As you can see from our previous post, Wisconsin has no shortage of cycling/bike related events. With that being said, there are few that truly cater to the female cyclist. Some women have no issue riding in male dominated events, but others can find it intimidating and enjoy the camaraderie of an all lady event.
Lucky for us, we have the Madtown Maidens alleycat/ride. For those not in the know, an alleycat is an unsanctioned cycling race filled with fun pit stops on the route. The pit stops include anything from writing haiku’s to solving puzzles or even showing off some bike knowledge. Usually the races are in the spirit of fun and not to be stressed over. There’s almost always a beer/coffee sponsor and some sweet prizes for top riders or for riders with enthusiasm.
We took the opportunity to chat with Madtown Maidens founder, Kierstin Kloeckner, on what motivated her to start the event and to see who the race supporters are. A little background on Kierstin, she’s a yoga/fitness instructor at a local Madison athletic club, avid cyclist, occasional Wisconsin Bike Fed blogger, and all around wonderful supporter of the local cycling/outdoor community. (Check out her blog!) Here’s what Kierstin had to say about Madtown Maidens:
Three years ago, after being terribly jealous of Minneapolis having an all women’s bike event, I decided to start one here in Madison. Babes in Bikeland (the Minneapolis event) was my inspiration. Kayla Dotson started it about six years ago and they often have over 400 women show up at the starting line. I felt women needed more events just for them since cycling has been such a male dominated sport. When I started racing in the 80’s, I was one of the only junior female racers in the Twin Cities area and was forced to train and race with boys. I wanted to get women and girls, of every ability, out on two wheels. I wanted them to discover the joy of riding with a group of women and chose to have most of the volunteers be men. I set the cut off limit to 100–that’s where it still stands–and was floored by it filling the first and second year. Although it has been a lot of hard work, the volunteers and sponsors have been so kind and helpful. Just seeing so many women with smiles while riding makes me want to continue putting the event on.
This year, Milwaukee has joined in and has started their own female/transgender alleycat. My hope is that it’s contagious and spreads. I truly feel events like this inspire women to embrace the sport as their own.
As I said before, I couldn’t do this event without my volunteers and sponsors. This year, Martha Laugen, the former Madison Bike Fed Ambassador, is helping me put Madtown Maidens on. Nathan Vergin and Lisa Snyder will be taking pictures and I’ll have roughly 15-20 guys working checkpoints and helping out with the after party. Each year, I change the start/finish location. This year, Machinery Row has graciously donated their space for the start and after party. I receive donations from bike companies like Fyxation,Velocity,Hell Yes!, All-City, and Stray Cat Bicycles. Food comes from Foodfight, Barriques, Dominoes and Willy St. Co-op. Other donations include beer from Ale Asylum and gift cards from Century House, Harbor Athletic Club and Monkey Bar. Finally, Adam Turman donates a piece of his artwork each year for our use for free.
We’ve also gotten wind that Knog has recently agreed to be a product sponsor as well as the Wisconsin Bike Fed and Saris Cycling Group. This year’s event is taking place Saturday, May 4th. SAVE THE DATE! You won’t be sad that you did 🙂
Check out the photos below for some awesome alleycat action. Photos are property of Madtown Maidens and their respective photographers. Please don’t use without permission!
Thanks again to Kierstin for hosting this wonderful event and giving us the rundown! We hope to be a part of the event in some capacity whether it’s racing, taking some photos, or pitching in another way. Keep an eye on the Madtown Maidens Facebook page for sign up information!
It may still be January, but there are TONS of bike related events planned out for the year. We’ll of course add these to our Events tab, but wanted to give a sneak peak of what’s coming up in the next month. We’ll add flyers and more details on the actual calendar pages. For now, take a look and start planning out your year of cycling!
Feb. 1st– Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin’s Winter Carnival
Ray’s Indoor Bike Park
8365 North 76th Street
Noon-9pm, $25 in advance & $35 at the door
Includes open riding, free bike rental, games, food, beer, prizes, and more!
All Fed members encouraged to attend and folks from other cities will be carpooling in to attend the event.
Feb. 2nd– Mt. Ashwabay Fat Tire Double Donut Derby
32525 Ski Hill Road
Wisconsin Off Road Series- Race promoters recommend bikes with tires greater than 3.25″ aka FAT BIKES
The 2.5 mile course takes place in the ski area and there’s a post race potluck!
