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.
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.
Today marks a great day for women cyclists in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Bicycle Federation (Bike Fed) has launched a Women & Bicycles ambassador program modeled after the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s own Women & Bicycles program.
The program is centered around a handful of bike ambassadors who will plan events based around cycling. That includes workshops, social hours, bike rides, and other events that promote cycling to women.
The Bike Fed’s program has one representative for each major cycling city who will spend their time planning out events and trying to increase the population of women cyclists in their respective territories.
The women selected to be a part of the ambassador program have strong ties to the cycling world and local cycling industries. Each have exemplified the spirit of cycling in their communities and are good examples of what an every day cyclist looks like.
We’re proud to announce that our own Cassandra Habel has been selected to be an ambassador in the Madison area. Her advocacy work with Saris Cycling Group, the Wisconsin Bike Fed, and on her own time starting a women’s cycling Meetup group helped land her the ambassadorship.