We’d intended to take a mini-tour the week of my birthday, but because of some extenuating circumstances, we couldn’t make any reservations until only a few days before we might have left.
While I was casting around southwestern Wisconsin for a vacation rental, I came across the Gonstead Guest Cottage in Mt. Horeb. It’s a little closer to Madison that I’d originally wanted, but we made a reservation all the same, figuring that we’d just take a rambling, leisurely two-night mini-tour close to home and enjoy what could be enjoyed.
Beer and sweet potato tots at the Grumpy Troll, the best liquor store around in Trollway liquors, coffee and quiche at Sjolind’s, relaxing under the deep eaves of the cottage during a hard rain on Monday night, the best sound system in any vacation rental we’ve ever had, taking the tour at Cave of the Mounds, screaming downhill on the new Brigham Park connector, sitting on a park bench looking at the water at Stewart Park, tasting surprisingly good wine at the Fisher King, and leisurely riding to and from home on the Military Ridge Trail.
This mini-tour was a good way to ease my into the idea of bike touring. No camping required (and a good thing, given the rains on Monday night), within easy rides of home, and filled with plenty of good places to eat, drink, and poke around in the countryside.
Now she’s talking about planning more adventures. Mission accomplished.
K rode her trusty Soma Saga. She carried all of her clothing and other gear in a Rivendell ShopSack (medium) in the matching Wald basket, strapped down with a pair of John’s Irish Straps, also from Rivendell. Add a single Kleen Kanteen and she’s ready to go.
I rode the 650b Troll with a bunch of Revelate soft baggage: Tangle (tools, tubes, lock, map), Pika (clothing), Gas Tank (electronics, wallet), Feedbag (water bottle).
We were both comfortable and well-equipped, but we’ve both decided that we can refine our packing plan somewhat, both for non-camping trips like this, and for camping outings.