Thursday, December 9, 2010


The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is organizing a cross country ski race in conjunction with their Winter Festival on Saturday, January 8, 2011. They asked Vernon Trails to partner with them to make the event happen. The race, The Dam FUNSKI, will offer a 1-3 K course for kids and a 10 K course for adults. It will take place at the KVR dam site located just outside of La Farge and will start at 10 am and should finish no later than noon. They need us to take charge on race day: parking, racer check-in, start, timing, logistics, course stations, recovery station, finish, awards, etc. This race will be a Vernon Trails fundraiser. Let me know if you’re willing and available to volunteer.
Call Pete at Bluedog Cycles 637-6993
Or Email us at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Twinkle Fest Parade

Calling all riders and parade lovers!

The Twinkle Fest Parade is quickly approaching the town of Viroqua, and Bluedog Cycles is looking for parade riders. Every year, on the Friday night after Thanksgiving we decorate our bikes, don our warm wears, and ride our trusted two-wheeled steeds through the streets of Viroqua as the most enthusiastic group in the Twinkle Fest Parade. This year we will be meeting in the large parking lot behind Nelson’s Agri-Center right next to the Warehouse (look for the Bluedog Cycles white van) at 6:45pm to do our pre-ride warm-ups and practice our choreographed riding tricks. As always, the best decorated rider/bike will be rewarded with a gift certificate from your favorite local bike shop. After the parade, we will head to the shop for a little party. Please pass this along to anyone that you think might enjoy being in a parade, and we’ll see you on Friday night.

Happy Thanksgiving from our staff and please eat responsibly.

Pete Taylor
Volunteer Board President
Vernon Trails, Inc

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sidiefest 2010 and Map!

On Saturday, September 25th, Vernon Trails hosted their 5th annual Sidiefest at Sidie Hollow County Park. Over 50 volunteers arrived ready to do various trail work tasks in the morning and worked until mid-afternoon. Over 250 hours of volunteer work was logged and trail maintenance tasks included raking, brush cutting, invasive species eradication, and bench cutting.

The event, which always falls on National Public Lands Day has logged over 1000 volunteer hours, seen 300+ volunteers, and produced 9 miles of wonderful “shared-use” trails for all park visitors to enjoy. Over the past four years Vernon Trails has been working closely with Vernon County Parks to create a trail network that has become an invaluable resource for the community and a considerable draw to silent sports enthusiasts from a much broader regional scope.

After the work day concluded, volunteers were invited to stay for a barbeque, a door prize raffle, and entertainment from four local bands. Over 150 people attended the event to “play in the park” for the day. Several attendees stayed to camp for the night and have a big pancake breakfast on Sunday. Guided trail tours were given by bike and foot after breakfast and the new sections of trail were “stomped down”.

Vernon Trails would like to thank the many, many volunteers who showed up to work in the woods, the great bands that entertained us, The Cakery, The Viroqua Food Co-op, Organic Valley and Central Waters for the food and drink, Dairyland Printing, Bluedog Cycles, Mt Borah for their continued support, door prize schwag, and the use of their cool shuttle van, Human Powered Trails (of La Crosse) for the use of their trail tools, and the tireless friends who help out all year long with the random volunteer efforts.

Trail work will continue well into the fall at Sidie Hollow as well as on the 150 acres of private land that Vernon Trails is building upon. The long term vision is to connect the Sidie Hollow trail network all the way back to the town of Viroqua. Please contact Vernon Trails for more information on how to become a volunteer or to make your tax deductible donation to the non-profit group so we can continue to create this silent sports paradise.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SidieFest 2010

Hello Fellow Trail Enthusiasts!

This weekend is Vernon Trails 5th Annual Sidiefest out at Sidie Hollow County Park. Join us Saturday to and help clean up our county park trails and enjoy in a family fun celebration including food, drink, live music by great local talent, and free camping! Sunday morning we offer a pancake breakfast and trail stomp!  Sidiefest is a true Community builder!

Any questions please call 608-637-6993!

See you Saturday!

Pete Taylor
Volunteer Board President
Vernon Trails, Inc.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

IMBA Visit and New Trail!!

Hello Friends

The IMBA visit went great!  We learned a lot, heard a lot of really great things, opened some political doors, built some beautiful trail, and made some new friends.  We have a lot to talk about and digest, and I'm really excited about it.

Check out the blog entry posted by  Chris and Leslie of the IMBA Trail Care Crew below:

On the Trail with IMBA

Click HERE to view more pictures from the visit.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm.

Pete Taylor
Volunteer Board President
Vernon Trails Inc.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

IMBA Trail Care Crew Visit

Hello All, 

As some of you may know, Vernon Trails has been selected by the International Mountain Bicycling Association to receive a visit from their Trail Care Crew. Clubs all over the country apply for a visit and we were approved. This is a great honor and opportunity for our community. We have been building some phenomenal “shared use” trails here in Vernon County for the past 5 years and now we get to learn the latest techniques from the pros. In addition, the IMBA crew will be giving a great presentation on the Economic Benefits of mountain biking and shared use trails. I invite you all to join in this unique opportunity. Below is a schedule for the four day visit, you are welcome to attend part or all of this. Please RSVP for which sessions you will be attending. You can respond via email at or call Bluedog Cycles at (608) 637-6993 or Vernon Trails at (608) 637-2072. Please pass this along to any interested parties.

