Check off our rides at
La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival!
September 4-7, 2015
Come and ride one route or ride all, you decide!
****All rides leave from Cameron Park (unless noted)****
FREE to the public.
Road rides outside of La Crosse are self-supported, self-timed and self-guided. We’ll have suggested start windows, turn-by-turn smartphone routes online, and maps with cue sheets available for free at Cameron Park. Featured road rides also have volunteer ride ambassadors who will leave from Cameron Park at staggered times throughout the start window. Routes out of town are outlined on free maps and cue sheets, with turns marked on the road in the city. Guided interest rides are suitable for families, kids, and easy riding. They leave from Cameron Park at the designated time, make frequent stops, and have a leader to guide the ride through the city
Thursday, September 3
Join us by bike or car for the kick-off party Thursday evening!
- 5-8PM Join us at Explore La Crosse’s awesome Mobile Tourism Center (just look for the bright orange van) in Riverside Park to pick up registration packets, register, or find out more about the weekend event. Stay in the park for Moon Tunes: Woodstock in the Park (6-8pm).
- 8 PM You’re invited to the after party at Stolpa’s Stein Haus , 324 Jay Street, with discount on burgers and chicken sandwiches. They also have a great selection of brats, beers, and pretzels.
Friday, September 4 — Northeast
All rides leave from Cameron Park (unless noted).
- 7-9AM Start Window — Featured Road Ride: North-East Route (63 miles)
- 7-9AM Start Window — Optional Road Ride: Grandad Bluff Loop (23 miles)
- 5PM Advanced Mountain Bike Ride: Meet in Myrick Park, where there’s plenty of parking if your bike is on the car. We’ll ride over to Hixon Forest and ascend the Rotary Vista Trail before hooking up with the Upper Hixon Trails network on top of the ridge. Expect to ride 14-18 miles for about 2 hours on technical singletrack. Rocks, roots, and fast elevation changes challenge even the most skilled rider. This will be a no-drop ride. (leader, organizer: Robbie Young)
- 5:30PM: Guided Interest Ride: Slow ride through history. Local cyclist and Slow Bicycle Movement organizer Scot McCollum joins up with archivist and author Laura Godden for a tour of historic La Crosse. While any period outfits and retro bicycles are optional, they’re certainly welcome. Tonight’s ride tours North La Crosse and will finish at Old Crow Bourbon Whiskey Bar and American Gastropub.
- EVENT: Cameron Park Farmer’s Market, 4pm-8pm Enjoy fresh produce and treats from area vendors
- 7PM All Rider’s Regroup: Old Crow Bourbon Whiskey Bar – It’s a chance for riders of all kinds to come together at the end of the day — no matter if you were on the 63 mile ride to start to day or out on the Slow Ride through history, join us in the back room of the Old Crow Gastropub, 100 E. State Street for a little deluxe socializing.
Saturday, September 5 — West
All rides leave from Cameron Park (unless noted).
- 7-9AM Start Window — Featured Road Ride: Driftless Region’s Most Scenic Ride (DRMSR, options for 59 or 82 miles)
- 7-9AM Start Window — Optional Road Rides: Brownsville-Hokah (32 miles)
- 7-9AM Start Window — Optional Road Rides: Apple Blossom (35 miles)
- 8-30AM Mixed gravel ride: La Crosse – Nodine – La Crosse or L-N-L is a brand new addition to our routes, and our (rural, Minnesota) version of Paris-Roubaix — a 64-mile mixed road ride with six gravel sections and five big climbs. Gravel, cyclocross, or mountain bike recommended.
- 8AMCoffee Ride: A leisurely morning ride with coffee stops at La Crosse’s Olde Town North and University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Along the way, we’ll explore north side neighborhoods, the city trails through the marsh, and a newly built bicycle/pedestrian bridge. We’ll finish the 12-mile route with plenty of time to shop and enjoy the Cameron Park Farmer’s Market.
