Friday, August 10, 2007

The Yearly Saga

Once a year the Parents Fleck generously host a "Family Bike Vacation." It's always a good time. I guess, in one form or another, we've been doing this for four years now. It is really an awesome tradition. This year took us to Dodgeville (WI) where we headed to Mineral Point one day and to Mt Horeb the next.

Here we are staging outside the hotel in Dodgeville. This might be the homeland of Lands End, but its nothing like the catalog. Can you say Stripmall-ville?

Hannah cuts loose.

Headed toward Mineral Point ...

Noah, Erin and Naomi pass through the lens.

Sylvia waits patiently while Daddy captures the voyage on digi-film.

Mineral Point offers casual bike parking in an English countryside sort of way. This is right outside the brewpub. Mineral Point is also one very hilly town.

After lunch, Naomi, Erin, Noah, and everyone were in a better mood.

We enjoyed a retort dinner in the hotel lobby. Excellent food in the company of family.

Cousins unite! Sylvia and Julian enjoy a little fun in the hallway.

The next day it was just Brian and Sabra and us. Brian and Sabra are headed to Milwaukee (then back to Dodgeville) via bike paths. We were along for the ride to Mt Horeb.

The day was grey and the that made sections of the trail seem really non-descript. In reality, the Military Ridge Trail offers a lot of variety and takes you through a number of quaint small towns.

Complementing the flatlands and farm fields were lush corridors of overhanging trees with many twists and turns.

Trail riding may a little monotonous at times, but there is always danger lurking. April got caught in some gravel on the edge of the path and went down hard. She sustained some good rash and broke her helmet in the process. It was her first "real" crash. She was a trooper. We bandaged her up and she got right back on to finish the ride.

Sylvia keeping herself happily occupied while we cruise the path.

They have a thing for trolls in Mt Horeb.

Hers and his bike parking outside our motel room at the Village Inn. This place was great. It was a very well-kept classic motel.

They just don't build motels like this anymore.

Sylvia built a tent out of a couple of stools and the bedspread. That was one of my favorite games as a child.

Surveying the damage. April was lucky. The worst part of watching it all happen was seeing her land on her head. Helmets do their job, though, and she is walking proof of that. If you ride, you're going to crash. And the more you crash, the better you get at lessening the effects. But folks, it always makes sense to wear a helmet. (That means you shouldn't put it on backwards or ride around looking all cool with the helmet strap unbuckled. We see it all the time on the city paths.)

A time for reflection ...

Sylvia and Old Glory.

A game of ring around the rosie before heading off to dinner.

This brewpub almost makes me want to hop in the car and drive 5 hours just to take home a couple growlers. The Maggie IPA was excellent and the food was very tasty as well.

The Grumpy Troll was a fine end to a fine weekend. The next morning I time trialed 25 miles back to the car in Dodgeville. Then drove back to Mt Horeb to pick up the ladies. We took the scenic route home along byways of southwestern WI and had a late lunch in La Crosse. Thanks Dad and Sabra for making it all possible. We hope your ride to Milwaukee and back is going well. Can't wait for next year!


cvo said...

you going to the dakota 5-0ohhhhh?

Patch O'Houli said...

Oohhhhhh, yeah! See you there (I hope)?