We recently told you about several events here in Wisconsin to kick off the fall Wisconsin riding season, one of which was the unique Farm/Art DTour. A third event that helps open up fall riding in The Dairy State is October’s Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run. The forecast for spectacular sunny weather all weekend brought out a huge number of bikers on just about every type of motorcycle imaginable.
A big plus for me was joining a couple of my longtime riding buddies – Dean Masolia, who lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Southwest Wisconsin native Tony Fransen. The three of us had a great ride on Saturday October 1st and the Crud Run on Sunday.
Saturday we hit the back roads of Sauk County checking out some of the Outdoor Farm/Art DTour installations. We stopped at Delaney’s Surplus, one of our favorite stores for tools and just about anything else you can think of. We even did a bit of hiking, an activity we don’t usually include in our motorcycle outings.
The highlight of the hike (pun intended) was reaching the scenic overlook atop Cactus Bluff, about 300 feet above the Wisconsin River. It can be reached via Ferry Bluff Road south on a gravel road off State Trunk Highway 60, about six miles west of Sauk City. This takes you a short ride to a small riverside car park. From there, there is a hike of about 800 yards to the bluff lookout and interpretive site. The last 200 yards of the trail are steep enough to count toward a week of your cardio. The sky was very clear. With that perfect canopy of blue overhead and almost zero wind making the river a perfect mirror, the expansive panorama to the south was a study in blue, green and natural beauty, with just a hint of autumn colors visible in the early bend Sugar Maples in the river valley. Soaking up some early autumn sun so high up, we could look the raptors soaring above the river straight in the eye. It was the perfect way to end the day.
Sunday dawned cool and partly cloudy for the Crud Run. Dean and I met Tony at the starting point at Pine Bluff in Dane County. Almost every piece of land large enough to park a motorcycle was taken by about 10:30am as the great weather brought out even the most rain-averse fair weather riders. Dean, Tony and I go back over 40 years when we all worked in the Engineering Department of Wick Homes in Mazomanie, Wisc. Another friend of ours from those days, Dan Peterson and his wife Sandy, recently built a new house just a few miles from Pine Bluff. Being the sentimental bikers that we are, we included a stop at the Petersen’s new residence to congratulate you. For Dean and Tony, it had been many years since they had been in contact with Dan, so the meeting was a long time coming.
From then on it was exactly noon. As it happened, Rookie’s Food and Spirits, just east of Mazomanie, was on one of the routes to the Crud Run’s terminus in Leland, in Sauk County.
After a great lunch, we rolled north into Sauk County and made it to North Liberty in time for a cold Sprecher Root Beer at the Crud Run’s ancestral terminus—Sprechers Bar. Old friends, old bikes – for us anyway – and lots of them, plus great weather, outdoor art and the timeless beauty of the no-sailing area, all rolled into one fantastic weekend. It doesn’t get much better than this!