Choose to Commute- Madison Review

The COMMUTE series put on by new non-profit, Choose to Commute has sadly come to an end last week. I’m sad that it’s over as it gave me something to look forward to on my Monday nights, but I’m excited to expect another one in the fall!

Overall the series went really well. All of the guest speakers were phenomenal and I was excited to get so many folks from the community to represent the various organizations we have in Madison.

The first workshop featured Kathyrne Auerback (Edgewood Sustainability), Jessie Lerner (Sustain Dane), Jim Lorman (Edgewood Sustainability), Zachary Barns (Bicycle Benefits), Alison Reitter (Machinery Row), Aaron Crandall (Wisconsin Bike Fed/Madison Bike Winter).

Each panelist had great information and statistics regarding how bicycle commuting can improve your life.

Workshop Panel
Workshop Panel

Workshop two took place at Machinery Row. We couldn’t make it that night, but we heard the folks over at Machinery Row did a spectacular job covering the basics of gear needed for commuting. They went over choosing a bike, outfitting the bike with a rack and panniers, as well as what clothing choices commuters have.

Our personal favorite workshop was workshop three. Its focus was on how to ride safely in the city, laws of road, and various tactics on how to deal with less than ideal riding conditions. Arthur Ross (Madison Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator) and John Rider (Madison Bicycle Licensing Coordinator) were the presenters and had a wealth of knowledge.


Here’s a little preview of the presentation. You can see John’s daughter wanting to be a part of the show!

Part four of the COMMUTE series was a ride. A fairly decent size of veteran riders came out to participate and a few newbies came along as well. Ideally, more new riders should have participated. The weather was kind of tough to work with. It was still kind of cold out the day of the ride and many of the new riders at the other workshops either didn’t have bikes yet or didn’t have gear for cold weather riding.

Really most people could just have ridden in jeans, sneakers, and their winter jackets…oh well. The route was a short 5 ish mile route along popular commuter ways in downtown Madison. We’ll get them next time!

Photo Credit: Kierstin Kloeckner
Photo Credit: Kierstin Kloeckner
COMMUTE riders
COMMUTE riders

 
A HUGE thanks to Tom Klein for putting everything together. Tom has an amazing entrepreneurial spirit and is transitioning from music promoter to a leader in the local sustainability movement. Another big thank you to all the presenters as well as Kierstin Kloeckner for helping promote the event and being an awesome participant. Last, but not least, thanks to Redamte for opening up their wonderful space. The food and coffee is great there, please check them out!

We’re definitely looking to improve on promoting the series in the future. The first one was kind of a pilot to see how the format worked out. There are some ideas we’re looking to implement in the future to personalize the experience info for each participant.

If you have any ideas or are interested in participating in the future, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail!

 

 

50th Post! COMMUTE Series Video & Photos

The first of the four COMMUTE series workshops was tonight and it was a TON of fun! There were 35-40 people at the event for the actual series and a few students hanging out doing some homework while the event was taking place. A decent turnout for a first event. We only managed to take a few good photos since the lighting in Redamte isn’t very bright at night. Next time we’ll have a tripod for some better shots!

All of the speakers were really great and very informative. I enjoyed having speakers from various organizations to help show a broader view of what cycling and commuting by bike can do for ourselves, our environment, our pocketbooks, and our communities. There was someone from the Edgewood College Sustainability Program, Machinery Row, Sustain Dane, The Wisconsin Bike Fed, and I chimed in on behalf of Saris/20by2o2o.

I actually shared some info via a case study that Saris did. Saris has a program called The Hub that allows a business or organization to track bike commutes by using a scan card system. Saris is currently partnering with Sustain Dane to try and promote the product to local businesses that could greatly utilize the program and create incentives for employees to choose to get to work by bike rather than driving. They can even adapt it for car pooling. Saris actually uses a point based system for commuters to win prizes for certain mileage milestones. InfographicAfterwards there was a Q&A that allowed everyone to chat for a bit. There were a lot of really enthused potential riders. It was great to have such positive energy and feelings about the series. I hope everyone continues to come to the rest of the events!

There was definitely some networking happening between the various reps from the organizations, so stay tuned for more fun stuff in the works!

Check out the poorly shot, hastily edited video showing a bit of the event. Again, dim light and no tripod makes for some issues, but we hope you still enjoy!

Thanks again to everyone who participated and who came out for the night 🙂

-Cassandra