Spoke Haven Co-Owner Now Bike Fed Board Member!

10302249_10201606965728297_815258664114874884_nA quick congratulations is in order for Cassandra who was elected to be a Wisconsin Bicycle Federation board member! Cassandra has been a long time bicycle commuter, enthusiast, and advocate. Her leadership and active role in the cycling community helped create Spoke Haven, engage more women in our local cycling community, and become a vital resource when it comes to all things cycling.

Her three year term begins in January 2015 and plans to continue to work hard and dedicate herself to the Bike Fed’s mission.

2014 Wisconsin Bike Summit & the Saris Gala: Part 1

The 2014 Wisconsin Bike Summit & Saris Gala have come to an end. While I’m sad the whirlwind of events and planning is over, I’m happy to have my life back to normal!

My participation in the events always starts a few months before. One of my jobs is to assist the Bike Fed (as a representative of Saris) with obtaining high quality donations for the silent auction, raffle, and live auction.

Two weeks prior to the event I get pulled into a conference room with a computer, projector, and a butt load of donation items that need to be packaged together. The packaging is the easy part. It’s the assigning a package number, creating a bid sheet, creating a display sheet for each package, inspecting each individual sheet, printing the sheet, and having to put the sheet in a frame or on a clipboard that is time consuming and slightly soul sucking.

The reality is though that the work isn’t that bad and it’s completely satisfying to see all the hard work come to fruition and to see people’s excitement each year during the event.

This is my third year working with Saris and the Bike Fed on these events and I hope to continue to help the event in its success.

Moving on…
The Wisconsin Bike Summit is awesome. Last year I presented and only got to stay for my presentation, but I managed to carve out some time this year to stay for the majority of the event.

Since I was attending a bike summit, I decided to hook my trailer up to my Soma (double cross) and roll on down to Edgewood College. Edgewood was our gracious hosts this year and I can say with confidence that they were much easier to work with than the Inn on the Park. Nothing against the Inn, it’s just that Edgewood has a more welcoming vibe. Not to mention better options for parking and exposure to impressionable college kids who seemed pretty interested in what all the hoopla was about.


I promptly parked my bike in the provided event parking racks and headed into Preston Hall. I checked in, picked up my name tag, and stuck an awesome “I BIKE. I VOTE” button on my shirt. When I entered the main auditorium I was greeted with a gaggle of my Saris co-workers from the commercial parking department as well as our CEO, Mr. Chris Fortune. Hellos were traded and I then headed over to grab some delicious Colectivo coffee, fruit, and a pastry. A few more familiar faces in the crowd prompted hellos and the opening remarks began.

Dave Cieslewicz (executive director of the Bike Fed, ex Madison mayor, and all around cool guy) talked for a bit before introducing Chris Fortune, who then introduced Michael Johnson from the Boys & Girls club of Dane County. Michael shared some great stories about how he became involved in cycling and what the local cycling community has done for the Boys & Girls club with their annual bike fundraiser.


After the opening remarks, the first break out sessions started. The Women & Bicycles session was on of the first of the day and ended up being in the auditorium. Myself, Carolyn Dvorak (leader of the program), and Krista Crum of Madison B Cycles each presented. Each of us covered different topics on women’s cycling with some cross over, but we each brought some great information to the table.

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My focus was on what we were doing with the Women & Bicycles program in Madison. I discussed our Women’s Cycling Meetup, the Taco Tuesday rides, workshops, and partnerships with key businesses and groups.

After our session was done, I had the opportunity to chat with a good amount in people who were interested in my work and the work of the program. There were lots of great audience questions regarding how to encourage women riders, how to get women of color involved in cycling, and how to keep busy moms biking.

There was a second women’s session after our session in the auditorium, so I stuck around and watched the presentations. Renee Callaway moderated and presented. She spoke about cyclocross and getting women involved with the local race scene. Heidi Ploeg discussed her experiences of bike touring across the US as well as in the Netherlands. Amanda Schultze discussed the state of women’s cycling regarding to marketing and product development. She also showed some examples of market research she, as well as her Trek colleagues conducted and what the results were. Last, but not least, Kathy Mock discussed the Wisconsin High School Cycling league and how their program is reaching young girls/women who wouldn’t normally be involved in traditional school sports.

