Intro to Road Touring - Wisconsin
As the experts on self-contained bicycle travel, we’d like to share our knowledge by offering our Introduction to Road Touring (IRT) course. Two days of open-air, informal campground discussions — including the classic panniers vs. trailer debate — will be followed by a fun, four-day tour around the rural roads of America’s dairylands. We’ll spin by historic barns, old stone houses, and pioneer cemeteries. As you test ride what you’ve learned in camp, you’ll pedal Wisconsin’s ice age geologic past and explore Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive and the shores of Lake Michigan. The superb riding route features flat to rolling terrain including some steep climbs on quiet, paved country roads with small, rural communities.
Note that you’ll need to come to this intro course with some cycling skills and experience under your belt. But after graduating, you’ll be ready to hit the road on a loaded tour, whether it’s a solo outing, a trip with friends, or an Adventure Cycling group tour! Upon completion, you will qualify for our Learn and Earn tour incentive!
"Tour leaders were an excellent combination. Very knowledgable, approachable, and went beyond what was expected of them which was greatly appreciated."
Day 1. West Bend, Wisconsin, 0 miles
Meet your group in the afternoon at an organic farm and retreat center near West Bend, Wisconsin. Your leaders will introduce you to loaded bicycle touring including a demonstration of equipment and things to bring (and what to leave behind). They'll cook up dinner and continue instruction with a few more cycle touring lessons before saying goodnight to the flicker of lightning bugs.
Day 2. West Bend Shakedown Ride, 20 miles
After breakfast, more outdoor classroom includes tour structure, group gear, roadside repair, and navigation. Participants will check their bikes using an ABC quick check and load up for an 18- to 22-mile shakedown ride including a stop at the interpretive center at Lizard Mound County Park, one of the best preserved remnants of a prehistoric culture unique to Wisconsin. Additional evening instruction will prepare you for your loaded cycle tour.
Day 3. West Bend to Sheboygan, 30 miles
Set off for your 4-day tour on quaint country roads. Tour stops and photo opportunities abound and can include a Nature Center, U-pick Strawberry Farm, barn quilts, and an historic, turn-of-the-century village. Pedal along the Ozaukee Interurban Bike Trail and take break at the Bike Barn as Wisconsin celebrates its long biking history. After a 30-mile ride, our camping destination is on the shore of Lake Michigan where over 200 different species of birds have been observed.
Day 4. Sheboygan to Cascade, 32 miles
Another day of scenic riding leads us inland through the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Stop off for a short walk up Parnell Tower for an overview of the glacial landscape as you learn about eskers, kames, kettles, drumlins, and moraines that define this region's geologic setting. We'll set up camp at Long Lake Recreation Center and review the day's ride over a hearty camp meal with our new friends.
Day 5. Cascade to Campbellsport, 8 to 42 miles
Today's riding continues to explore the rural countryside including a stop at the Wade House, an old stagecoach stop and overnight lodging for weary travelers. Ride length varies from 8 to 42 miles, giving time to visit the Ice Age Visitors Center before making camp.
Day 6. Campbellsport to West Bend, 20 miles
A final ride completes our tour as we cycle back to our starting point. Feeling proud of your cycle touring accomplishments, you'll be confident in your ability to hit the road on a loaded tour, whether it's a solo outing, a trip with friends, or an Adventure Cycling group tour! Our tour ends with a celebratory lunch in West Bend.