Self-supported Bicycling in the Driftless Region
The routes here all have several things in common. They are all designed to be able to be ridden self-supported. There is generally a stop every 25-35 miles at a convenience store. The routes stay on low traffic roads or those with bicycle facilities, whenever feasible. Beautiful scenery and great terrain rank high when choosing routes to be included in our selections listed below.
The “Driftless Region,” or Paleozoic Plateau, of southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeastern Iowa is known for its steeply carved river valleys (known as coulees) and spectacular bluffs. This unique geography is due to the area having escaped unscathed from the glaciers during the last Ice Age. The region covers roughly 16,000 square miles and has elevations ranging from 600 feet – 1,700 feet above sea level.
This hilly terrain would not be home to some of the nation’s best road rides were it not for Wisconsin’s famous dairy farms. Without the thousands of miles of paved back roads, the milk produced by the dairy farms could not be transported to the area creameries in a timely manner. This vast network of paved, low traffic roads has become a wonderland for road cyclists.
Riders taste in routes varies as much as their taste in music. While some may want to hammer their brains out, others may prefer a smoother tune. The terrain and seeming endless choices of roads can provide a ride for anyone’s taste.
The rides mapped here were made by riders with decades of riding experience. We hope you enjoy our efforts to provide you with a sample of some of the best riding in our area!
Apple Blossom Loop 35 miles
Baristas Epic Coffee Ride 43 miles
Route (44 miles)
Route (55 miles)
Coon Valley Coulee Express 28,48,56 mile
Short Route (29 miles)
Medium Route (48 miles)
Long Route (56 miles)
Driftless Regions Most Scenic Ride 59,82 mile
Route (59 miles)
Route (82 miles)
Grandad Bluff Loop 23 Miles
Short loop with one easy and one hard climb. A local favorite with an easy hill before a fast descent into Barre Mills where the route turns south on some brand new pavement for a fast ride to the interstion of Cty FO. There a gradual climb starts and continues for just over a mile until you come to the Wall, the final steep stretch to the top of the ridge. A right turn takes you along the top of the ridge with a spur leading you to the beautiful overlook at the end of Grandad Bluff , the incredible view is worth the trip. The ride down the bluff is very twisting with blind curves so some caution is in order.
Route (23 miles)
Brownsville- Hokah 32 mile loop
Cheddarman 76 miles
This is the hardest easy ride you will ever do. Originally designed as a training ride for Ironman, Wisconsin, this is too much fun to just limit to triathletes. With four moderate climbs this might not seem hard but the 60-70 “rollers” will fry your legs. To claim to be a full Cheddarman, you would do the out and back and two loops for a total of 129 miles. You will then want to get your obligatory “Cheddarman” tattoo on your right calf, just like your Ironman friends… For most people one loop is more than enough and earns you the Cheddarman 76.4 title! Comments from people who have done the Ironman, WI agree that this is much harder but awesome training.
Norski Tur 50,75,100,125 miles
Memorial Day Figure Eight 50-24,49 miles
50- 49 MILES
Whitehall English Century 100 miles
North-East Route 63 miles
June Dairy Days Classique
Route (27 miles)
Route (39 miles)
Route (66 miles)
La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival
1) Make sure the event is not already listed at our calendar.
2) Fill out the form completely (address, date, time etc).
3) Provide an engaging image (we are more likely to share events with images).
4) Event description: Tell visitors and locals why they should attend your event (be descriptive).
5) Include special considerations in the event description (every Tuesday, every third Friday, until January 2015, etc.).
Are you a member of the LACVB? Contact us and find out how to get your events instantaneously listed on our site via your calendar feed.
Director of Media & Membership
La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Atten: Bicycling in the Driftless Region
410 Veterans Memorial Drive
La Crosse, WI 54601
(800) 658-9424 or (608) 782-2220
(608) 782-4082 FAX
La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival