A 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.
Already soaked and we hadn’t even started the ride.
Keri and Cassandra at the 2014 Madison Cyclofemme ride.
Cassandra & Keri on the Wisconsin AIDS Ride.
Propert of Madtown Maidens, do not use without permission.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
We want to send a huge CONGRATULATIONS to our friend, Mr. Tom Klein for getting offered the position of Dane County Director at the Wisconsin Bike Federation! Really, there’s no one better we could think of to fill the position and we’re glad to have him in the cycling world.
I’ve known Tom for several years and he’s one of the most ambitious and motivated people in my friend circle. We’re all very proud of him for getting the job and we can’t wait to see what he brings to the table for Dane County cyclists!
If you see Tom out, buy him a drink or have a chat with him. You’ll all be seeing a lot of his face at upcoming Fed and bike related events.
Fun fact about Tom, he used to be a music promoter before attending Edgewood’s Sustainability Program and was on his way to Harvard for a Graduate Sustainability Program until he heard he got the job with the Bike Fed. He decided that it was meant to be, so he and his wife are staying in Madison.
In year’s past, the Wisconsin Bike Fed (Bike Fed) has hosted Lobby Day and the Bike Summit together here in Madison. 2013 brings a slightly different format for folks familiar with the event.
This year the Bike Fed has decided to split up Lobby Day and the Bike Summit in order to spread the bike love out to other parts of our state. Lobby Day will still take place in Madison, as we have the highest concentration of state representatives (being the capital and all).
The Bike Summit date and host city has yet to be announced. We’re hoping that the LaCrosse or Appleton areas get a chance to play host. They seem to be the next major Wisconsin cities that are increasing their bike friendliness. We admit that Madison/Milwaukee folks are spoiled when it comes to Fed related events, we rarely have to drive over an hour to attend, so we’re probably due for some bike related travel!
For those of you not familiar with Lobby Day, it’s a one day event that takes place here in Madison. There are workshops that teach you how to speak to legislators about bicycling. The goal is to not only promote cycling in our state, but to show the amount of support for cycling there is in our communities.
Folks travel into Madison from all over Wisconsin to take part in Lobby Day and if you need a ride, there are some carpools being set up through the Bike Fed and via their Facebook event page. The event is non-partisan and any folks interested in getting our leaders to start taking cycling into consideration for a viable means of transport should attend!
Here is all the useful info straight from the Bike Fed Website:
Celebrate the Bike Fed’s 25th Birthday at Bicycling Lobby Day!
Next month marks 25 years since a visionary group of people convened the first ever gathering of the Wisconsin Bike Fed. Our successes and momentum over the years would not have been possible without these important leaders. Please attend our Bicycling Lobby Day on April 9 to continue the vital work of protecting bicyclists’ rights. At the end of the day we’ll host a Quarter Century Celebration of the Bike Fed during our evening reception. We hope former board members, former staff and all of you, our members, will join with us to celebrate where we have come from and where we are going.
As the state budget is being debated later this spring, 2013 is a critical year for securing vital bicycling funding and passing Vulnerable Users’ legislation. Join with hundreds of bicyclists from across Wisconsin to continue to push pedaling and celebrate 25 years of bicycle advocacy!
We’re not sure if we’ll be able to make it to lobby day this year, but we’ll for sure be at the Quarter Century Celebration! We hope to see all of YOU there too 🙂