Pete Taylor
Volunteer Board President
Vernon Trails, Inc


Thursday: IMBA arrives in the afternoon and possibly gets out for a ride to check out the local trails and get a feel for the local vibe.

Friday: Economic Development of Natural Surface Trails Presentation. This meeting is open to the community. I have been/will be inviting City officials, County officials, Tourism Committee, Viroqua Partners, and local business owners to this meeting.

The Economic presentation's agenda is as follows:

  • Introduction to IMBA
  • Value of Singletrack Trails
  • Economics of Singletrack Trails
  • Success Stories
  • Q and A / Discussion
Please pass along the invitation to anyone you think should attend. The meeting is going to be held at 9:00am at WWTC in Viroqua, Room 115. After the meeting the trail crew will head out for Trail Layout, then we possibly ride and/or socialize in evening.

Saturday: Trail Building School from 9:00 am to Noon.  Lunch is provided by the club.
Field session from 1:00 to 4:00 or 5:00 (4 hours of trail building is usually plenty for most folks).

Sunday: Group Ride. This is usually the time to get the riding on and put the trail talk on the shelf.

Here is the presentation agenda for Saturday's Trail Building School:


Powerpoint Presentation: IMBA Trailbuilding School

Who is IMBA?

Trailbuilding Theory
Historical Perspective
Modern Perspective
The Contour Trail

Essential Elements of Sustainable Trails
Water Based Erosion
User Based Erosion

Designing Successful Trails - System Planning
Understanding User Groups
Control Points
Stacked Loop Systems
Effective Signage
Understanding Flow

Trail Construction Basics
Corridor Clearing
Full Bench Construction
Advanced Trail Construction - rock work, turns, & drainage crossings

Maintenance Basics
Reroutes and reclamation

Butter Churn Bike Tour

Hello Bicycle Enthusiasts!

The fourth Annual Butter Churn Bike tour is right around the corner. This is a great event in conjunction with the Organic Valley Kickapoo Country Fair. This event is on Saturday July 24, 2010. This is a well supported tour. We offer a 20 mile, 40mile, and 80 mile ride. All participants receive a free ticket to enter the Kickapoo Country Fair.

Come and enjoy the beautiful scenery and join us for this year’s Butter Churn!

To register go to, or contact Alycann at 608-637–2072 to register, or to volunteer.  If you don’t want to ride, we can always use volunteer help!

Happy Riding,
Alycann Taylor
Vernon Trails Volunteer

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bluedog Cycles group ride schedule

Hello fellow riders!

Many of you have been out riding this season and may be wondering if and when your friends are out there riding as well. Here is Bluedog's most updated list of rides broken down to days, times, road or mountain, and abilities. All rides leave from the shop at 210 South Main Street in Viroqua. Please pass this information along to anyone you think might be interested.

Monday at 5:30 Road Ride- This is open to all and a welcomed new addition. The ride is going between 15 and 30 miles at a nice casual "conversation" pace (12-15 miles per hour).

Tuesday at 6:00 No Woman left behind Road Ride- This is for the ladies only and our biggest group ride to date. This ride is for ALL abilities and always concludes at a local watering hole.

Thursday at 5:30 Road Ride- This is a 30-50 mile ride at 17 to 19 miles per hour. We will usually average about 17 mph overall but there are always faster sections, especially when approaching a town line sprint. We will regroup a couple of times throughout the ride when necessary.

Friday at 6:00 Friday Night Lights Mountain Bike Ride- This is a new one. This is for everyone who wants to ride the great local "singletrack" we've built. Check in with us by Friday at 2:00 and we will let you know where we are riding. Don't let the name fool you, we still have plenty of light to get a great off road ride in. We will continue this one though as we roll into Autumn and the days shorten, so be thinking light systems.

We hope to see you all out there, and please call the shop (637-6993) with any questions.

Pete and Alycann Bluedog Cycles

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Schedule Of Events

Mark your calendars! Vernon Trails is gearing up for another busy summer with plenty of fun events. One of the highlights of this summers schedule is the IMBA Trail Care Crew visit the weekend of July 22nd. We have been blessed with an opportunity for them to come to our corner of the world to help us with our trail building efforts. More information about these and other events will be posted here - stay tuned!

May 15th - Syttende Mai Bike Tour - Westby
June 12th - Viroqua Community Bike Ride
July 9-11 - Camp Bluedog
July 22-25 - IMBA Trail Care Crew visit
July 24th - Butter Churn Bike Tour
September 25-26 - SidieFest
October 2nd - Dam Challenge Triathlon

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Discover Wisconsin - "Door to the Driftless Area" to air this weekend

The Discover Wisconsin crew made a visit to our area some time ago to film a segment for the show. The show, entitiled "Door to the Driftless Area", will air this weekend, Feb 27th & 28th. Check here for local TV listings. For most of us, it will air on WXOW TV 19 - LaCrosse at 5:00PM on Sunday Feb 28th.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Syttende Mai Bike Tour - May 15th 2010

Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes great road bike riding here in the coulee region. The first of two Vernon Trails bike tours will once again coincide with Westby's Syttende Mai Festival scheduled for May 15th 2010.
Register online here.