Thursday came with an unusually early morning for the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a fraternity at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
A dozen of the fraternity members left their house on Langdon St. to start the road trip to East Lansing, Mich., and the Badger match-up against the Michigan State Spartans. The 18th annual Tour de Touchdown will be a blustery 368-mile bike relay to raise money for American Family Children's Hospital.
“I think we’ll run into some bumps in the road, some flat tires," said Jake Russart, a senior from Brookfield. "It’ll be a good bonding experience for our last year here. It will be a good final send-off for us I guess.”
The squad has a game plan to add to the $120,000 raised to date. Each of the dozen will pedal for 10 to 20 miles, then return to the warmth of one of the support vehicles. They have just one bike, and a football autographed by coach Bret Bielema.
If all goes well, they'll reach Milwaukee and board the Lake Express Ferry early Friday morning, then return to the road Saturday morning.
That means another early start to reach Spartan Stadium in time for the 7 p.m. kickoff.