I took my bike up to the Sparta area yesterday morning to have a look at the bike trail that runs between Sparta and Elroy, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I actually started at Norwalk, about 11 miles down the road from Sparta, and biked to Wilton, another 6 miles down the trail, because I wanted to experience one of the tunnels.

It was a perfect day for a bike ride, sunny and clear, cool but not cold (until I got into the tunnel, which was like a walk-in fridge). I took my trail bike with the knobby tires (I bought a road bike with a lighter frame and street tires at a rummage sale a month or so ago) because I wasn’t sure how good the trail was. That was a good move. The trail is graded and paved with fine gravel and is so well-maintained that I think I could have ridden the road bike on the trail, but the knobby tires and heavier frame on the trail bike probably handled it better.

I said hi to lots of other bikers in the two hours I was riding; it appears to be a very popular trail, even this late in the year.

The Elroy-Sparta trail is one of four connected trails that run from Reedsburg, only an hour’s drive from here, to Trempeleau, which is just an hour or so from Eau Claire, something I didn’t know about until this morning. I’m not quite up to biking the whole 101 miles, but the little 7-mile jaunt I did yesterday was quite pleasant.

For Barb, this is a big gardening weekend. She got a big box of garlic bulbs in the mail last week, spent the day before yesterday breaking up the cloves, worked all of yesterday getting a garden bed ready to plant, and she’ll spend most of the day today shoving the cloves into the ground in careful little rows. “It’s amazing how therapeutic digging in the dirt can be,” she told me yesterday.

If you have Netflix, I recommend watching “The Good Place,” a hilarious show about four people who die and have to navigate the weirdness of the afterlife. Ted Danson is one of the stars but I don’t recognize anybody else. We started watching early last week and have been binge-watching half a dozen episodes each night. Top-notch writing and lots of fun to watch. 

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