Groundbreaking Phil Van Valkenberg

Phil van Valkenberg introduced me to riding the back roads of Wisconsin. My bike was the key to independence as a child, became my transportation later, but Phil’s 1974 book “Wisconsin Bike Trips” (complete with maps) opened my eyes to a new world of riding. I soon discovered that the state published a county-by-county map book of all rural roads – now there were no limits.

Phil’s maps led me to the back roads, inspired me to load my bike with camping gear to tour, and ultimately led me to ride across the country in 2018. Now it is time for a new groundbreaking.

In addition to the ground-breaking ceremony for the new trail named in his honor, Phil is selling some old bikes to raise funds for the trail. The bikes include the 1977 Exxon Graftek pictured above. This was one of the first readily available carbon fiber bikes. I remember looking at it at Yellow Jersey – I’m not sure if it’s the same one Phil bought. If you’re a fan of drillium, check it out. The 1940 Hetchins has a Reynolds frame, drop bars, and Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub. He also has a Sekai 5000 – a 1975 steel road bike weighing in at 18.5 pounds – check out the cable routing – you can see it (and the others) on eBay.