The Phil Van Valkenberg CamRock to Glacial Drumlin Connector Bike and Hike Trail dedication and groundbreaking celebration is Sunday, Aug. 1 at from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Winery, 700 Kenseth Way.
The actual groundbreaking ceremony is at 3 p.m. The event will include complimentary soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres, live music by the Trophy Husbands, of Cambridge, and a silent auction.
Van Valkenberg’s parents, Nancy and Bill Van Valkenberg owned and operated Van’s Shoe Store in Cambridge for more than 30 years.
Like many youth of the time, he delivered newspapers by bike around town. After graduating from Cambridge High School in 1963, he attended the UW-Madison.
In 1968, after his motorcycle broke down, Van Valkenberg turned to biking for transportation, igniting a life-long passion for the sport.
He co-founded the Yellow Jersey Bike Co-op in Madison, wrote eight books about cycling in Wisconsin as well as seven editions of the Wisconsin Biking Guide for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
He also helped bring about the Elroy-Sparta State Trail, and helped organize the first Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival in 1983. It is now the second longest-running mountain bike race in the United States, alongside other iconic races and rides such as the Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee and the Steel is Real Ride.
Van Valkenberg has been a leader in Wisconsin’s cycling culture and was inducted into the Wisconsin Bicycle Hall of Fame in 2017.
Despite suffering a debilitating stroke in 2014, he continues to cycle using a tandem recumbent tricycle and remains an inspiration to others to enjoy life and the beauty of Wisconsin, in any way that you can.
More information on the trail dedication event and on the trail project can be found on the Friends of the CamRock to Glacial Drumlin Connector Trail Facebook page.