Wisconsin Bike Summit 2016

The Wisconsin Bicycle Federation is hosting the Wisconsin Bike Summit on Saturday, May 21st 2016. The Summit is being held at UW-LaCrosse in cooperation with the Midwest Active Transportation Conference (taking place May 20th).

Details on presenters and panels to be announced at a later time. Please check the Wisconsin Bike Fed website (www.bfw.org) or Facebook page for more details.

Please click here for information on where to sign up to attend.

 

Wiscowood Reduces Waste while Creating Bike Themed Wood Products

We’ve been meaning to post about Wiscowood since we saw their Kickstarter campaign pop up in our inbox. They are a small Madison based company who have utilized local hacker space, Sector67, to produce bookmarks, journal covers, coasters, jewelry, and now wallets out of reclaimed wood.

Each item is unique to the wood that is used and images are burned into the wood with a laser. Their website and Facebook page have lots of great photos showing the process of how they make each item. (Images below were taken from their sites.)

Wiscowood launched their Kickstarter campaign with hopes to produce wood wallets and offer a wide range of designs and even an option for local bike shops or cafes to buy in with a set of wallets with a point of purchase display.

The campaign ends TODAY at 5pm Central time, so if you like what you see and want to support local small businesses in the age of Amazon, Wal-Mart, and the other big corporate evils…head on over to the campaign to donate and get yourself or a friend a cool, new wallet!

Trail Building with the Capital Off Road Pathfinders

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I’ll admit it, I’m not all that involved with mountain biking or off road cycling in general. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it or have interest in it. The fact is I’m fairly new to the world of off road cycling and I (sadly) don’t have a mountain bike in my stable.

Not owning a mountain bike has been an excuse for me to not be involved with our local trail systems or the groups who maintain them. It took attending this year’s Bike Summit to have a light bulb go off in my head..if I’m making excuses to not learn more about our trail systems and I’m a pretty involved cycling advocate, then what are other people using as their excuse?

I decided, there would be no excuses for me. I promised myself that I’d start getting more involved with our local off road cycling clubs and help spread their gospel.

Luck for me, the Capital Off Road Pathfinders (CORP) had posted that their last big trail work day of the season was coming up at the end of October. Great! I now had a time, date, and commitment to look forward to.

The trail work was set to start at 11am. Staying true to myself, I of course showed up at 11:30. I was glad to see three other ladies from our Spoke Haven/ Women & Bicycles Meetup were already hard at work. They of course gave me flack for showing up late and said they thought I wouldn’t show up. I showed them! 😉

Without skipping a beat, the work leader Nick gave directed me to help rake some of the fresh dirt laid on the trail. The city donated a huge load of it to help smooth out some of the rough patches on the trail.

We were working on the outside loop of the new Seminole Trail System to create smooth and fast riding sections. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of dirt was poured along the section of trail. We continued to rake, tamp, and repeat. The one particular section we were working on had a lot of old plate glass and MDF chunks, so we spent a good portion of our time trying to remove as much debris from the area as possible. Most of it was buried off the trail, but we made sure to get a nice coverage of dirt and installed signage for riders to stay on the trail, so as to not run into the glass graveyard.

While we were working, there was a lot of shop talk going on between the volunteers. Discussions about various trail projects, what the goals for the new trails were, the history of CORP, and how to get more women involved in the group. Everyone was super friendly and  the CORP crew was glad to have a good group of volunteers. There were probably about ten of us total working on various aspects of the trail.

The day’s projects included pouring and raking the dirt. A couple of the guys built a berm (a term for part of the trail where a sharp turn is placed and a wall of dirt is built up to ride on to gain speed). We dug some sharp rocks out as well as smoothed out some rocky sections. Branches and trees were removed to help maintain a wide path. We did some weeding as well as work on evening out spots that would have drainage issues in the spring. At the end of the day we even worked on building a small feature riders could use to do a mini jump or just opt to roll over.

We spent about 4-5 hours working on various parts of the trail. Overall the group felt really good about the progress and after it was all said and done we were encouraged to ride the trail to help pack down the new dirt! Sadly I left my cross bike at home, otherwise I would have put a couple laps in. The outer loop is very beginner and was designed that way so new riders can get a taste of riding dirt. It’s also a family friendly loop for the little ones to take their push bikes or trail a bikes on.

