps I printed the ones Cannonshot posted on smugmug. I had forgotten my high res maps at home. I ended up buying a big map of northwest Wisconsin at the Indian casino by Black River Falls. I guess I didn't realize that we were supposed to spice it up with ATV trails. But what I rode was plenty of fun. I got to see a new viewpoint of Wisconsin. I hadn't realized how much was Amish and Mennonite. I really would do it again.

    When I'm solo like I was on the TWAT I don't like to take chances. So the regular non ATV route was perfect.

    Up north I took the ferry to Madeline Island and camped in the state park. That was my favorite.
    #8
  9. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    It zig zags from the Illinois border not far from Iowa north to Prairie du Chien, where it crosses the Wisconsin River at the Mississipi. Then it winds north east to near Toma and Black River Falls. Then north through the huge Chequamagon national forest, past Ashland, to Lake Superior and the tiny hamlet of Cornucopia. There are lots of campgrounds along or near the route. Gas is easily available in the southern half but up north it's scarce. You can probably get away with stealth camping anywhere in the Chequamagon, but watch out for black bears. Once you're in northern Wisconsin you won't run out of gravel roads and sandy fire lanes. Since northern Wisconsin is largely pine barrens, the sand can be very soft. I usually am quick to air down to 25 psi, then back to 35 or 40. I would even air down on a road bike but I would not really want a road bike in the sand. But like I said before, the sand is easy to avoid.
    #9
  10. snowjob

    snowjob Thinking about bikes....

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    I finally found the thread on the TMAT and their webpage....looks great. If the Wisconsin trail can be done in 4 days, perhaps a combination of Wisconsin & Minnesota is what I am looking for. May get a little more opportunity for technical stuff too. I am thinking head west from Madison and follow the Minnesota trail north, maybe to the end. Then cut over to the end of the Wisconsin trail and ride it backwords until I get close to Madison again and then cut east.

    Here is a link to the TMAT route - TMAT Map

    Here is a link to the TWAT site with small map - TWAT Map
    #10
  11. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

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    I've ridden both and I think the northern half of the TWAT and the northern part of the TMAT are both really fun. You could link both of them easily.

    How about combining the TWAT, TMAT and GRGR (great river gravel ride) into a nearly 2000 mile route?
    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    If the Minnesota part includes the Gandy Dancer, I'm going to chime in. I did part of it last summer. Unless you're a glutton for punishment, then watch the weather. It'll suck if it's wet.
    #12
  13. snowjob

    snowjob Thinking about bikes....

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    Here is another option I had not considered, Wisconsin & Michigan. I have heard a lot of good things about offroading in Michigan. This has the added benefit of passing close to Madison.

    WI-MI Loop

    CORRECTION - I am now ~90% sure this is the route I wanna take this spring.

    WMDSA
    #13
  14. Get_Bent

    Get_Bent Long timer

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    I rode the TMAT twice last year and the TWT once. I enjoyed the terrain of the TMAT more than most of the TWAT. As many have said, the area around Bayfield is just fantastic, the rest is uneventful. On the last trip I found a speedy but fun gravel run back from International Falls to the cities.

    First Run:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13867029&postcount=65

    Second Run:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13995973&postcount=82

    If it works out I would love to tag along on another run.
    #14
  15. Brewcity

    Brewcity Adventurer

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    Definitely want to do this either Spring/Summer, but only looking at doing a long weekend. Did you have to really push it doing it in 3days? Any chime in on what the optimal amount of time is to balance daily miles/sight seeing etc. I'm thinking a 4 day weekend or something.
    #15
  16. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    I was at at the south end start at about 11 am and spent that night in Neillsville, then day 2 neillesville up to Bayfield pretty easy (even with 2 flats ! :baldy)....KLR btw. ...I like saddle time too...

    remind me to never ride with willnevergrowup again. I get a flat every time i ride with him!..coincidence? I think NOT !

    here he is helping by holding my compressor :lol3

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    If you're looking for a technical dual-sport ride, then I'd say the good stuff starts north of Black River Falls. From Madison you can get to Black River Falls in a couple of hours.

    The Southern section is pretty, but almost 100% paved.

    It's always easy to bail out of the published track and just grab gravel county roads and make good time. Or paved gravel roads.

    Your speed on the TWAT will depend on how you navigate it. I used paper maps and took my time figuring out where to go. If you have it on a GPS you'll save a lot of getting-lost time. I think the total is about 500 miles? And from Black River Falls, about 250 miles?
    #17
  18. kknuth

    kknuth Out east!

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    See dualsportmaps.com. The TMAT, TWT, and Great River Gravel ride trail are all there.
    I agree, if someone can link the two together maybe at duluth/superior and saint croix falls, it would be a great interstate trail. Hmmm..maybe a new challenge for me!
    #18
  19. foxfire

    foxfire YRUYUR?

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    If youre still looking for people...I may be in for this. May know a couple others who would be interested too.
    #19
  20. foxfire

    foxfire YRUYUR?

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    Dave? :ear
    #20