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Submitted by Steve Meurett

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There is a simple joy in having the chance to get out and do a relaxing ride, where there is no need to rush here or there afterwards. Every once and a while I get one of those rides. Sometimes exploring trail alone is a good thing too. Soft pedaling when you want to, stopping at anytime just because and riding singletrack that donít always make the ďmust-doĒ list are possibilities when there is only one rider making those choices.

I love riding with friends as well, especially folks Iíve met over the years who live out of town and swing in to enjoy my home trail from time to time. Iíve always enjoyed those friendships. The other day, some of those mountain bike maniacs had already completed their ride, would be waiting in their campsite at Levis Mound when I returned. Awesome! It would be a chance to catch up on things, talk bikes and trails and anything that filters in to the conversation.

Lloyd is a kingpin behind the fantastic trails at Nicolet Roche-one of the most unique places in Wisconsin near Langlade. Glacial till has left behind giant boulders for them to work with. The trail winds through around and over these van size beasts and makes for a challenging ride.

More on cycling: Cycling news from around the state | Your cycling photos | Create a map for your next cycling trip | Tim Campbell's blog | Never Quite Enough blog | Michele Rides Again blog

Also at my post ride gathering was Butch, another trail building instigator (and monster fat bike rider) from Lake Geneva. Iíve not ridden there is a long time, but knowing Butchís skills, the trail will be anything but easy.

Another Steve occupies the third lawn chair around the campfire. A Medford native via Arizona and a guy who probably rides more trail than anyone I know. I think his life revolves around toting his bikes around in his pick-up, seeking out the closest trail his rig may be traveling by. Luckily, the aging pick-up swings by the Levis trails frequently. Heís also a trail builder and has worked hard to get riding opportunities in the Medford area-no easy task when working with county, state and national forest land managers.

With a unique group like this, our talk usually evolves around trails and trail building. Steve is probably about the most appreciative rider out there in respecting work volunteer builders do and we hit hard on the topic of opening up more riding opportunities. There is good natured banter about what problems we have designing and constructing trails, but mostly time is spent on which ones we love the most-that have given us the best rides. The subject can change quickly from singletrack to bikes to races and beer. Itís all good and laughter fills in any lull in the conversation. A totally relaxing way to end a ride day. Although solitary rides can cleanse the bike riding soul, sharing the trail or tales of the trail have an equal place and is why I ride and build. Lloyd, Butch and Steve all headed out the following day to bang out more miles on singletrack in other parts of the state but I was glad for their visit here, and look forward to rolling fat tires over dirt the next time weíre together.

Steve Meurett lives, works and plays in West Central Wisconsin and spends about every free moment outdoors where his passions lie. His outdoor interests take him on and off trail, pursuing mountain biking and skinny skiing, photography and hunting, while keeping an eye on wild mushrooms and the next fruit for craft wine. Steve is the Trail Director at The Levis Mound Trail System and member of the Clark County Trails Advisory Committee. He resides, teaches and is a photographer in Neillsville. Steve can be reached at steve@meurett.com.

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