- EVENT: Saturday Morning Cameron Park Farmer’s Market. Enjoy fresh produce and treats from area vendors
- 9AMMountain Bike Ride (WORS Preview Ride): Be the first group to get a sneak-peek preview the new race course for this month’s Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) Hixon Forest Epic. Meet at the trail head on Highway FA next to the NOAA weather ball, at 9AM; riders will split into two groups to ride their courses, led by local volunteer race organizers. Course routes available on Strava.
- 11AM Hear, Here Guided Interest Ride: Public History Tour: Bring your phones to hear history told by the person who experienced it. Hear, Here executive director Ariel Beaujot will talk about the recent history of downtown La Crosse, and how public history projects can bring a community closer together.
- 1 PMGuided Interest Ride: Architectural Tour: Public historian Charles Lee leads a family-friendly loop through La Crosse to explore the historic districts of 10th and Cass, 17th Street, and 23rd Street.
- 1 PM Family/Kid-friendly Mountain Bike Ride: Guided ride around Upper Hixon Forest, mostly on beginner-level trails, with some intermediate. Meet at the trail head on Highway FA next to the NOAA weather ball, make time to explore your skills on the new pump track, and then venture into the beautiful bluffs of the Driftless Region. If there are enough riders to split into varying skill-level groups, we will do that. Otherwise expect to ride 4-7 miles over about an hour, leaving time to get back downtown for the Ice Cream Ride. (leader, organizer: Robbie Young)
- 3PMGuided Interest Ride: Ice Cream Ride: These short, popular rides are great for families, kids, and riders of all abilities on any kind of bike. This one will only be around six miles long. Leader Carolyn Dvorak will take quiet city streets and bike paths to get to the goods. Destinations for today: local favorite Ranison’s Ice Cream, and downtown’s Great River Popcorn.
- 5PM: The Root Note Pre-Party Tour de Pearl Ride (leaving at 5:30p to Pearl Street Brewery). Remember to bring your Tour cards and bikefest premium registration for $2 beers and FREE entry into the End of Tour Party!
- 5:30PM: Guided Interest Ride: Slow ride through history. Local cyclist and Slow Bicycle Movement organizer Scot McCollum joins up with archivist and author Laura Godden for a tour of historic La Crosse. While any period outfits and retro bicycles are optional, they’re certainly welcome. Tonight’s ride tours South La Crosse, finishing up at Four Sisters Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant.
- 6PM: Tour De Pearl End of Tour Party (joint party with Pearl Street Brewery) Celebrate with all your fellow bicyclists, free entry and food for premium members. $5 If you want to ride to PSB from downtown La Crosse, meet up at Root Note between 5:00 and 5:30 to socialize, then ride with leader Tami Plourde to the Pearl Street Brewery in North La Crosse. Special musical guest: The 4onthefloor
Sunday, September 6 — Southeast
All rides leave from Cameron Park (unless noted).
An absolute fan favorite, the Norski Tur leaves La Crosse to the southeast, exploring the coulees and Amish farm region in Wisconsin. Multiple loops let you choose your preferred length even in the middle of a ride. You might go all the way to Viroqua and Westby, known for Norwegian immigrants, dairy farms and excellent cheese. Big climbs and major distance options let riders pick their level of challenge.
All road rides are self guided; with our maps and cue sheets, you can leave when you want and ride at your own pace, or you can join a volunteer Ride Ambassador for help getting out of town and onto the route.
- 7-9AM Start Window — Featured Road Ride: Norski Tur with multiple length options – 50, 75, 100, 125
- 8:00 a.m. La Crosse Gravel Classic It’s the 6th annual La Crosse Gravel Classic, a 56-mile road race and/or bike tour. Your choice. The unique road-racing format is done in six parts on the gravel back roads of Minnesota, just across the Mississippi River from La Crosse. Whether you are racing or touring, the event is free, but you’ll need to register on line or at the Cameron Park registration tent. We recommend you ride or tour the course on a mountain bike, cross bike or road bike equipped with extra wide tires. The 56 mile course has 3 climbs totaling 2800+ feet of climbing. The course is unsupported but well marked by volunteers.
