Join Trek Factory Racing and special guest Jens Voigt on August 29, 2015 for a one day, 175-mile Gran Fondo Ride Across Wisconsin (RAW), with all the proceeds going to benefit the Wisconsin Bike Federation.
Participants will get to ride along with the retired Tour de France legend and former Hour Record holder along Wisconsin’s southern border, ending with a trip around the Washington Park Velodrome on the shores of Lake Michigan.
“Ending the ride at the “Kenosha Bowl,” the oldest operating velodrome in the country, seemed fitting given Jens’ recent attack on the hour record,” said Bike Fed deputy director Dave Schlabowske. “The “Kenosha Bowl” opened in 1927, and after 89 years, it is the oldest operating velodrome in the country, a fitting place to end a ride with Jens and a have a grand party with the members of Trek Factory Racing.”
The thought behind RAW is to create an epic but fun ride across Wisconsin that people from across the country will add to their cycling bucket list.
“To keep things simple this first year, we’re only offering a one-day option,” Schlabowske added. “In the future the ride may include team, relay or even a two-day option. We’re starting in Dubuque, because we need a start location with plenty of hotel rooms and the route across the southern part of the state is shorter. There are 13 hours and 19 minutes of daylight August 29th, which should allow most riders to finish with daylight, but please bring lights! We’ll have law enforcement support, but all riders are expected to follow the rules of the road at all times.
“The idea for RAW came from conversations between the Bike Fed and Trek CEO John Burke,” Schlabowske said. “We want to create an epic but fun bucket-list ride that will attract people from across the country to show them why we think Wisconsin is America’s Best Ride. As soon as riders cross the Mississippi into the Green County, they will find themselves riding on a scenic network of low-traffic paved town roads through gorgeous unglaciated countryside.”
In the style of other Gran Fondos the only timed sections will be in rural areas and all rules of the road will be in effect. With the Bike Fed and the great cycling ambassadors from the Trek Factory Racing Team, participants will be RAW Roll Models as they pedal across Wisconsin.
“All the rest stops will be located in untimed areas to allow riders to enjoy fabulous, farm-to-table food as well as high quality nutrition from Bonk Breakers,” Schlabowske added. “Of course there will be great cheese as the route takes riders through Monroe, Wisconsin, the Swiss Cheese Capital of the USA. Monroe is also home to MinHas Craft Brewery, the Midwest’s oldest brewery and the second-oldest in the country, so riders can expect a frosty beverage waiting for them at the end of a long day in the saddle.”
Organizers launched a placeholder RideAcrossWisconsin.com website with very few details so people can pencil in the date and start training.
“We thought people would wait to sign up until we fleshed out logistics, sponsors and premiums, but dozens of people registered within hours!” Schlabowske said. “That goes to show the amazing faith people have in Trek and Jens Voigt!”
RAW organizers are working to finalize details. There will be a transportation option to get people from Kenosha to the start so they end up back at their cars. We will also announce lodging soon, so anyone who wants to can enjoy Wisconsin’s great craft beer at the finish party. The ride is $165 for Bike Fed members or $200, which includes a basic $35 membership for those who haven’t joined yet.
There is no discount to register early, but we will incentivize sign-up as we announce the ride premiums. We may cap the ride to ensure we are able to provide a safe and fun ride.
Stay tuned to RideAcrossWisconsin.com for more information.