Tom Hart, who can be found most days at his shop, the Bayfield Bike Route in Bayfield, has detailed maps of favorite rides around the Chequamegon Peninsula. There is at least one for every level of ability. Here are three:
BROWNSTONE/HATCHERY/BLUE VISTA RIDE
This ride is 6 to 7 miles long and almost all flat or downhill, except for one 1 1/2-mile climb. Start at the Bayfield Bike Route, on the west side of Bayfield, and go to Maggie's Restaurant, where you join the Brownstone Trail, 2.6 miles of unpaved old railroad bed. It will take you south to the Port Superior Marina. Turn right up the marina road to Hwy. 13; turn left on Hwy. 13. After about 200 yards, turn right onto Hatchery Road and head up the hill. At the top, turn right on County Road J, and you'll see the Blue Vista Farm. Stop for apples, cider and the chance to wander through a lovely orchard. Then County Road J takes you swooping downhill back to Hwy. 13. (If you want another aerobic workout, turn left at the golf course and ride the winding road back up to the top for some spectacular views of the lake.) When you get back to Hwy. 13, turn left to return to Bayfield.
LITTLE SAND BAY LOOP
This 27-mile route, out and back, is a favorite ride among local cyclists. From Bayfield, follow Hwy. 13 north to Red Cliff. Stay on Hwy. 13 past the Red Cliff marina and casino. Watch for signs indicating County Road K to Little Sand Bay/National Park Headquarters. Follow County Road K for about 5 miles. At about the 4-mile mark, you may want to pull over to visit Waters Edge Nursery and Garden to see the interesting permaculture commune operating there. Turn around and head back up County Road K. Go left on Hwy. 13 for about 21/2 miles. Turn right on Turner Rd. for about 1 1/2 miles through the woods to County Road J. Turn left on J for the famous 3 1/2-mile descent to Bayfield. County Road J ends at Hwy. 13. Turn right and continue for a mile or so back to town.
MOUNT ASHWABAY MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
The Outdoor Education Federation opened 24 miles of cross-country ski trails for mountain biking around the Mount Ashwabay Ski and Recreation Area. Take Hwy. 13 to the ski chalet, 3 miles south of Bayfield. When you get to the ski hill, check the kiosk for a detailed map of the trails. Or stop in at the Bayfield Bike Route before heading out.
Bayfield Bike Route offers detailed maps of the above routes and many others. It also rents bikes (1-715-209-6864; www.bayfieldbikeroute.com.
North Coast Cycling Association offers information on mountain and road biking routes in the area (www. northcoastcycling.org).