Various cycling clubs have also expressed interest in hosting cyclocross events on the trails, so it will now be the premiere spot for new and intermediate riders to get a taste of dirt without having to leave the city!

I have to say, I’m really glad I decided to lend a hand with the trail building efforts. I learned a lot about the hard work and dedication it takes to create our trail systems. Hopefully we can continue to get a group of ladies out on the weekends or weeknights to continue to build and improve trails. Even if you don’t own a mountain bike, you can help build an opportunity for others in our community to ride.

Now I’m off to pick out more parts for my fat bike build to go enjoy the fruits of my labor 🙂

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

Women & Bicycles makes Progress- Repost

Women & Bicycles

Women & Bicycles is a new  program coordinated through the Wisconsin Bike Fed and supported by Mayo Clinic Health System, in an effort to bring more women to bicycling as riders, leaders, and advocates.

We’ve reached out to our network of women and ask for volunteers to serve as Roll Models to encourage women to try riding who may not be riding for one reason or another. Women across Wisconsin are volunteering as Roll Models, offering gatherings in the formats of meetups, workshops, and group rides.

In La Crosse, rides, social conversations, and workshops have been successful. We have focused on new riders, creating events that will encourage everyone  to feel welcome. Women enjoy learning from each other. The Fix a Flat Clinics have been very fruitful.  We look forward to offering a basic maintenance clinic soon.

Cassandra Habel shares her enthusiasm in Madison and talks about her adventures.

The Women & Bicycles program has been off to a wonderful start in Madison! When approached to be a representative, I wanted to develop a cohesive way to bring together all of these fabulous resources we have in our city for women to get involved with cycling. Team Luna Chix have been around for roughly 6 years hosting no drop bike rides, clinics, and special events for women in Madison. I of course wanted to enlist their help and as well as the help of the existing Bike Fed staffers in the Madison office. My website/company, Spoke Haven, has also been a big part of promoting the program.

Together we have put together a monthly, hands on fix a flat clinic that is hosted at the Bike Fed’s office here in town. We’ve also promoted a monthly Taco Tuesday ride that happens the first Tuesday of the month. It’s a wonderful social ride for all levels of riders and allows us to not only get to know each other, but we also discuss ways for us to branch out, reach new riders, and talk about issues such as infrastructure projects that affect us as local cyclists.

We’ve recently launched a Facebook page dedicated to the Madison division of Women & Bicycles that allows us to share upcoming events, photos, and allows for women to openly discuss all aspects of cycling.

For our rides and events, we utilize the website Meetup.com. This allows us to keep track of event attendance, announce upcoming events that get automatically e-mail blasted to members, and allows us to have more control over who is attending rides. Our job is to great a safe, healthy, and positive riding experience for women. Having the ability to control who gains ride info for our events is key in making sure we can maintain that environment. Not that we don’t love the special men in our lives, we just want to make sure all women identified individuals know they can be a part of this unique group and just be themselves.

Another added benefit to the Women & Bicycles program is offering ride buddies for ladies who have interest in events such as charity rides or special ride events. So far this year we’ve had a group at the Bike for Boys & Girls Club ride, Ride 2 Recovery, Bike MS, the ACT Ride, Ride the Drive, and we’ll also have some ladies at the upcoming Chocolate Chase as well as the famed Tyranena Oktoberfest bike ride. So many women have said they would participate in these events more if they actually had a friend to ride with!

So far my work with the program has been really fun and fulfilling. I can’t wait to offer more workshops, training clinics, and special events for the ladies this winter. We’re also looking to continue to grow next year reaching more riders and offering up more ride options and opportunities for women to get on bikes!

In Oceola,The St. Croix Valley Region, Wendi Lindenmuth has enjoyed the network of women she has created. She has inspired women to ride together on mountain bikes, road bikes, share social conversations, join workshops, and inspired women to work on advocacy efforts.  Wendi  is overwhelmed by the number of women who appreciate been connected to other women who ride bicycles.

If you are looking for a group to join, check and see if there is a group close to you.  Stay tuned, we will be expanding our program next year.

Women & Bicycles is a statewide program from the Wisconsin Bike Fed, empowering women across the state to ride.
Read more about the program »