Given Sarah and Zeke were visiting from Illinois, we decided to rent bikes instead of having them haul their bikes all the way to Green Lake. This decision ended up being a wise one after Rachael’s bike experienced a flat tire almost immediately after we arrived in Green Lake yesterday. In turn, Dan, Audra, and I loaded up our bikes and the group drove to the rental company from which I rented a Waverunner several weeks earlier. There we easily obtained three rental bikes and prepared to start our journey. With knowledge of the nearly 30 miles before us, each of us expressed some concern over the effort that would be required to make the trip a success, particularly given the threat of rain that continued to plague the area. As a result, we decided we would play it safe by renting the bikes for a period of four hours. With our rental bikes secured and our trip in order, we geared up and hit the road to start our first leg of the Green Lake Loop.
The trip started with a jaunt down one of Green Lake’s longest city roads winding along the east end of the lake. As we found our pace, our group traveled in a single file line down the bike path running on the shoulder of the busy street. We traveled until we hit a county highway that directed us to head south, where we stopped briefly to make a few adjustments to the rental bikes and talk about our plan of attack for the remaining trip. With knowledge the bike route would lead us to the less busy roads running along Green Lake’s south shore, I assured everyone we would be able to ride in a more comfortable group setting once we tacked on a few more miles. In turn, the group continued on, passing by boaters and fisherman making the most of the lake to our right. In time we made it passed the body of water and climbed a steep hill before finding our turn to the south shore of Green Lake.
Still in our single file line, we wrapped around the turn onto a sleepy road that cut through groupings of small lakeside cottages. In a moment our environment changed from a heavily trafficked highway to a peaceful, quiet expanse of asphalt turned gray with age. Quickly coming to terms with the change, our group fanned out and began taking advantage of the open road around us. We traveled down the road at a leisurely pace, shifting positions to talk with various members of our group as we continued on. In high spirits, we laughed over word games intended to help us remember our upcoming turns and chatted about the sights passing by. With the sun now breaking through the clouds above us, each of us relaxed in the comfortable summer air hanging next to the beautiful lake guiding us.
|Dan in flight|
Although hesitant at first, each of us made our way through the narrow trail one by one until we all emerged on the other side of the tree line. There we found a small gravel road leading through a campground near a portion of the lake known as Sliding Rock. We rode on, making short work of the gravel road and surfacing on another quiet street on the southwest side of the lake. A little more than one hour into our trip, I started to realize we were nearing the halfway point of the loop as familiar sights came into view. A few miles later we were passing Green Lake County Park and traveling down streets in the west end neighborhood where the lake house resides. Completing the first half of our trek, we pulled into the lake house driveway and took stock of our progress. Much faster than expected, our group had traveled nearly 15 miles in less than one hour and 20 minutes.
|Half way there...|
Upon arriving at the lake house, we refilled our water bottles and stretched a bit during a brief break. Shortly after arriving, a rain shower moved through the area for a period of a little bit longer than 10 minutes, which proved perfect timing following the completion of the first half of our ride. During the rain we relaxed beneath the overhang of the lake house roof and talked about the rest of our journey. With the rain ebbing, we geared back up for the second part of our trip and hit the road. After a brief trip down the nearby highway, we rounded the last portion of Green Lake’s west end and honed in on the last leg of the Green Lake Loop.
|The second half|