The Cycling House hosted the 2nd annual camp in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. The small city is the county seat of Iowa county Wisconsin and might be one of the best kept secrets for US cycling destinations. Last year was my second time in Wisconsin (IM Wisconsin 2011) and I was very impressed with the road cycling the area had to offer. Iowa county is in the heartland of the Wisconsin dairy lands. The rolling hills of Iowa county are speckled with red barns (farmers added rust to paint to prevent moss/mold and turned the paint a burnt red color) and immense herds of dairy cows. Dairy cows need to be milked one to three times per day and the milk needs to be collected daily, hence the extensive network of well paved roads. The large milk trucks needed to be able to get in and out of these dairy farms year round and a paved road was the solution. The roads do not follow typical road patterns because often times they only needed to get to one or two farms and these non-conforming roads make for some great road cycling.
The 2013 edition of our camp had 10 campers and 4 staff members including my Dad (support driver) and Jim (camp chef) of Vitense Catering & Grill. Last year we had a smaller crew and it was great to share the rural roads of Southern Wisconsin with some new eager riders. The week included some epic rides and we managed to dodge a rainy day and still get in a great ride. Our longest option for the week covered 350+miles and 25,000+ feet of elevation gain. Prior to me racing Ironman Wisconsin and then hosting a camp in Wisconsin I too was very ignorant to the topography of Wisconsin. The terrain provides some very difficult rides with very little flats and the occasional very steep gradient hill. However the best part about cycling in Iowa county is the lack of traffic on the roads. The road surfaces are very good and you are more likely to see a tractor on these rural roads than a car.
In addition to the great cycling we had some nice running trails and a great lake to swim in at nearby Governor Dodge state park. A few afternoons were spent at the lake for our recovery swims. In addition campers had the opportunity to use Hammer Nutritions; Compex E-stim units (electrical muscle stimulation) to help promote recovery as well as the Hammer Nutrition fuels for on the bike nutrition. We had a great week of cycling and everyone was able to log some great training miles that will have them well primed for their upcoming races and events. After the camp I was off in the Orange Crusher to continue my trip to New Hampshire for the summer. If anyone is out on the east coast drop me a line. Good luck to everyone in their upcoming events! Check out The Cycling House website for our other upcoming camps.