Pedal Power in Baraboo

By Joel Waldinger | November 4, 2021


High school teacher Shelley Mordini will school you on Baraboo’s history. She loves delving into the past and riding a bike. So, she combined her two passions as a tour guide where she can peddle a good story. Using her rickshaw Shelley shows off this Midwestern town steeped in circus history and a few ghosts. She enjoys meeting a lot of interesting people and so far, she’s entertained people from more than 22 countries. Shelley admits, “Some days, I love this more than my husband.”

With all the steep hills in Baraboo the tour requires a lot of peddle power, which is why she invested in a motorized rickshaw to help on those difficult climbs. Shelley said, “One time I had a family of four, which kind of worked out to be 600 pounds and it was a struggle. You can’t just jump into it. You have to be in, in good shape to do it.”

No tour of Baraboo is complete without a visit to the circus grounds. “Circus World, that’s where all the magic is hidden here in Baraboo.” Shelley said, as she peddles around the area where the “The Greatest Show on Earth” started. Baraboo was the winter home to the Ringling Brothers circus from 1884 to 1919. From circus ghosts to grueling hills this pedicab peddler is filled with enthusiasm for this place, “I give them a great show.”

Joel Waldinger

Joel Waldinger

Joel Waldinger is a reporter for the “Wisconsin Life” project and considers a sunset over the “big island” on Manson Lake to be a perfect ending to a day of fishing and fun in the Northwoods. 

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