We recently told you about a couple of events here in Wisconsin to kick off Wisconsin’s fall riding season, one of which was the unique Farm/Art DTour.
A third event that helps open fall riding in The Dairy State is the October Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run. The forecast for spectacular sunny weather for the whole weekend brought out a huge number of motorcyclists on just about any type of motorcycle you can imagine.
A big plus for me was joining a couple of my long-time riding buddies—Dean Massoglia, who lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and southwest Wisconsin local Tony Fransen. The three of us got some great riding in on Saturday, October 1, and Sunday’s Crud Run.
On Saturday, we hit the back roads of Sauk County, taking in some of the installations of the outdoor Farm/Art DTour. We stopped at Delaney’s Surplus, one of our favorite stores for tools and just about anything else you might think of. We even did some hiking, an activity we generally don’t include in our motorcycle outings.
The hike’s highlight (pun intended) was reaching the scenic overlook atop Cactus Bluff, about 300 feet above the Wisconsin River. It can be reached via Ferry Bluff Road south on a gravel track off State Trunk Highway 60, about six miles west of Sauk City. That takes you on a short drive to a small parking area on the riverfront. From there, it is a hike of about 800 yards to the bluff overlook and interpretive site. The last 200 yards of the trail are steep enough to count for a week of your cardio workout.
Sky conditions were severe clear. With that perfect canopy of blue overhead and near-zero wind making the river a perfect mirror, the vast panorama to the south was a study in blue, green, and natural beauty, with just a hint of fall colors visible in the early-turning Sugar Maples in the river valley. Soaking up some early fall sunshine so high up, we could look the raptors soaring above the river right in the eye. It was the perfect way to end the day.
Sunday dawned cool and partly cloudy for the Crud Run. Dean and I met Tony at the start point in Pine Bluff in Dane County. Nearly every piece of ground big enough to park a motorcycle was occupied by about 10:30 a.m., as the great weather brought out even the most rain-averse fair-weather riders.
Dean, Tony, and I go back more than 40 years, when we all worked in the Engineering Department of Wick Homes in Mazomanie, Wisc. Another of our buddies from those days, Dan Petersen and his wife Sandy, recently built a new house only a few miles from Pine Bluff. Being the kind of sentimental motorcycle bums we are, we included a stop at the new Petersen residence to say hello. For Dean and Tony, it had been many years since they had been in touch with Dan, so it was a reunion long overdue.
From there, it was just about lunchtime. As it happened, Rookie’s Food and Spirits, just east of Mazomanie, was on one of the routes to the endpoint of the Crud Run in Leland, over in Sauk County.
After a great lunch, we rolled north into Sauk County and made it to North Freedom in time to have some cold Sprecher Root Beer in the ancestral endpoint of the Crud Run—Sprechers Bar. Old friends, old motorcycles—for us, anyway—and lots of them, plus great weather, outdoor art, and the timeless beauty of the Driftless Area, all in one fantastic weekend. It doesn’t get much better than that!