Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cruddy Run one for the books....

The intent was to make the annual Fall Slimey Crud Run... Problem is, we didn't get to Leland, Wis., where the Crud Run meets every Fall and Spring. We stopped for chow in the morning; had a slight mis-navigation glitch somewhere in the Ettrick, Wis, area, and then some rain slowed us down. Around 1 PM we arrived in Ontario, Wis., home of the Wild Cat Mountain road. We stopped for gas and Brian checked his GPS which indicated 22 miles to Leland as the crow flies. However, from Ontario, there is no direct as-the-crow-flies route to Leland. We estimated at least another 45 minutes or better of riding which would put us past the prime time bike viewing/gawking/watching in Leland. As the temps really didn't climb much past 50, and off and on rain kept the air damp and cold, I suggested Viroqua as a stopping place not too much further down the road from Ontario. I knew of a pretty good coffee shop and lunch stop there, and figured that would be a good place to take a break before routing back to Red Wing. We crossed over the Wild Cat Mountain road just as it started to rain. (This was the second time it rained right when we hit the twisty spots - first being Mindoro Cut. I rode that stretch in a rather geezerly manner as Rob and Christian breezed through it like nothing.) It was coming down hard enough to cause me visability problems as my visor fogged up permanently and would not clear. It didn't matter as progress over the top was slowed by a pickup truck or two. Once over Wild Cat, the ride from Ontario to Viroqua was good except for the intermintent gravel stretches that caused us to re-route a couple of times. Finally, we made Viroqua only to find out that the eatery I had in mind - Common Ground - was shuttered. Instead we settled on another establishment on the edge of town. We drank coffee, and I attempted clean the mystery fungus off of my visor to no avail. At this time, we decided to head back to Red Wing, more or less the direct way through LaCrosse and north on Hwy. 61. We rolled into Red Wing shortly before 6 PM. All in all, no complaints, good ride and we all stayed warm in spite of the weather.

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