Celebrating the Fabulous Phil Van Valkenberg!
Dear Readers: Many months ago, the great, cycling-dedicated and all around good guy Phil Van Valkenberg called me out of the blue to pitch a story on the CamRock Trail expansion. There may be someone out there in combination as modest and accomplished as Phil, but not many. Despite all he has been through, cancer, stroke – the man kept asking how I was doing, extolling Cambridge, Rockdale, and the trail. Also, the area’s history and the people of the Dane County Chamber. Phil’s life partner, Georgia, had to provide me with the history on Phil.
This led to the fabulous story and its sidebar in the Silent Sports Magazine‘s April 2021 issue – A Path Worth Pursuing: CamRock County Park Trail Project to Connect Outdoor Enthusiasts Across Southern Wisconsin, by contributors Samantha Haas and Mike Repyak. (Thank you both!)
That April issue also has a profile on Phil in The Front Page. Phil made it clear that he would like the new trail connection named for Gaylord Nelson, former Governor, U.S. Senator, environmentalist, and founder of Earth Day. Phil still values with all his heart that Nelson provided a dedication / introduction to one of Phil’s books, Bicycle Escape Routes, saying, “I’ll never forget he did that for me.”
But, the powers that be thought otherwise, and dedicated the new and beautiful connector trail in Phil’s name. And, on August 1, 2021, a dedication ceremony and party will honor Mr. Phil Van Valkenberg. And how so very right that is!
Here is more information from the organizers:
Here is the basic information about dedication of the new Phil Van Valkenberg Trail. There may be more information about who will be speaking at the ceremony. Also, Phil is donating 3 of his vintage bikes to be auctioned off for the fund raiser for the second trail. Those bikes as well as my almost never ridden custom Waterford will be put up on ebay a couple weeks before the dedication with ebay auction ending on the day of the event. Photos and more information about the bikes to follow.