Cow-to-Cow 2000

Day 1 - Waukesha WI to Madison WI

Location Distance Average MPH Maximum MPH
Waukesha WI to Madison WI 69.2 11.1 33.1

The morning started at 5 a.m. with making coffee, filling the Camelbak, and remembering to take the Gatorade out of the freezer. (Fluids are very important to me...) One last chance to use the floor pump to inflate those tires to 100 p.s.i. -- Fat Girl Slicks, you gotta love a name like that -- and we were on the road. Jay drove me and our friend Charlie to the appointed starting place: Golden Guernsey Dairy in Waukesha. We were met there by friends Jeff & Katie, who were gracious enough to take many of the starting pictures you see here.

Donna Under the Cow Unloading the Bike Well-Wishers

Donna & Jay Under the Cow Jeff & Katie Charlie & Donna Under the Cow

(Here's a parenthetical about my only previous encounter with the Golden Guernsey cow. After graduating from law school, I clerked for the Hon. Burton A. Scott in the District II Court of Appeals, located in Waukesha. When his daughter got married, I played keyboard for the ceremony. At the reception, several younger family members of Judge Scott's new in-laws were asking about the Wisconsin tradition of cow-tipping. Legend has it that you can tip over sleeping cows. Judge Scott was in a "jovial" mood and said he would take them cow-tipping right then and there as long as they agreed to wear blindfolds. He drove them around, ostensibly to a pasture, let them out of the car, and told them they could take off the blindfolds and tip away. Of course, he had led them up to the side of the immovable Golden Guernsey cow.)

South ParkTofu on the HoofCow-to-Cow 2000 officially started on Sunday, August 6th, 2000, at 6:15 a.m., as I biked westward on Northview Avenue into the morning Brigadoon-like mist. Shortly thereafter I came across South Park, which was just too "hell-a-cool" to pass up photographing. I didn't see my first cows until about 9 miles into the ride, and they were Herefords. It was another 5 miles or so to the first dairy cows -- Holsteins. I also I came across large fields of what I call "tofu on the hoof" -- soybeans.

Herefords Holsteins

I've made the trip between Waukesha to Madison several times by bike, occasionally leaving from our house in Milwaukee, but I had never made the trip on all paved roads before. I've always taken the Glacial Drumlin trail. Each has its own charms. I liked the directional variety of the road route, compared to the "straight west-east" of Glacial Drumlin. It was also nice to have the pleasure of a few rolling hills, compared to the mandated 3 percent grade of the once-railroad trail.

DelafieldWholly Cow CustardAfter biking by the beautifully misty lake in Delafield, I came across the aptly-named "Wholly Cow Custard" stand, but alas, at that hour it was still closed. There were several more encounters with artistic cows along the route. The route, by the way, stays roughly parallel to and in between I-94 and Hwy 18, thus making for very light traffic. One of the most beautiful stretches was Concord Center Road, just west of Delafield.

Barn Scene Mailbox

As I approached Concord, I stopped to talk to a woman who was letting her two Pekingese dogs out for the morning. Apparently very intelligent and crafty, one dog distracted me by wanting to be scratched behind its ears while the other seized the opportunity to "baptize" my rear tire.

It being one of my shorter days (69 miles), I spent some time in Lake Mills taking a leisurely brunch in the city park an biking around the downtown. (Well, actually, I missed my turnoff and found myself at the lakefront. It was a nice drive regardless.) The Wireless Web Messaging feature on my Sprint phone was already starting to display words of encouragement and good luck, so I spent some time reading those.

Lake Mills

Just east of Cottage Grove was a section of road that had been freshly graveled, so the going was a bit slow. The sun had started to come out in Lake Mills and the humidity was still quite high, but there was a nice breeze and the day felt good. I stopped at my usual watering hole in Cottage Grove -- a Cenex station with a picnic bench out front -- and shared it with a couple from Franklin that had driven down for the day to do some biking on the Glacial Drumlin trail.

Cottage GroveJean & LilyComing into Madison from Cottage Grove provides a wonderful view of the valley which a camera cannot do justice. The route in Madison was somewhat challenging, biking up and down some short steep climbs along Lake Monona, until it settled down to shoreside. Jean & I had agreed to meet near Hoyt Park west of Lake Monona. I arrived a little before 3 p.m. just as she was looking for a parking place.

We enjoyed pasta bolognese at the Olive Garden and I practiced my daily evening routine of:

Whew! It was easier to just stay on the bike!

Go to Day 2

Go to Main Page