Event Information

The Route

Ride to Farm has three route options in 2021. The full-day route is a metric century (100K) and a 3,000 ft. climb, with stops stops at both Grass Dairy/Uplands Cheese and the Cates Family Farm. If you would prefer a shorter ride, half-day routes are available in the morning and afternoon, with a farm stop on each ride (see "Half Day Ride Options," below). The half-day routes are about 30 miles each. Please let us know on your registration questionnaire which of the three options you plan to ride so we can accommodate you.

Free parking is available at Birch Lake Park. Directions and parking information, including instructions for half-day riders, are available here.

Riders check in from 7:40am-8:30am the day of the event. We will stop for a locally sourced outdoor lunch from approximately 11:00am-1:00pm (about halfway through the ride) just south of Spring Green at the Riverview Terrace Cafe.

Additionally, we will have rest stops on two grass-based farms. On both farms, participants can relax while sampling locally produced cheese, milk and other treats.

  • Grass Dairy/Uplands Cheese,  is a grazing dairy near Dodgeville, WI. Andy Hatch, Master Cheese Maker at Uplands Cheese, is a graduate of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy & Livestock Farmers (WSBDF) and Grass Dairy farmer Scott Mericka is on the WSBDF Steering Committee. Andy produces award winning cheese, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, made from grass-milk during the grazing season and Scott milks his mixed herd well suited to being on pasture.
  • Cates Family Farm, is a grass-based beef farm just south of Spring Green, WI.  Owner/operators, Eric & Kiley Cates and Dick & Kim Cates are the heart and soul of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy & Livestock Farmers (WSBDF). Dick Cates started the school back in 1995 and Directed and taught courses until 2018 when he retired from UW Madison. Eric Cates (Dick's son) has been supportive and hosted many student tours on the farm since then.

Our route is located in the rolling hills of Wisconsin's Driftless Region and includes steep climbs. If you are not in shape for a hilly, 60+ mile ride, you might want to consider a half-day ride option (morning or afternoon).

Ride map (This is the 2021 updated "Ride with GPS" map! Two route options - one avoids any cycling on military ridge trail)

These are preliminary maps; the route may be slightly different. We will provide you with a cue sheet the day of the ride.


Half Day Ride Options

If you do not wish to ride the entire route, you are welcome to begin or end your ride at the Riverview Terrace Cafe, in the Frank Lloyd Wright Vistor Center, just south of Spring Green.

The morning half-day route is about 33 miles with about 1,200 feet of elevation gain. It starts at Birch Lake Park and ends at the Riverview Terrace Cafe just south of Spring Green, with a stop at Grass Dairy/Uplands Cheese.

The afternoon half-day ride is about 30 miles with about 1,800 feet of elevation gain. It starts at the Riverview Terrace Cafe just south of Spring Green and ends at Birch Lake Park, with a stop at the Cates Family Farm.

If you are starting your ride at the Riverview Terrace Cafe, please plan to arrive by noon and check in with a ride organizer. Directions and parking information are available here.


Rider Support

This is a partially supported ride. Water and snacks will be available at the farm stops. We strongly recommend that you bring two water bottles and plenty of sunscreen.

Lunch is at the Riverview Terrace Cafe just south of Spring Green, about halfway through the ride. Feel free to bring your lunch or eat at the cafe. There will be locally sourced food for lunch, likely hand-held pizzas! 

We will have volunteers in vans and on bikes who can help in an emergency. Please be prepared to fix your own flats—bring an extra tube or a patch kit, a pump or air canister, and tire irons or other tools as needed.

For safety reasons, all riders must wear helmets. We ask that participants ride single file on busy roads.



All riders age 12 and older must register on this website. Your information will be stored securely, and will not be shared. There is no registration fee; however, all riders age 12 and older must raise a minimum of $100 by June 2nd to participate in Ride to Farm. See "Fundraising," below, for details.

Riders can form teams! Each team must raise at least $100 per team member to participate in Ride to Farm. We'll have prizes for both the teams and individuals who raise the most money.

Ride to Farm is limited to 100 riders. Registration will close when we reach the 100-rider limit or midnight, June 2nd, whichever comes first. (Children under age 12 do not have to register or collect pledges, and are not included in the rider limit. For more information, see "Children," below.)


Registered riders must print and sign a waiver for the event, in addition to the online waiver checked at registration. You will need a separate waiver for each rider in your party, including children. Please download, print and sign this waiver, and bring it with you to the ride. (We'll have copies of the waiver available at the ride, but doing this ahead of time will speed up your ride check-in.)

Each registered rider will receive a t-shirt and free gifts from our sponsors. If you wish to purchase shirts for non-riders or a Ride to Farm jersey, read on...


Extra T-Shirts and Jerseys

Would you like to order an extra t-shirt or an official Ride to Farm jersey? You can order them using the Ride to Farm order form (coming soon). You will need to pay by check and send it via snail mail; instructions are on the form. These items cannot be purchased online. Extra shirts will be available for purchase the day of the event (cash or check only, please).

Each registered rider age 12 or older will receive a t-shirt. You do not need to send in this form unless you want extras for kids or non-riders.

Note: Women's shirts are not pre-shrunk. You might want to order up a size to accommodate shrinkage.


After the Ride

At the end of the ride, we will gather at Birch Lake Park for an Award Ceremony around 3pm. Please come enjoy beverages, snacks, relaxation and camaraderie. Riders' families are welcome to join the festivities. Participants can grill out after the ride (bring your own grillables).


This year, due to COVID restrictions, kids are not welcome to participate in Ride to Farm. Tag along bikes and bike trailers are not permitted. Please keep in mind that this ride is on county and state highways, and the route is hilly. There are a few stretches on busy roads. You are responsible for the safety of your children (if they come just to the start/stop location for example). In a normal year, you would be responsible for transporting your children if they could not complete the ride.

Also in normal years, there would be no fundraising requirement for children under age 12. Children age 12 and older must register as adults and meet the $100 fundraising requirement. They will receive a t-shirt.



All riders age 12 and older are required to raise $100 in order to participate in this event. IF YOU DO NOT MEET THIS GOAL BY June 2nd, 2020 YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RIDE.

We strongly encourage riders to exceed this fundraising goal and to form rider teams. We have fabulous prizes for both individuals and teams that raise the most money. Learn more here. Winners will be announced at the end of the ride.

When you register for Ride to Farm, you will be asked to set a fundraising goal. You will also get a personal fundraising web page and tools to achieve this goal. See "Your Personal Fundraising Page," below, for details. A paper pledge form is available here.

Donations will support the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers and be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • Tuition scholarships and internship expenses
  • Scholarships for student travel to conferences
  • Honoraria for farmers who help teach this course
  • Short-term and long-term support for the school through staff salary and its endowment at the UW-Madison.

Donations will go to the University of Wisconsin Foundation and are tax deductible.


Your Personal Fundraising Page

When you register on this website, you will be required to provide a username and password. You will use these to log on to your personal fundraising page. You will also need to create a Personal Web Link by choosing a nickname that will become part of the website address for your personal fundraising page. For example, if you chose the nickname "jerseygirl," your personal website would be "http://ridetofarm.dojiggy.com/jerseygirl." Friends and family can use this link to access your site directly and make pledges.

Your personal fundraising page includes a pledge goal, a statement about Ride to Farm and an optional picture/image. You can edit this information through your Pledge Control Panel, which can be accessed from this website by clicking on the "Login" link at the top of each page. More information on using your personal fundraising page is available here.