Madison, Wisconsin might be one of the best kept secrets for cycling in the United States. This past week The Cycling House hosted our inaugeral Wisconsin camp in Dodgeville just west of Madison, Wisconsin. The camp was a smashing success and campers cycled on some of the best roads I have ridden in The United States. If you are not looking for some challenging terrain you should look else where; but if you like lots of climbing, very low traffic roads, and barns then Wisconsin is the place for you!
The Cycling House was able to offer campers a chance to train for a week, eat great food, and relax at a very affordable rate. Typically camps with The Cycling House are a little more expensive because of first class houses. For this camp we took a different approach and kept the general formula the same but had true camp style accommodations. When you arrived at Bethel Horizons you instantly started to have that long lost feeling of a kid headed to camp. The barn offered all of the necessites; wi-fi, a great kitchen, Hammer Nutriton fuels, a deck with a beautiful views, and a very peaceful setting in the woods of Wisconsin. The setting was the perfect place to log some serious miles and the nearby lake and running trails made Bethel Horizons a mecca for triathlon training!
The weekly schedule at TCH Wisconsin was no different than any of our other camps. The longest option for the campers was nearly 350 miles with over 25,000 feet of climbing. Fortunately the desolate roads, rolling hills and spectacular views were great motivation to add on the extra miles and over extend a little. The camp fell right at the start of everyones summer season so the extra miles will go to good use. A typical ride at camp looked something like this; 60-ish miles, 5000 feet of climbing, 5 vehicle on the roads, 1-2 tractors, and beautiful roads. I can honestly say I have never ridden anywhere in the world that has better less populated roads than Wisconsin. I was totally impressed and Wisconsin will forever be on my radar as a great place to train! Less than 2 miles from the barn we had Governor Dodge State Park which offered a great lake for open water swimming and over 20 miles of great running trails. We made the trip over to the lake nearly every day and campers were able to dial in their open water skills over the course of the week.
Another added benefit was getting a chance to ride a loop of the infamous Ironman Wisconsin bike course. The course loop was the only day in 6 days of cycling that we shuttled (plenty of roads in every direction) and campers were able to get a taste of Ironman Wisconsin or reminisce about racing here. Evenings were spent on the deck of the barn talking about the day and soaking in the last little bits of sunshine after some perfect days of training and great food.
It seems needless to say but we will be returning to Wisconsin in 2013 for sure! If you are considering Ironman Wisconsin or even Ironman racing this is a great opportunity to train and learn. I was able to offer my own personal experiences from racing at the professional circuit with everything from fueling with Hammer Nutriton, pacing, race strategy, etc. Our other full time staffer; Jim Bruskewitz, an Ironman Hawaii podium finisher, Olympic age group world champion, coach and all around good guy offered up his knowledge from over 20 years of racing and coaching in the sport of triathlon. Jim Bruskewitz also works for Hammer Nutriiton and is their expert on electrical stimulation and Compex. Campers had the opportunity to use all of the Hammer Nutrition products and also use Compex over the course of the week and reap the benefits of active recovery.
So mark your calendars, check The Cycling House website for camp dates, and start riding some hills to get ready for TCH Wisconsin 2013! The camp should fall sometime in early June next year. After camp I logged a few extra miles in Madison before I started my Ironman drive back to Montana. Next weekend I will be racing Ironman Coeur D’Alene in Idaho so be on the lookout for my bright green Hammer Nutrition kit. The Cycling House staff will have the next couple of months off and will be based in Montana, if you are in the area be in touch. I hope everyone has a great summer!