Biking with Steph: Pay-Oh-Lie YOLO

Hi Madison Bikes Community, I'm Steph! I am a new member of the Madison Bikes Board, an avid cyclist and coffee drinker. I will be contributing to the Madison Bikes blog on a weekly basis to provide a voice of bike-related encouragement, insight, and amusement. While I am not a bike expert by any means, I am obsessed with all things bike-related and look forward to sharing my thoughts on a new topic with you each week!

Happy National Bike Month! I have personally declared this month to be “YOLO (You Only Live Once) May”. For me, this means saying yes to new opportunities and trying to make everyday memorable. Today, I decided to take the advice of a bike friend and ventured off to Paoli (pronounced pay-oh-lie) for a roughly 33 mile ride. I have wanted to make this jaunt happen since I learned that it would incorporate a part of the Badger State Trail that I have never been on before.

I wasn’t confident how to get from my home to Paoli, so I used the directions for bikes in Google Maps to get me there. I am very grateful to have had the directions flowing through my earbuds, as I surely would have gotten lost near The Velo UnderRound. Even with my five years of being a Madison resident and very user-friendly maps at the Velo UnderRound, I manage to get lost around there more often than not.

(The Velo UnderRound)

Despite my directional impairments, I highly enjoyed my little adventure. The weather was perfectly cool, the route is not very hilly, I saw red barns and spotted cows, and even got to ride on a bit of crushed stone.


(Sun Valley Pkwy)

I decided to stop in Paoli for a quick lunch before heading back home. So, I set my eyes on Paoli Schoolhouse because of the great reviews and cute name. As it turns out, I was a bit under-dressed (Rev Cycles chamois speckled with gravel bits), so I left and I made a note to come back another day. There are alternative places to grab a bite in Paoli including The Hop Garden (lunch is served on the weekends) and Cafe Domestique’s satellite location (open weekends only).

(I kinda wish I had noticed the word “FINE” on their signage before entering the restaurant dressed as I was.)

Without alternatives, I ate a snack I had packed just in case, I mooed at some cows and I headed back home. I hope to do another day trip out to Mount Horeb and possibly bikepack to Governor Dodge State Park this month too. Both are accessible using the regional bike trails.

If you are waiting for a nudge to take this ride, consider this your nudge!

Happy riding and tailwinds!

(YOLO grin)

P.S: Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS) begins this week with the Englewood Open! If you’d like some local advice on mountain biking (MTB), look no further than Frank Hassler’s blog with new posts on MTB racing.

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