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.