Rustic Roads 2008


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Rustic Roads 2008


I had been looking for a tune-up ride for me and the bike.  The Jacksonville trip was cancelled because Mother Nature wanted me to stay home.  Then, along comes a challenge from Adventure Riders ( to see who could ride 100 of Wisconsin's Rustic Roads.  Freezing temperature, riding to bonus locations through night, the challenge of sand and ice on the roads... where do I sign up?  Anyone can ride when it's 70F and the roads are clear and dry, but where's the Adventure in that?


"What about the scenery?  You miss all that when riding at night." people ask me.  After about 30 Rustic Roads, a person pretty much has seen the width and depth of the roads.  After 95, I had to find a different challenge.  So, I took the ADVrider challenge as the opportunity for a spring tune-up, tested out my night time photo skills (my Polaroid shots are terrible), tested out some new farkles for '08, and got out of the house while my wife was doing craft projects with her friends.


I headed out at 4pm March 28, 2008 and was back home at 1030pm March 29, including a "rest bonus" of 6 hours.  Through that timeframe I was able to visit 9 of the 12 roads added since I last traveled the Roads in 2002.  Plus, I got to ride a few of the roads, and update my photos of those, which were poorly signed back then.  That puts the total roads I have ridden at 104.  I did not have time for RR99 or RR96, so they were taken out of the line-up.  I actually got to RR105 and rode a little of it.  Below is the photo of a recognizable intersection; but the combination of 18F, midnight, ice patches in the dark, and gravel was enough for me to turn around after a short distance.  I can revisit these later in the year.

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Rustic Roads at Midnight


When the temperature dropped to 18F and it was midnight, my brain got a little foggy.  My Gerbings couldn't quite keep up.  That's when I decided to get a room.

Early Spring on the Roads

Near Coloma, Wisconsin

Rustic Road 102 had a portion of its use as a snowmobile trail during the winter.  Some areas could almost still be in use.

Early Spring on the Roads

Near Meridean, Wisconsin

RR107 would be a beautiful Rustic Road... any other time of the year.  The shaded parts of this road were solid ice.

Rustic Road 98

Near Danbury, Wisconsin

Here's the Wing and Water, with wings in the background.  The bike is in full battle mode too.

Rustic Road 97

Middle Inlet, Wisconsin

Here I am in full battle gear.  This was the first of the RRs ridden this weekend.  The blue sky distracts from the fact the temperature was 39F and falling.

Rustic Road 98

Near Danbury, Wisconsin


Rustic Road 100

Mercer, Wisconsin

This road was seriously twisty and in poor condition.  Add to that it was covered with spring-thaw sand.  The stars in the sky add a nice touch, don't you think?

Rustic Road 101

Dresser, Wisconsin


Rustic Road 102

Near Coloma, Wisconsin

This road did not have the Rustic Road signs up yet.  So, I tried to document my location as best I could within one photo.  The landmarks were so far apart it makes it difficult to verify by photo.

Rustic Road 102

Coloma, Wisconsin

Fortunately, there was an intersection sign part of the way through the Road.


Rustic Road 103

Near East Farmington, Wisconsin

This would be a very scenic road in the summer.  Unfortunately, my eyes were focused on the slick sand a mile after this photo.  Hard packed gravel can actually be a little greasy when wet.

Rustic Road 104

Near Dalton, Wisconsin

Another RR that did not have signage.  This challenged my nighttime photography skills.  Since Team Strange uses Polaroid photos, I tried and tried to make it work, but could only come up with marginally acceptable photos.

Rustic Road 105

Middle of Nowhere, Northern Wisconsin

The nearest cities are 15 miles west and 20 miles east.  There are no official signs to indicate this is the place.  Only intuition found it in the middle of the night.  In this one you can catch a glimpse of the poor mans fuel cell in my saddlebag and my floodlight perched on the back seat.  This shot used a 10 second exposure with a street light nearby.

Rustic Road 106

Horicon Marsh Area, Wisconsin

The City of Fond du Lac made an eerie glow in the background of this photo.  No official signage so I found a recognizable intersection on the RR.  I used a shutter speed of 20 seconds for this one.  In hindsight I should have shut off the truck/saddle bag light too.

Rustic Road 107

Meridean, Wisconsin

No RR signage, but a very convenient intersection signpost to document the north end of the ride.


Rustic Road 79

Near Danbury, Wisconsin

RR79 to RR95 are re-rides from 2002.  The only reason I rode this one was because it is across the street from RR98.


Rustic Road 91

Near Galesville, Wisconsin


Rustic Road 92

River Falls, Wisconsin


Rustic Road 93

Luck, Wisconsin

This one takes a little luck to find when approaching from the city side.

Rustic Road 95

Middle of Nowhere, Northern Wisconsin

The stars were out magnificently at this stop, but I was too cold to be creative and kept moving along.  The lowest temp I had along the way was 16F, and was the lowest temperature I have ridden in to date.

Certificate of Completion


Since the IBA and Team Strange don't just "take your word for it", I'd be remiss if I did not show the documentation.  For this weekends ride, I also kept a fuel log just to stay in practice.  And, I treated my RR maps like rally sheets, again just for practice.


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