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Each of them had very different presentations, but all were incredibly informative and was glad to see such a fantastically diverse number of topics being covered relating to women’s cycling.

Once session two winded down, there was a box lunch and special guest presenters. The award for the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Youth Advocate of the Year award was awarded to Dennis Taylor, a 12 year old from Milwaukee. Dennis was recently hit by a stolen SUV and the driver fled the vehicle. Maintaining a positive outlook, Dennis decided to help raise funds to install speed bumps in his quiet neighborhood. The Bike Fed has also helped to get Dennis set up with a new bike and gear for riding!

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The featured guest presenter of the day was ex Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. R.T. helped establish Minneapolis as one of America’s premier cycling cities. His presentation helped instill faith that Madison and other Wisconsin cities can still work at obtaining Platinum level bike city status, even with a Republican majority. Minneapolis faced similar challenges when Michelle Bachmann was in office.

After lunch I ended up tying up some loose ends before the Gala set up started. I also had the opportunity to chat with Director Dave himself as well as the wonderful Peter Gray (bike advocate and midnight rider) and Jay Ferm from Planet Bike.

One of my favorite aspects of the Bike Summit is being able to socialize and bounce ideas off of other advocates. The networking aspect of it is huge and often leads to some really great collaborations.

I look forward to being a part of the 2015 summit and encourage everyone to attend the summit. If you are a cyclist in the state of Wisconsin, there’s no excuse NOT to attend!

Wisconsin Bike Summit 10/25


The Wisconsin Bike Summit is coming up fast and we’re proud to say we’ve been asked to be a part of it!
Cassandra will be presenting with a panel of ladies for the first session of the day. In addition to the women’s panel (covering any and everything that concerns women cyclists), there will be sessions on commuting, promoting cycling, mountain biking, how being bicycle friendly can increase tourism, and much much more.

This year’s summit is taking place the same day as the annual Saris Gala (the Bike Fed’s largest fundraiser). Click the above image for registration info. There are discount packages for folks looking to attend both the Summit & the Gala.

Important Info:The Wisconsin Bike Summit
Friday, October 25th
Inn on the Park- Capital Square, Downtown Madison
Session times TBA

Wisconsin Bike Fed Winter Carnival Overview

Friday was the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s first Winter Carnival and it was great! Ray’s is already a fun atmosphere, but add a bunch of advocacy folks, a DJ, carnival games, good food, even better beer, and you have one kick ass bike party!

The event took place from noon-9PM. There was free riding from 12-5PM, which we missed because of work. We got there around 7 and checked in to the volunteer table. Volunteers got a free drink ticket, free food tickets, and a pass to come back to Ray’s to ride another day. Talk about a sweet deal!

We also heard Ray’s opened the park up to the Fed for nothing but a little free marketing. For a facility that huge, that was very generous of them.

The first priority was heading to the beer table. They were serving some great Riverwest brews, which seemed to fit the theme as when we headed to the silent auction, there were lots of entries to the Riverwest 24 race up for grabs. The rest of the silent auction items were really great. There were frames from Fyxation, a complete Butcher fixed gear freestyle bike from 1/8th Inch, a Manitou fork, Sun Ringle wheelsets, Answer handlebars, a sweet Bike Fed themed poster, recycled bike tube jewelry, cheese baskets, restaurant gift cards, and lots more! I purchased two sets of tickets (11 for $10) but came away empty handed. No hard feelings though. It goes to a good cause.

Other highlights of the event were the gold sprint competition, a BMX demo, and a speech from Kevin Hardman (Executive Director of the Bike Fed) where he announced a new magazine the Bike Fed has put together. If you are a member, you’ll see one in your mailbox soon. Everyone else, you can find one at your local shop or buy one online.

The turnout to the event was good for it being a blustery Friday night. I would imagine that if they made this a yearly event, it would gain some popularity. Also setting it on a weekend day would get more people in the door.  Overall it was a well organized, awesome event and I can’t wait to see if they do it next year.

*The fancy camera was in tow, but the wrong battery was inserted. iPhone was all that was available. Sorry 🙁 Good news though, the B&H fairy came and dropped off a sweet new high capacity HD card for video and lots of photos! Hopefully we can utilize that at our next event.