Surly Now Offers $150 Off Any New Surly Bike

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Surly posted a blog this morning that includes a $150 coupon for any in stock complete Surly bike, valid at any US Surly dealer.

As a popular bike touring and all around utilitarian bike brand, Surly gets inundated with sponsorship requests from folks looking to tour the world by bike. With this in mind, Surly decided to run a promotion for “Superfans” of the brand that would help get them rolling on a new Surly of their choice.

We think it’s an awesome idea. There are many “mainstream” brands that run seasonal sales on their bikes, but you rarely see that from more niche bike brands. We’re super stoked that Surly decided to run this promotion. We’re obviously huge fans of the brand and love their take on how bikes and bike related accessories/clothing should be designed.

So, print of that damn coupon and go get yourself a cool new bike 😉

p.s. Surly also just released their new 650b version of the Straggler. Yay for no toe overlap!

Madison Bike Winter and Women & Bicycles Madison Want to Teach You How to Ride in the Cold!

There’s not one, but TWO fantastic opportunities for Madison area cyclists to learn about cold weather riding. The first is Madison Bike Winter’s Annual Fashion Show. The fashion show is open to the public and is being hosted at Machinery Row Bicycles.

The show starts at 5pm this Sunday and is BYOB!
Fashions covered in the show will include everything form high-tech, top notch new items from a variety of manufacturers to great D.I.Y style outfits and finds from your local thrift store.

Click the photo for more info!

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The second event is being hosted by the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Women & Bicycles, and Spoke Haven.

Join us November 12th (Wednesday)
7pm at the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Madison Office

There’s a Women’s Winter Bike Panel consisting of ladies who work in the local cycling industry or have extensive experience with year round bike riding.

Topics covered will include clothing choices, accessories for on the bike, what types of bikes work best for winter riding, and any other topics attendees care to talk about. There will be a short introduction and overview from each of the panel members, then the rest will be open discussion time to allow for a range of questions.

Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for all attendees. There’s also a small raffle package that each attendee will automatically be entered to win with some bike related goodies to get you on your way to riding through the winter!

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Madison New Belgium Clips Recap

New Belgium’s Clips Beer & Film tour is something Wisconsin bikies look forward to every summer. Unfortunately this year’s Madison event got rained out thanks to the crazy tornadic weather we had. Luckily the Bike Fed was able to reschedule the event in a location that couldn’t get rained out. The event found a home at the Majestic Theater in downtown Madison.

We decided to ride to the event, so a few of us hopped on our bikes from the west side of town and made our way to the awesome bike corrals housed on King St. Once locked up, we hit up the ATM to pay the $5 donation to enter the event. We were greeted by a wonderful beer list consisting of New Belgium favorites as well as some unique options. I decided on the Salted Belgian Chocolate stout. It was quite delicious! The best part about the Clips event is that your beer consumption equals a donation to the Bike Fed. A dollar of each beer went back to the Bike Fed, so not only does New Belgium benefit from the sales, our favorite non-profit does as well.

The merch table had an awesome selection of Bike Fed swag as well as New Belgium clips swag. There were t-shirts, bottle openers, bike jerseys, and posters. If I didn’t already have the world’s biggest collection of bike themed t-shirts, I would have picked one up at the event.

Before the series of short films started, we had an opportunity to mingle with lot of folks from the Bike Fed as well as some friends from the cycling community. It was a great opportunity to talk about the upcoming Saris Gala, the Wisconsin Bike Summit, and the new Women & Bicycles program. Lots of people are excited about 2015 and the prospects for growing the Bike Fed in ways that have never been done before.

Eventually the lights dimmed in the theater and the clips started rolling. Admittedly we spent most of our time socializing and not as much time focusing on the clips themselves, but did enjoy the few I was able to catch. My favorite by far was one the Bike Fed screened. Citizen Dave or now Bike Fed Dave…starred in the clip that was produced by the always funny John Urban. (We’ll be sure to post it as soon as we find it available online!)

The event was a ton of fun and was glad to be able to attend since the first event was cancelled. Here’s to hoping that next year’s event goes off without a hitch 🙂

We Rode Tyranena’s Oktoberfest Bike Ride!

Fall is probably the most popular time for people to ride in Wisconsin. The leaves change, the temps drop to a comfortable 50-60 degrees, and there’s often a lot of fun brewery sponsored bike rides.

