Riding Dane Co.

Great Breakfast - Market St. Diner
dwm photo
Every once in a while I start a ride via parachute.

Not an actual parachute, more of a metaphorical parachute.

Which is how I landed at the Market Street Diner in Sun Prairie for breakfast recently.

Crisp bacon, delicious oatmeal, and some chocolate milk; plus a full water bottle thanks to a very kind server and I was off.

In front of VFW post 4383 on Co. C
(dwm)
There was a favorable wind, and that can be all the difference.

Market Street, Sun Prairie was the starting point, then I headed west on Main Street.  A couple of direction changes and it was on to Hoepker.  Hoepker is a mix of country road and growing retail. I rode it end to end then turned left.

Just over a mile later, after passing VFW Post 4383 and an impressive Independence Day display of American Flags, the runways of Truax Field were on my left.

Marina where the Yahara River
flows into Lake Mendota.  (dwm)
Then came a turn north and a zig-zag putting me on Westport Road.

The two lane road clings to the edge of Lake Mendota.  It is mostly marsh for several miles before the Yahara River passes under a bridge and widens into a marina full of boats.

One of the busiest parts of the ride is County M as it winds across the north side of the lake before curving west into and out of Middleton heading to Verona and east to Oregon.

Pheasant Branch Stream  (dwm)
Thankfully, the cars stayed in their lane and I stayed in mine, without incident or concern.

While the road is near water, its elevation keeps the lake mostly out of view.  That and some very, very nice homes getting the view.

In Middleton, there was a jog off road on a smooth ribbon of asphalt in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.  Walkers I met had just seen three deer and were excitedly recapping the encounter.

Notice the stepping stones
on edge of falls. I crossed
to the right on the ford. (dwm)
Most of the Conservancy is part of a large and naturally wild piece of land north of Century Avenue.  But it stretches across the city in a natural band of land either side of Pheasant Branch, a small stream which is very active now thanks to recent rain.

Meanders of the creek take it across the path many times.  There are bridges, of course.  But fords, too!  Where the creek stair-steps down, builders fortified it and laid a concrete path six feet behind each drop.

Joy spread like ripples across my face as I created my own wake during a slow-speed crossing.  I was less than five miles from home and had my highlight.

33 miles.  15.5 average speed.