WHICH GUY APPEARS more prepared for the Green Lake 100? Gary Hazelberg, right, or the Prune? submitted photo
by Todd Sharp
This summer is kicking off with robust exercise and plenty of camaraderie.
I’m talking about a new bike ride: the Green Lake 100
On Sunday, May 28, the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce is hosting a bike ride that circumnavigates the approximately 80 miles of the Green Lake watershed. The natural, breathtaking terrain is a joy to ride; whether climbing the hills on Hwy Q or flying down Skunk Hollow Road, the route demonstrates the vast influence we all have on the water quality of Green Lake.
There are long wide expanses of farmland up on the Mackford prairie, huge wetlands and marshes between Rosendale and Ripon, steep valleys bordering the Silver Creek waterway. All culminating to make this area one of the finest places to discover by bike.
The purpose of the ride showcases our area as a top- tier biking destination and to raise some funds making the biking experience even better with improved signage and road surfaces.
All riders, all talent levels, all styles of bikes — not just the spandex crowd and the high-tech carbon bikes — can ride.
Just make sure you have a helmet.
This is a “choose your own adventure” ride — you can pedal 22, 44, 77 or 100 miles.
All routes begin and end at Deacon Mills Park in Green Lake between 7 and 10 a.m. The shortest route takes you through the area called the “Huckleberrys” to Princeton.
The 44-mile ride follows the same route as the 77-mile route, but cuts back to Green Lake earlier — and has the excitement of going ass-over- teakettle, lickity-split, down the hills on Skunk Hollow Road.
The 77-mile route also gives a tour of the entire watershed with a stop at Vines & Rushes Vineyard. Finally, you can add in “Loop the Lake” which is 23 miles long with the best views of our lake, and gives riders the opportunity to ride a full 100 miles — known as a “Century.” Riding around the entire area should take between 4 and 6.5 hours, depending on speed and how long you rest at the stations placed along each route.
The lightly traveled, paved back roads of our area make for the finest biking in the state —maybe the entire country. There is plenty of abundant wildlife to keep your eye on, from the bald eagles flying overhead to the white-tailed deer bounding out in front or grazing in the fields. Rabbits, raccoons, opossum, skunks, chipmunks and plenty of snakes sunning themselves on the warm roads will be obstacles to watch for. Bluebirds, Orioles, nuthatches, wrens, chickadees, and sparrows — so many colors and songs to identify.
After the ride there will be Bluegrass music from Noah John and the Ringing Iron Band, a spaghetti dinner provided by Heidel House, cold beverages from Fat Tire, and a nice shady spot to recover.
Everyone is welcome to listen to the music and enjoy a cold beverage and plate of spaghetti. There is a cost for meals and drinks for non-riders.
A bike ride is the perfect pace to discover and enjoy any area, particularly the Green Lake watershed.
Come out to join the ride, the camaraderie, and enjoyment of your Lake.
For more information and to register go to www.greenlake100.com.
Editor’s note: When not running over Green Lake County snakes with his fat tires, Todd Sharp is an advertising sales prune for the Green Laker, Express and The Ripon Commonwealth Press.