Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

     
Daily Trip Log
Jack
 
     

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Prairie du Chien to Dodgeville, WI
   
 
Date: 2006-09-01
Distance: 89 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 5.18 Hours
Average Speed: 17.26 kph
 
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 3,715 Kilometres  

Thoughts for the Day

 

 
 

Cycling in Wisconsin – So Far – Quite Enjoyable

   
  It was fortunate that breakfast did not start until 7:00 am at the motel, this morning. The extra half hour before we set off allowed some of the fog to be burned off before we got to it.

 
The first 20 kilometres was spent climbing from the Mississippi River banks to the farmlands of this state. The road curved in between the hills and carved its way up. Only for the last piece did the grade increase to where additional effort was required.

 
 
    After that, the rest of the ride was just up and down. Some climbs were significant.

 
    What took effort today was the wind. It came into our faces for most of the day. The strength was sufficient to reduce forward progress by 3 to 5 kph. At the end, my body muscles were tired and did not hesitate letting me know. For today, I did not push very hard and just took a ride.

 
This is farmland, corn, soybean, and dairy cattle.

 
   
In Montfort there was a cheese sign. So time to stop at the Western Farm Cooperative cheese plant, do some tasting and get some curd cheese.

 
In Dodgeville for the night at the extreme Eastern part. Too far to walk downtown so will stay in this area.

 
     
     
       

Cycling Facilities

 

 
 

Pierre du Chien

   
  Along Highway 18 there was a bike path on the road shoulder. For the first part from downtown there was a clear lack of maintenance. Weeds were growing out of cracks in the asphalt. Then the path improved in quality tremendously.

 
The path had a centre line, solid towards the intersections, dotted for passing in between.

 
At the intersections there was a solid line across the path to signify the entry into the conflict area where people may be walking. The curb cut was painted yellow. The common area for walkers at the intersection was textured so that people with seeing disabilities could recognize where they were.

 
 
 

From my perspective, while the path was well designed for most of the length the intersection design was lacking, as it usually is. The paths need to be brought adjacent to the curb traffic lane about 30 to 50 metres before the intersection, on the entry to the intersection and also on the exit from. This will allow motorists to see cyclists proceeding to the intersection form both directions. Cyclists’ safety would be increased.

 

 
In addition to the Bike path, there were unsigned bike lanes on the roadway providing cyclists the choice of cycling on the path or on the road. Many cyclists do want this option.  
  Highway 18 – Paved Shoulders

   
    This is Wisconsin. Cycling so far is good. There are paved shoulders. They are clean. There is no rubble on the shoulders. There are no rethread tire pieces lying around.

 
    The paved shoulder width varied. Frequently, it is the width of a bicycle. While the width of a bike lane would be preferred, as a minimum, and 2.5 to 3 metres would be preferred, at least one can cycle on it. Such a width does not attract others than confident cyclists. Wisconsin should reconsider its minimum paved should r width. At east, it has paved shoulders.

 
    What must be remembered in designing paved shoulder width is the effect of cross-winds on cycling and also the effect of fast moving trucks and the wind effect on cyclists.