Sunday, May 04, 2008

Slimey Crud Run

The Slimey Crud Run occurs twice a year on the 1st Sunday in May and the 1st Sunday in October. The bikes gather in Pine Bluff, Wisconsin in the morning. By 10AM there are tons of bikes there. Around noon the bikes start leaving and making their way to Leland, Wisconsin 37 miles away. The point is to ride from Pine Bluff to Leland by taking some of the great Wisconsin alphabet roads, not the fastest route. By 1PM Leland is packed with bikes and the party continues.

Usually if I’m not doing anything else I’ll do the SCR because the roads are fun getting there and there are usually a lot of cool bikes, plus it’s great seeing so many bikes on the road throught the day.

This weekend the original plan was to ride up to Minnesota on Saturday and stop by Slimey Crud Run gathering in Leland on Sunday on the way back home. Mike and I and three of my friends were ready to go. The weather was looking really bad for Saturday though, so Saturday morning we got up at 5AM and checked the weather forecast for the last time and cancelled the ride. Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota had lots of rain and wind in the forecast and the high temperatures were expected to reach only in the mid 40’s and the lows in the mid 30’s. With rain and such low overnight temps snow or sleet was not totally out of the question. MN had a dusting of snow just a couple of days ago. Sunday was looking marvelous though, so a Slimey Crud Run was in order. I don’t know what happened to my friends, none of them were interested in doing the SCR.

This morning the weather channel was telling me it was of 42 degrees when I woke up. By the time we got on the bikes at 7:30AM and left for Wisconsin the temperature was already in the high 40’s in the Chicago burbs. I had the heated grips on and my Gerbing heated liner on, but I made the mistake of not putting on my balaclava because it felt so warm in the driveway.

Mike took that one of me near Near Janesville, WI

Once we got in the boonies the temperature dropped by 5-8 degrees and by the time we pulled in to Janesville, WI I needed to warm up. It’s like all of my body heat escaped though my head. We stopped at a Starbucks for some latte and took a break.

One of my favorite roads, 92 south of Mount Horeb, WI

As many times as I tired to make the Pine Bluff by the 10AM peak, I have never made it. The only way to make it out there that early from Chicagoland is to take the interstate or leave at 5:30AM. I didn’t care to do either.

Past Janesville the roads got nice and curvy. We arrived in Pine Bluff at around 11:30AM. There were still many people there but it looked like many were leaving.

My 954RR among the many bikes in Pine Bluff, WI

All types of bikes being represented at the Slimey Crud Run

Nice red Duc

The bars had lunch available. We gave it a try and grabbed some lunch at the Red Mouse Bar & Grill. The $5 cheeseburger and bag of chips was a convenient lunch but I won’t lie to you and tell you it was good.

My lunch at The Red Mouse from their special Slimey Crud Run menu, they misspelled "slimey"

Motorcycle only traffic through Pine Bluff, WI

After lunch we took of for Leland arriving there just a bit after 1PM. As we rolled in to town there was one police car parked on the side of the road and one was patrolling the strip. I have never seen police at the Slimey Crud Run.

North of Pine Bluff, WI

Getting near Leland, WI... lots of police

Leland, WI

Italian red beauties

Weird bike art

Crowds in Leland

Taking a break by the lake in Leland

There were definitely more bikes in Leland. We hung out for a bit and at 3PM started to head back to the bikes. I still had a few roads planned before heading home.

Back at our bikes

We both had locked our helmets up on our bikes. I had locked mine up with a short bicycle cable and a padlock. Mike locked his with a backpack lock. Something broke in his combination backpack lock and he couldn’t open it. Twenty minutes later still nothing. The way the helmet was locked to the handle bars, he couldn’t ride the bike.

At this point we were looking for the police car that kept driving through town and after 10 more minutes I got his attention and he pulled over. He had to go and run Mike’s drivers license to make sure he was clean. He was taking a while and meanwhile Mike remembered that he had a multi-tool on him, one snip and the lock opened right up. By the time the policeman came back with Mike’s drivers license we didn’t need his assistance anymore. I think he was happy about that.

Now it was 4PM and we needed to get going, but we had to be careful. More police showed up in Leland and on our way out of town there were a few bikes pulled over. It was a bit windy now and pretty soon the temperature would start dropping. The high temp today reached 61 degrees. We stopped in Spring Green to get gas and I got talking to the lady behind the counter about motorcycles, she has a few and tours as well. She told us to be careful around here because it was wild turkey hunting season and the deer were being spooked out of the woods. Just two hours earlier a bike hit a deer two miles down the street.

I didn’t see any deer actually but we did have two wild turkey encounters. The first one was the closest. The turkey was crossing the road, saw me and started running in front of my bike, right in front of my bike’s front wheel. Then it slowed down and took off flying. I was already slowing down so he was in no danger of being squished by my bike. The second turkey flew across the road, he was way ahead of me.

Another one of my favorite roads, 130 south of Lone Rock, WI

On ZZ at Pleasant Ridge

The roads were really great today and I got to ride some new ones too. Or maybe they weren’t actually new to me but it’s been so long that I’ve been on them that I totally forgot them. I had a few more roads planned but we cut the route short and started to head home, it was getting really late. By the time we got the outskirts of the suburbs, it was dark and I had to change my shield to the clear one. Then once in the suburbs I had another close encounter of the bird kind. Two ducks in my lane. They just stood there. It was dark and I couldn’t tell what it was but knew it was something, so I was swerving around it anyway and then my headlights reveled the two ducks just standing in the middle of my lane. How bizarre. I hope they got to where they needed to go, there was a lot of traffic on that road. Taking mostly back roads all the way home, we arrived at the house around 9:30PM.

Our route

It was a long day, we did 430 miles today and I was feeling it too especially riding the sportbike.

The Wisconsin alphabet roads that we rode: G, J, PD, P, KP, PF, C, O, ZZ, Z, YZ and W

1 comment:

Oblivion said...

Wow, looks like a great ride. Good work on avoiding the fowl.