The Tyranena Oktoberfest ride is one we’ve been meeting to take part in, but it never really synced up with our schedules. This year as soon as the ride was announced, we signed up and put it on our calenders. Nothing could stop us from riding our bikes and ending with delicious food and beer!

Tyranena offers three ride distances that afforded a little something for everyone. There’s a 30, 50, and 70 mile option. We were pretty gung ho to do the 50 mile route up until about Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. (Side note: Wisconsin weather is extremely bi-polar in the Fall and Spring months. It had been 80 degrees and the next day it was 40. That’s a pretty big difference!)

The forecast was calling for snow and rain for Saturday, so we decided 30 miles would be the best option as we didn’t want to ride 50 miles with snow chunks pelting our faces or end up riding with wet chamois. We were pretty happy with our decision as it was pouring down sleety rain. Our clothes were already drenched as soon as we finished taking our bikes off the car rack and knew it was probably not going to be anymore pleasant as the day rolled on.

We met up with some friends at the start and headed out. Within the first 5 minutes we had to pull over and add some layers of gloves. Our feet and hands probably suffered the most. I was pretty well prepared though.
On my body I started with wool socks, MTB shoes, bibs, fleece lined tights, a long sleeve base layer, a jersey, a thermal long sleeved jersey, a rain jacket, a light weight vest, a wool balaclava, thinner MTB gloves, my lobster glove liners over the MTB gloves, sunglasses, and my helmet.

Eventually I took the balaclava off and just put a thin wool stocking cap on to keep from getting too warm. I also dropped the outer layer of gloves. I then changed into another thin pair of gloves at the midway point/rest stop. I only wish I had packed a set of dry socks to keep my feet warm or had waterproof booties with me!

The ride itself was pretty easy. Once you get into eastern Wisconsin there aren’t a whole lot of hills. It’s not like west of Madison where you hit the driftless region and it’s granny ring central. The route was nice and there was lots of pretty farm land, barns, and such. It was sometimes hard to see because of wet/foggy glasses.

The routes were marked very well, which was good because I lost my cue sheet within the first couple minutes due to it getting wet and falling apart in my hands. I still wonder why no one has ever thought to print cue sheets on the same Tyvek material they print bib numbers on…oh, well.

One thing that stood out the most on the ride itself was the rest stop hosted at Cam Rock Cafe. It was amazing! They had good food, plenty of bathrooms, tents for standing under, an outdoor heater, and they had their shop open for people to go inside and purchase gear if need be. Oh, they also had Saris event racks on hand to park bikes. The Tyranena folks should have utilized these as well as there were bikes leaned up against every square inch of the joint.

All in all the rain and the cold wasn’t terrible until the last 5 or so miles. We went from riding in a nasty headwind into a nasty crosswind. There were a few times we almost got blown off of the road and you had to lean into the wind to stay upright. It was the longest 5 miles of riding I think I’ve ever experienced!

Making the final turn into Tyranena HQ made things a whole lot better. Once we changed out of our wet gear, put the bikes on the rack, and walked over to the tent we were able to get a plate of hot food. The lines were reasonable as we missed the first big wave of folks who finished the 30 miler. We had left the rest stop area during a lull, so we timed things out pretty well. We had food and beer in hand within about a minute and no waiting. You could tell when the final group of the 30 mile riders and the largest group of the 50 milers started making it in because the tent filled up quickly. Even then, the beer line wasn’t that long. We were able to try some great season beers like the Pumpkin Porter along with some Tyranena classics like my favorite, Rocky’s Revenge.

Overall, I would highly recommend this ride. It was very well organized, the routes all looked great, and the after party was a lot of fun. They had live music with a lot of great Irish drinking songs. We all had a great time and hopefully next year it will be a bit warmer out!

Clips Beer & Film Tour Coming October 1st!

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Rain can’t hold us back! Join us for a make-up date of New Belgium Clips Beer and Film Tour on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1st at Majestic Madison! FREE entry with suggested donation of $5. Donations come with free high-five.

Catch the 2014 and 2012 Clips films. Doors open at 6pm and films start at 7. The best part? $1 from every beer sold goes to the Wisconsin Bike Fed!

The beers: Fat Tire, Snapshot, Ranger, Tour de Fall, and Lips of Faith