*2019’s 3 Lakes Tour is now completed–watch this page for the 2020: 3 Lakes Tour information*
The 3 Lakes Tour is a three day bicycle event on paved back roads of northwestern Wisconsin. The riding distance is an average of 45 miles per day, over low-traffic roads, with an ever-scenic vista.
The ride begins and ends in Frederic at Coon Lake Park. The first day’s ride is to Shell Lake, then on to Balsam Lake on day two. Each of these towns has an in-town municipal campground within an easy walk of restaurants and taverns for breakfasts and dinners. This is a supported tour with rest and refresh stops provided each day, with a van to carry camping gear and if needed, serving as a sag-wagon.
There is also a two-day option (Saturday/Sunday) that will join up with the rest of the tour midday on Saturday. We are also inviting “day-riders” to join along for any day or half-day segment.
3 Lakes Tour is a fundraising event, organized and hosted by co-sponsors Lake Country Pedalers and Northwest Alliance Community Foundation. These nonprofit organizations support a number of environmental causes and encourage public participation in outdoor activities.
To participate, each rider should register and donate:
Can’t participate from the seat of a bike? Make a donation and you will still be part of this year’s 3 Lakes Tour!
Who are the sponsors for this event? How will the funds raised be used?
- Northwest Alliance Community Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that serves northern Polk and all of Burnett Counties. Its share of the funds raised are directed to our Environmental Fund which makes grants to other nonprofits in our area in support of programs and activities that get people out in the natural environment with the belief that to experience and enjoy nature leads to stewardship of nature.
- Lake Country Pedalers is a 501c3 nonprofit that enhances Burnett County as a bicycling destination, sponsoring organized rides for all age groups and abilities. Its share of the funds raised go towards events, bike trail improvements and development of new biking experiences.
- Please encourage your friends, relatives, coworkers, etc. to contribute on your behalf with online donations. Each rider must register ($30 fee), which goes to pay the event expenses such as the kick-off breakfast, rest stop refreshments, and campground fees, and make a donation.
- Sorry, but refunds cannot be made. Registration fees are spent on event costs. Donations are nonrefundable but go on the causes identified above. The 3 Lakes Tour goes on rain or shine.
What is the mileage for each day’s ride? How difficult is the route?
- The Three Day ride is 42- 47- 44 miles respectively. There is always the possibility that road construction could add or subtract up to four miles on any given day—we will stay on blacktopped roads. If anything, it may feel further as there are hills to ride each day. The roads are generally in good condition with sparse car traffic. There will be a dozen miles on Sunday on the Gandy Dancer State Trail, which has a crushed limestone surface (and no car traffic).
Is this ride suitable for a beginning rider or children?
- Some riding experience and training is needed. You need to able to maintain an average speed of 10 miles per hour and understand and obey the rules of the road for safe biking. Bicycle helmets are required, ear buds are prohibited.
- Forty-five miles each day is a shorter distance than many bike events, but the route is hilly and there is always a possibility of headwinds. Plan to be on the road up to 6 hours or more (rest stops included) each day.
- Last year’s riders ranged in age from 20 to 65. Riders ages 14 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult rider and have a minor waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Not accepting persons under the age of 14 to ride.
What meals are provided? Not provided?
- Provided meals: Friday, breakfast during safely meeting, lunch at midday, plus one rest stop with fruit & energy bars and water bottle refills. Saturday, a morning and an afternoon rest stop (as above) with lunch midday. (Breakfast is provided on Saturday in Frederic for the Two Day riders). Sunday, lunch at midday, plus one rest stop (as above).
- For the other meals there are cafes, restaurants, and taverns not more than 2 blocks from each of the campgrounds. Bring $20-25 per day.
What are the ride options?
- Full Tour. Begins and ends at the Frederic Art Center at Coon Lake in the village of Frederic, Wisconsin. Ride to Shell Lake on Friday, Balsam Lake on Saturday, and back to Frederic on Sunday. We will meet, Friday, beginning at 7 AM for 7:30 breakfast and safety meeting; on the road by 8 AM. Cars can be left at the Art Center.
Registration $30 Suggested minimum donation $75
- Two-Day. Leaves from the Frederic Art Center on Saturday morning to join the other riders by late morning in Clam Falls for the rest of the tour, that is, overnight in Balsam Lake and back to Frederic on Sunday—approximately 45 miles each day. For the Two-Day, we will meet at 8 AM and be on the road by 9 AM.
Registration $30 Suggested minimum donation $75
- Day or Part Day. Day riders are welcome to join along but will need to provide their own transportation to a starting point and from an ending point. It is recommended that these riders join or leave at one of the campgrounds or midday rest stops along the route. The route map will be published in the near future.
Registration $30 Suggested minimum donation $1 per mile
What’s it like to ride on a tour? How do I prepare?
- The route has been chosen for scenic variety—a real tour of rural NW Wisconsin. It’s not a race. Riders will find a pace that suits them, often riding in small groups that space themselves naturally along the route. The amount of time spent at a rest stop is also a personal choice. You will find support, encouragement and camaraderie among your fellow travelers.
- Sign up early and challenge yourself to ride often this summer. To prepare you should ride at least three days a week, beginning with rides of 5, 5, and 10 miles. Then gradually increase the distances each week. If you can mix in a couple of longer rides of 20 to 30 miles by early September, you will be ready. It’s time in the saddle that counts as you prepare, not how fast you ride.
- A van will carry your camping gear (tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, personal gear) but you should plan to carry a raincoat, an extra layer of clothing and spare tube with you on the day’s ride. Pack light and tag your bags. Volunteers will be helping with the loading and unloading.
- The van will also serve as a “sag wagon” that can be pressed into service to give you and your bike a ride in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
- You should also prepare your bike. Consider the ABCs: proper Air in the tires; Brakes, Chain and shifters in proper working order. If any doubt, have your bike checked out by a bicycle mechanic before the ride.
Will I need a trail pass for the Gandy Dancer trail?
- If you are riding the route on Sunday morning, which includes a portion on the trail, and are 16 or older, the answer is yes. The Wisconsin State Trail pass is available locally in several places including our lunch stop on Sunday. The cost is $5 for a day pass or $25 for the calendar year and good for all Wisconsin State Trails.
Other questions? Send an email to: email@example.com