- 8-11AM BMX Open Track Ride Take advantage of one of the world’s largest indoor BMX facilities right here in La Crosse at Toad’s Cove Arena BMX! This world-class course is opening its doors to highlight their great venue with this free event. Staff will help riders of all ages and abilities, from the two-year old learning to balance on the Strider pushbike, to the seasoned rider who still digs the rush of the ride, learn and partake in the excitement and thrill that the sport of BMX racing has to offer!
- 9:30 AM Guided Interest Ride: Pedal Paddle (SOLD OUT): 9:30 a.m Starting with an easy 8 mile trail/street ride to Goose Island, south of La Crosse. From there, explore the pristine backwaters of the Mississippi at 11:00 a.m. with knowledgeable guide, heading South on Sunday. Limited number of kayaks available at no cost or bring your own, (Personal flotation devices required)
- 12-3 PM Family Pumptrack Ride at Human Powered Trails: Join local rider Aaron Kerr at the brand-new pump track at Human Powered Trails off of County Road FA on the bluff overlooking La Crosse. A pump track is a continuous loop of dirt rollers and berms that you ride — on mountain bikes or BMX — without pedaling. An excellent way to improve your mountain biking skills. Family and kid-friendly skills clinic to start.
- 1PM Guided Interest Ride: City Tour: Enjoy a leisurely ride through the City and its historic neighborhoods. This guided tour will show off some of La Crosse’s best known landmarks, architecture and bike trails.
- 3PM Guided Interest Ride: Ice Cream Ride: These short rides are great for families, kids, and riders of all abilities, on any kind of bike. Leader Carolyn Dvorak will lead the group on an eight mile loop, on streets and bike paths. Today’s destinations: downtown’s Pearl Ice Cream Parlor, and the Sweet Shop in north La Crosse.
- 5 PM Mysteries of the Driftless at Earl’s Grocery and Saloon: Join representatives of the Mississippi Valley Conservancy for a showing of this 30-minute, Emmy-award winning documentary about the unique geology, history, and ecosystems of the Driftless region. We’ll follow the screening with socializing and discussion!
- 7PM Guided Interest Ride: Dark La Crosse tour (SOLD OUT): The La Crosse Public Library Archives takes you on a tour of the . . . seedier . . . side of local history. This tour will take you to the old red light district, past former speakeasies, gangster hangouts, and the occasional murder scene. Not all content of this tour will be entirely appropriate for young ears; spaces are limited, so sign up at early for a spot (Only Bikefest registrants will receive notice of when they may register for this event).
- EVENT: 7PM REGGAE on the RIVER:Labor Day Luau with TUGG
Gravel Classic Information
We recommend you ride or tour the course on a mountain bike, cross bike or road bike equipped with extra wide tires. You will be riding 56 miles with 3 climbs and 2800+ feet of climbing.
The La Crosse Gravel Classic course is unsupported but well marked by volunteers.
You can study the course in advance here at Ride with GPS. Please obey all traffic laws and be extra safe.
We have broken the race into 6 parts. Three of the parts are ridden neutral. Three parts are raced. The first two race parts are for fun and bragging rights, and the final race part is to crown the overall La Crosse Gravel Classic.
Part 1: Neutral paved road ride. 14 miles. 0 to 14 mile mark. We leave Cameron Park and ride at a brisk pace down the river to Brownsville.
Part 2: Competitive Gravel Classic race. 5.5 miles. 14-mile mark to 19.5-mile mark. We hit the gravel of Cork Hollow Drive and begin racing to County Road 3. The race dead ends and we regroup and ride ¼ mile to Part 3.
Part 3 Competitive Gravel Classic race. 8.5 miles. 20 to 28 mile mark. Ridgeview Road at County Road 3 to Hwy 44 Main Street. Once you start the descent the race segment is over and we ride neutral to Kwik Trip in Hokah for a nature break and refreshments.
