RAW begins in Dubuque and ends in Kenosha. With incredible ride support from Wheel & Sprocket and some of the best rest stops anywhere, RAW gives you a chance to ride from the Mississippi to Lake Michigan, coast to coast, 175 miles across the greatest state for cycling in one day or two.
We start in Dubuque because we need a start location with plenty of hotel rooms along the Mississippi, and the route along our southern border is the shortest distance across the state. With a 6 AM roll-out and 13 hours and 12 minutes of daylight on August 26th, most riders were able to finish the 175 mile route with daylight left. Remember this is a ride, not a race. Follow all the rules of the road and be an ambassador for cycling. Keep a steady pace, ride with a group you feel comfortable with and you should have a great (long) day in the saddle.
For the route, we cherry picked 175 miles of the scenic, paved, low traffic roads that Wisconsin is famous for. You will get most of the route’s 6,800 feet of climbing out of the way in the first 85 miles, then you can take it easier as the road levels out for the next 30 miles or so. We offer two exceptional lunch stops, one in Monroe and the other in Beloit. For riders who choose the two day option, beautiful Riverside Park in Beloit is the last stop for the day.
The road tips up slightly for the next 30 miles out of Beloit, but the grade is easy and gradual. Then the last 45 miles are pretty much downhill from Lake Geneva all the way to the finish in Kenosha at the beach in Simmons Island Park on Lake Michigan! Feel free to take part in a tradition and dip your wheel in Lake Michigan, or jump in yourself if it is hot. Also waiting for you at the finish is an endless supply of delicious Italian bombers and pizza from DeRango’s, The Pizza King. You can wash it down with a cold one from Public Craft Brewing in your a commemorative finisher gift.
The thought behind RAW was to create an epic, challenging, but fun and doable ride across Wisconsin that people from across the country will add to their cycling bucket list. We have done everything we can to ensure you complete your ride with an ear to ear grin on your face:
Whether you opt to Ride Across Wisconsin in one day or two, your pre-RAW training is the is key to a successful day. When Jens was asked at the finish if he wanted to come back this year he said “Yes, but I will train more next time!” If a recently retired professional cyclist thinks he needs to train for RAW, you probably do too.
To help you, Bob Hanisch of P3-Peak Performance Professionals has created this suggested training program.
If you decide to do the two day option, we will transport your overnight bag to Beloit for you and then back to Kenosha. You can stay in one of the nearby host hotels, with optional shuttle service provided. See our Transportation and Hotel page for important details and locations. The host hotels are all a few blocks from the start at Fruzen School on Sunday morning to make for an easy way to get the group together for an 8am official departure.
The two day option means you ride about 100 hilly miles the first day and 75 mostly flat to downhill miles to the finish in Kenosha the second day. We will have an earlier, but basically the same finish line party waiting for you when you get done.
Wondering whether you should sign up for the one day or the two day? Last year the fastest group finished in a little over 8 hours and the last riders came in after 14 hours. If you are worried about finishing in one day, consider the two-day option. Below are some considerations beyond your personal fitness and training plans.
If you ride at a comfortable pace in a group and take turns at the front, you will have a much easier time finishing with some gas in the tank. Do not push yourself outside your comfort zone. This ride is long and difficult, but you should always have a smile on your face and be able to hold a conversation with someone next to you. The rest stop schedules are based on riders averaging between 12 mph up to 20+ mph.
It gets easier as you go
The hardest part of the Ride Across Wisconsin is in the first 100 miles. Riders complete all of the big climbs when they are most fresh. After Beloit, the climbs are all very gradual, and almost the entire distance from Lake Geneva to Kenosha is downhill or flat. Because we give you a map, GPS coordinates and the route is also extremely well marked, you won’t get lost or have to worry about where the next turn or when you will get to a rest stop.
We provide high performance nutrition and unparalleled mechanical support from Wheel & Sprocket and Dream Bikes. There will be plenty of crews of top mechanics riding along in support vehicles so you will never have to wait long for help should you need it. We ask that riders bring a tube, pump and multitool along, but we have you covered for all minor and even major roadside repairs.
Check out our recommended RAW training plan here. The plan was developed by P3-Peak Performance Professionals.
You have plenty of time to train for this ride. Get some good base miles on. Be sure to get some 75 mile days in or even an easy century ride or two. It would be a good idea to take an advance trip the the Driftless region and log some long days in the hills too.
P3 is the area’s premier endurance and fitness training center, bringing together highly experienced fitness and wellness professionals from a wide spectrum of disciplines. This team is led by Bob Hanisch, former Head Coach for USA Triathlon and a man who has devoted nearly three decades to helping athletes of every level reach their performance and fitness goals. In addition, Bob is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Mount Mary University, teaching both Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition in the Graduate Dietetics Program.
Just opt for the two day if you are still concerned. And we will have sag drivers out on the route riding sweep to help anyone who needs a lift, so you will never be stranded.