New York Times — Tour de Trempealeau story

My story in today’s New York Times, “On a Roll in Wisconsin,” covers road biking in Trempealeau County, Wis., a 20-mile-wide municipality with bluffs, farms fields, deep tributary ravines, and 382 miles of paved roads that some tout as the best for biking in the entire USA.

Here’s the kicker: The emptiest of Trempealeau’s roads see an average of only three cars per hour, creating a virtually car-less bike paradise for riders in the region.

I rode in Trempealeau for this story in late May, participating in the Arcadia Memorial Tour, the second on a circuit of five “Tour de Trempealeau” events scheduled for 2008. The noncompetitive group-rides tour the twisting and hilly two-lane roads of Trempealeau County, where ribbons of dark asphalt and concrete are laced over a wedge of bluffs that crash down at the Mississippi River valley in the west.

“We have a unique combination of unlimited scenic views, unlimited blacktop and very little vehicle traffic,” said Ron McKernan, a Tour de Trempealeau organizer.

Pastoral and hilly, studded with rock-topped bluffs and cut deep by ravines, Trempealeau’s topography is typical of the Driftless Area, a regional zone along the Mississippi River. The roads — narrow and swooping, shouldered by deep ditches of grass — felt like private bike tracks on the tour, with riders elbow to elbow across half their width.

Go here to read the whole story, “On a Roll in Wisconsin.”

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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