Part 4 Neutral ride. 6 miles. 28 to 34 mile mark.
After nature break and regroup at Kwik Trip in Hokah we then continue riding in a neutral format to the gravel of Chicken Ridge Road and County road 21 where all hell brakes loose up the Chicken Ridge climb and the race is on.
Part 5 The Race! 14 miles. 34 to 48 mile mark at Scenic Overlook. Chicken Ridge Road to Scenic Overlook on County Road 1 and Finish Line
Part 6 Neutral paved road ride. 8 miles. 48 to 56 mile mark.
Scenic Overlook back to Cameron Park.
Monday, September 7 — West
All rides leave from Cameron Park (unless noted).
- 7-9AM Start Window — Feature Road Ride: Barista’s Epic Coffee Ride (distance 44 miles, with option for additional loop for total of 55 miles)
9:30AM Guided Interest Ride: Pedal Paddle (SOLD OUT): Starting with an easy 8 mile trail/street ride to Goose Island, south of La Crosse. From there, explore the pristine backwaters of the Mississippi at 11:00 a.m. with knowledgeable guide. Limited number of kayaks available at no cost or bring your own, (Personal flotation devices required).
- August 1 – August 31 = $35
- September = $40
- Map Booklet
- Bike Festival T-shirt (not guaranteed if registered after 8/26/15)
- $5 dollar gift certificate to Cameron Park Farmer’s Market.*
- Portable Power Station
- First Dibs: Priority Pedal Paddle Registration*
- First Dibs: Priority Dark La Crosse Ride Registration*
- Discounts to Restaurants & Businesses
- Entry to Saturday Night Tour De Pearl End of Tour Party at Pearl Street Brewery Special musical guest: The 4onthefloor (Free Food & Drinks)
**first 50 premium registrations
*first 20 premium registrations
Help the La Crosse Area Labor Day Bike Festival September 4-7 by volunteering as a Ride Ambassador or to greet and orient riders at the registration tent at Cameron Park.
Volunteer to head out with one of the “featured road rides” on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Just choose a day you’d like to ride, choose a time you intend on leaving Cameron Park (probably between 8 and 10 AM), and estimate the average speed you’d like your group to roll (slow < 12mph, medium 12-16, fast > 16). Then email those details to Megan Dummer at email@example.com.
You’ll get a chance to show off your local knowledge as you ride with visitors, introducing them to Driftless cycling. And if that weren’t enough, you’ll receive a complimentary “Premium” registration, with discounts, drink and food specials, and thank-you gifts (including a volunteer t-shirt!)
Don’t think of yourself as leading a tour; you are simply a local rider heading out with a group among many riders on that self-guided route. Helping them get out of town is your greatest contribution. The day’s route will be available to all riders on printed maps and turn-by-turn directions through Ride with GPS at http://bicyclelacrosse.com .
Festival participants can leave at any time they wish on these self-supported rides, but you will choose a time (probably between 8 and 10AM) to depart Cameron Park, and we’ll list your intended start time, distance, and speed in the festival schedule. Show up around 15 minutes ahead of departure; sign in at the registration tent; announce to the crowd your intended start time and speed, and you’re off!Route maps are always available at http://bicyclelacrosse.com; we’ll provide an emergency phone number at the registration tent for breakdown support, as well as water and fruit.
Don’t want to head out on a road ride? There’s still plenty of ways to volunteer back in town; the Cameron Park registration tent is staffed throughout the day as groups depart on short, in-town social rides or on the longer road rides. Volunteer to help set up on Thursday Sept 3, to tear-down 10 AM Monday Sept 7, or for any three-hour shift from 7AM to 7PM on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Email Megan Dummer at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list. You’ll receive a complimentary “Premium” registration, with discounts, drink and food specials, and thank-you gifts (including a volunteer t-shirt!)