My story in today's New York Times, "On a Roll in Wisconsin," covers road biking in Trempealeau County, Wis., a 20-mile-wide municipality with bluffs, farms fields, deep tributary ravines, and 382 miles of paved roads that some tout as the best for biking in the entire USA.
Here's the kicker: The emptiest of Trempealeau's roads see an average of only three cars per hour, creating a virtually car-less bike paradise for riders in the region.
I rode in Trempealeau for this story in late May, participating in the Arcadia Memorial Tour, the second on a circuit of five "Tour de Trempealeau" events scheduled for 2008. The noncompetitive group-rides tour the twisting and hilly two-lane roads of Trempealeau County, where ribbons of dark asphalt and concrete are laced over a wedge of bluffs that crash down at the Mississippi River valley in the west.
“We have a unique combination of unlimited scenic views, unlimited blacktop and very little vehicle traffic,” said Ron McKernan, a Tour de Trempealeau organizer.
Pastoral and hilly, studded with rock-topped bluffs and cut deep by ravines, Trempealeau’s topography is typical of the Driftless Area, a regional zone along the Mississippi River. The roads -- narrow and swooping, shouldered by deep ditches of grass -- felt like a private bike track on the tour, with riders elbow to elbow across half its width.
Go here to read the whole story, http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/08/29/travel/escapes/29Trempealeau.html