Feb. 10th– La Crosse Bike Winter Urban Ride
La Crosse Visitors Bureau
410 East Veterans Memorial Drive
La Crosse, WI
Join fellow cyclists in the La Crosse area from 1-3pm for a fun bike ride around town! La Crosse is the next Wisconsin city to really come on the scene as cycling friendly. Help encourage the city to integrate bicycle infrastructure by attending this event!
Feb. 11th– Day 1 Madison Bike Winter
Southwest Commuter Path
Crazy Legs/B Cycle Station
EVP is providing delicious coffee to morning commuters! 7-9AM
Enjoy FREE lunchtime yoga from 12:00-12:45pm.
Location & time TBA
Sustain Dane Eco Salon talks about bicycling in the winter.
Feb. 12th– Day 2 Madison Bike Winter
Harbor Athletic Club or Machinery Row (?)
*Check Madison Bike Winter page for more details
Director of the Madtown Maidens Alleycat and yoga instructor, Kiersten Kloeckner, is leading a Yoga for Athletes class from 6:30-7:15AM.
West Washington & Cap City Trail- Train Depot
Coffee for commuters 7-9AM
Brittingham Beach House
Join other brave souls to do a ride across the ice on Lake Monona. Ride starts at 6pm, event may be cancelled depending on weather/temperature. Safety first! Studded/fat tires and helmets recommended.
Feb. 13th– Day 3 Madison Bike Winter
Machinery Row & Cap City Bike Path Corner
Enjoy bacon on the bike path courtesy of Planet Bike & the Greasy Gears bike dance troupe. 7-9AM
Great Dane Brewery
Be a part of Madison Bike Winter tradition and join the Great Dane to Great Dane ride! Riders meet at 6pm at the Great Dane downtown and head over to the Great Dane Hilldale to enjoy more food, brews, and socializing.
Feb. 13th– Winter Bike Maintenance Workshop at Pearl St. Brewery La Crosse
Pearl Street Brewery
1401 Saint Andrews Street
La Crosse, WI
Ride your bike to The Pearl Street Brewery for a free pint and stay to learn some basic winter maintenance skills to keep you rolling through the winter.
Feb. 14th– Day 4 Madison Bike Winter
Southwest Commuter Path
Crazy Legs/B Cycle Station
Just Coffee provides beverages to commuters 7-9AM
Machinery Row Bicycles/Dream Bikes
Show your bike some LOVE on Valentine’s Day. Machinery Row & Dream Bikes are providing bike tune ups for 50% off! Take advantage of this one time deal!
Machinery Row Bicycles
601 Williamson St.
Join other cyclists for a Valentine’s group ride around Lake Monona. Ride leaves at 6pm. Post ride party with beer at TBA location. Sponsored by Bicycle Benefits.
Feb. 15th- Day 5 Madison Bike Winter
Cronometro, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Just Cofee
Lakeside St. & John Nolen Bike Path
Enjoy coffee on the bike path on your way to/from your destination! 7-9AM
Finish off your week of winter riding at Brocach Irish Pub. Join other winter commuters at 5PM for a party good drinks and food!
Feb. 15th– Bike Winter After Work Party in La Crosse
The Wine Guyz
122 King Street
La Crosse, WI
Come to a fun Bike Winter Party. Ride your bike to the Wine Guyz after work to enjoy some camaraderie and complimentary appetizer trays with other bicyclists.
Feb. 16th– Waukesha WBA Bike Swap
Waukehsa Expo Center
1000 Northview Road
Check out some awesome bike wears while supporting a good cause. Proceeds benefit the Waukesha Bicycle Alliance.
Feb. 17th– Winter Riding Fashion Social
Earl’s Grocery and Saloon
401 3rd Street
La Crosse, WI
Come to Earl’s Grocery and Saloon for a fun discussion about the most effective clothes for riding through the winter months as well as some winter riding tips. Be prepared to share what you wear as well as get great ideas from others.
Feb. 23rd– La Crosse Bike Swap
Logan Middle School
1450 Avon Street
La Crosse , WI
The Wisconsin Bike Fed and Logan Bike Works are co-hosting a Bike Swap at Logan Middle School in La Crosse. All bicycle enthusiasts interested in buying or selling new or used bikes, parts or clothing should be sure to attend this event.
Feb. 25th– COMMUTE: A Bicycle Commuting Workshop, Part 1
449 State St. Upstairs
Join us at Redamte for a panel discussion detailing the health, economic, environmental, and social benefits to cycling.
Feb. 27th– You Never Bike Alone Movie Screening & Discussion
449 State St.
Enjoy a screening of You Never Bike Alone while enjoying coffee and treats. Stick around after the movie for a group discussion.