Last Sunday, my friends and I drove up to Brodhead, WI and rode our bikes on the Sugar River Trail to New Glarus, a cute little town that celebrates its Swiss heritage. When we arrived in Brodhead, my tube broke while Walt was putting air in the tire. Fortunately, Anne had a spare. It should have fit because Anne and I are about the same size, but the bike store sold her the wrong size for her bike, so it was too big. Somehow Walt was able to make it work. There was no problem, which was good because the New Glarus bike store is closed on Sundays.
And we’re off! Twenty-three miles one-way. The trail is beautiful. The limestone surface takes some getting used to; it’s a much harder ride than pavement. It’s bumpy, too.
This is the infamous Bridge 14. Three years ago, we did this trail and got caught in a horrible thunderstorm. We were drenched, cold and hiding in a barn next to cows to get away from the lightening. (I tricked H into coming along by telling him that it was a 23-mile ride; I failed to mention that was only one way). These bridges get slick in the rain. I fell on the bridge, which caused the person behind me to slam on her brakes and she fell and then the girls behind her did the same – like dominoes. Then guys in front turned their heads to see what happened and they fell, so all six of us were on the ground, or the wet bridge rather. Fortunately no one was hurt, but I’ve been teased relentlessly for causing the bridge 14 accident. I think Walt is trying to reenact the scene (or recreate the scene by pouring his water on the bridge).
When we get to New Glarus, we walk around town and then head over to The Glarner Stube for lunch.
The Glarner Stube has a vegetarian portabella mushroom sandwich on the menu. It is served with cheese and they cook the mushroom in herb butter, but will leave both of those off upon request. I topped my mushroom off with horseradish and mustard. The fries are pretty tasty, too. We got a couple pitchers of New Glarus Brewing Spotted Cow.
After lunch, we took a trolley over to the New Glarus Brewery for a tour and tasting. There is no tour guide (except on Fridays when you have to book months in advance); you just walk around by yourself. A guy is there to answer any questions. You have to pay for the tasting ($3.50 for 3 3-oz tastings), but you get to keep your glass. You can also take your beer with you on the tour.
I tried the Raspberry Tart, Two Women, and Moon Man.
After the tour, we sat outside and enjoyed our last tasting. It was a beautiful day and there is a lovely view.
We couldn’t buy any beer at the brewery, because we still had to bike back, but we stopped at a gas station on the way home. New Glarus beer is only sold in Wisconsin. I did buy a biking jersey at the brewery. How cute is that cow jumping over Wisconsin? I was a little chilly on the ride up in a sleeveless shirt (but hot with my jacket on), so I wore my new jersey on the ride back.