Riding to Indian Lake County Park- Video

I’ve had a few days off between my old job ending and my new job starting. I decided to do a ride that I’ve started several times, but never completed because honestly it was a pretty boring route to ride solo. Thankfully my old co-worker Simone had reached out to see if I was riding yesterday and she joined me for the 40 mile loop to a local outdoor hot spot, Indian Lake County Park.

The route goes up the Highway 12 bike path which goes North of Madison up towards Sauk City. The trail itself terminates before you actually reach Sauk City, which is a bit sad. I’m hoping more land easements will come to connect the entire route to make it more direct. The nice thing about the trail is it is a great way to access some beautiful state natural areas and parks such as Devil’s Lake State Park, Indian Lake, Pafrey’s Glen, and the Merrimac Ferry with its quaint views.

We took the Highway 12 trail up to its end on Raul road, which we found was named something different than what was on our map. Raul took us across Highway 12 and around to Matz road, which spit us out right on Highway 19 across from Indian Lake County Park!

The park was absolutely packed when we arrived, no surprise there as it seems people are finally rediscovering the outdoors thanks to the Covid 19 pandemic. A bit frustrating as someone who enjoyed these places prior to the pandemic, but happy that it will hopefully encourage the state to invest in more natural areas and do some upgrades to some places that need a serious face lift.

The restrooms were open thankfully, so we took a snack/bathroom break, filled our water bottles, and rolled back home. On the way home we stopped into my new home shop Wheel and Sprocket. I needed some more nutrition and ended up picking up some Floyd’s of Leadville CBD recovery gummies as well as some new flavors of Stroopwafels from GU. It also gave me an opportunity to look around the shop and get familiar with some of the products we carry and see how busy the shop was still on the weekends.

I ended my ride in a local park where I shot a good portion of a sort of chat to the camera style vlog. I do a little taste test of the snacks I picked up, talk a bit about life, and a little bit about some of the new gear I’ve been trying out. I’m looking to experiment more with this style of video to add a bit more of my personality versus just talking about a product. We’ll see if I can keep up a regular schedule. It may be tough with starting the new job and I start a new Marketing course through my school this week as well.

Next weekend I am planning on doing a sub 24 hour overnight as a part of the annual Swift Industries Campout event. Almost all of the state parks are booked up, but know from past excursions that if you bike or hike into a state park, you can’t really be turned away. The other option would be to just stealth camp somewhere in the area, which shouldn’t be too difficult as it gets darker early and I’m planning on testing out my bivy set up and bringing my hammock as a back up.

Assuming the weather cooperates, I’ll try to capture that adventure on camera as well!

As always thank you for reading, watching, and supporting the site. Stay safe and sane and of course…EAT WELL, BIKE OFTEN!


If you enjoy the content on this site or on the Spoke Haven YouTube please consider donating a few bucks to help cover costs of site maintenance, filming equipment, and gear purchases for reviews. This site is NOT sponsored or supported by any brands. Any sponsored posts or reviews will be transparent.

Please give a follow on Instagram @spokehaven for daily content posts and updates.Spoke Haven is an independent entity. Content or opinions posted on this site do not reflect those of any shops, companies, or other individuals mentioned on this site.

Picking Up a Damn Barbell

Practicing strict presses. Photo courtesy of CFBD

Never in my life would I have thought that I would call myself a…Cross Fitter. It sounds so pretentious and often when I talk to non-Cross Fitters about Cross Fit, I can see there eyes sort of glaze over.

I know, you’re probably either thinking I joined a fitness cult or you too are a Cross Fitter and will completely relate to what I’m about to say. Either way, I’m just glad you are here to read my ramblings.

I have my friend Mary to thank for getting me to, as my title states, pick up a damn barbell. Mary and her husband joined a Cross Fit gym (aka box) roughly two years ago. Actually, let me back up a bit. I met Mary through working in the cycling industry. We worked for the same company and our departments were literally right next to each other.

We got along almost instantaneously. We had similar taste is beer, music, dogs, food, and also had a love of cycling. Duh, why else would you work in the cycling industry, it’s not like you make millions doing that!

It was no surprise that she also tried to convince me that I would enjoy this Cross Fit thing. I was the person that made fun of Cross Fit. All the YouTube videos of people doing “pull ups” in the air looking like they are doing the worm- no thanks. I had also seen so many Cross Fit lift fail videos that it was easy to say I wanted nothing to do with it.

Fast forward to March of 2017. I had been at a new job for about five months. It was still winter, I was unhappy, and realized I had let myself go. The previous year had been rough. I had started it off thinking I was hitting a nice point in my career in the cycling industry (different place of employment from where Mary and I met), had just been awarded a scholarship through a major cycling company to attend United Bicycle Institute to hone my mechanical skills.

I then came back to then lose my job after being home for only two weeks or so after my training program. Luckily I was able to get a job at a new shop, but my self esteem and my finances had hit an all time low.

I had always struggled with depression, weight that yo-yo’d, getting in and out of shape, and frankly needed to do something about it.

Mary had convinced my partner to finally join the Cross Fit box. She had been putting it off as she had been the primary bread winner and to pay for two people to attend Cross Fit classes is fairly expensive. Once our finances stabilized, we did a two week On Ramp program. I had done personal training in the past, but had never done an Olympic style lift in my life. Deadlifts, OK, I got what those were. Jerks? Cleans? Presses? Split Jerks? Snatches? What? I had no freaking clue what I was doing.

I was glad to see that a woman was teaching the On Ramp. Not that if a guy had taught it, it would have made me change my mind, but there is a sort of bro stigma that comes with working out in general.

Samantha was the coach who was going to get us up to speed with what exactly Cross Fit was and how to properly and safely do the necessary movements. She introduced herself as the fiance to the box owner, Barrett. She also let us know that she did occupational therapy as her full time job. This help put my mind at ease. Clearly she wasn’t going to let us do things that would injury us, as it’s literally her job to help people prevent injury or address injuries they have sustained with movement.

I could not believe how sore and out of shape I was. “I’m a cyclist damnit! Why is this so hard?!” I kept thinking to myself and possibly saying out loud over and over again. While cycling was a great cardio activity, the fact that I often followed it with eating burritos and drinking after doing it was probably cancelling out the benefits of the activity.

Getting instruction from coach Tyler. Photo courtesy of CFBD

After our two weeks, we decided that even though we were the most sore we had ever felt in our lives, Cross Fit would be something we could see doing on a regular basis.

I’m happy to say that eight months later, we are still at it! I personally average 3-4 classes a week depending on my work and school schedule. I’ve seen changes in my physical abilities and appearance. It’s been absolutely incredible and I continue to still really enjoy the challenge that Cross Fit provides me. I also attribute a lot of my success and dedication to the coaches and people who I attend classes with.

Hitting a dead lift PR. Photo courtesy of CFBD

It’s a nice, tight knit community that is welcoming to new people. I plan on writing more about my experiences, specific goals, and personal achievements within Cross Fit, but I thought for starters I would just tell the story of how it was that I got into the sport.

Considering picking up a damn barbell? I’d say give it a try, you may surprise yourself!