madison cyclists' overnight camping trips

AroadEach summer, a small group of mostly Madison cyclists does a number of overnight bicycle camping trips in southwestern Wisconsin. The scenery and excellent secondary road system make this area one of the greatest anywhere for bicycle touring. We welcome new members interested in self-contained overnight bicycle touring.

2018 Overnight Bike Trip Schedule

An email list is used to set up the trips. The schedule is subject to change, and additional trips may be added at the last minute when weather looks favorable.

If you would like to join us this season, please contact:

Scott Ellington

(Remove all the numbers and x's after @)

The trips are informal and often organized on short notice, especially in spring and fall. Most are 2-3 day weekend trips. Campsites are usually town or county parks. We carry our own gear, maintaining the brief illusion of independence from the automobile. Daily distances average 40-60 miles, sometimes in hilly terrain. Shorter options are usually available. Some trips start in Madison, while others require driving to the start. Motorized mid-route rendezvous are discouraged.

Maps are provided with the route marked on them, but there are no cue sheets. While we do not sweep the route, and the group often gets separated, we try make sure no one gets lost or left behind. (We've never lost anyone yet, at least not permanently.) These are not guided tours, but we'll provide help to those new to overnight touring. Your bike should be in good mechanical condition and you should at least be able to fix a flat tire. If you are new to overnight biking, many of us have equipment you may borrow.

For more information on Wisconsin overnight touring, including a list of recommended equipment, see:

Wisconsin Overnight Touring Guide (PDF)

For stories and photos of previous rides, see:

Scott's Biking Page

By County P

Here's a link to Up and Over: Ferocious hills and a wild landscape mark a bicycle ride through coulee country, an article by Elizabeth McBride about one of these overnight tours. It originally appeared in the April 1994 issue of Wisconsin Trails .