Madison & Milwaukee Area Women Cyclists Join Forces for CycloFemme 2016

I am proud to announce that Spoke Haven has joined forces with Ladies’ Revolution of Milwaukee and the Bell Joy Ride- Madison to offer up a unique, women-trans-femme friendly riding experience for CycloFemme 2016.Participants will have the opportunity to try an overnight bike camping ride with the support of experienced ride leaders from the local cycling community.

Bike camping, sub 24 hour (S24O) outings, and bicycle touring have become more prominent in the past few years with the development and marketing of adventure geared bikes. There’s an increasing demand by women and men alike to find ways to use their bicycles as a vehicle to explore natural areas and enjoy the great outdoors.

The Madison and Milwaukee CycloFemme rides will take place on the packed gravel, Glacial Drumlin state trail. Milwaukee riders will have long distance, 65 mile (one way) route option or can opt to start at another location along the route for a shorter ride option. Madison area riders will have a roughly 30 mile ride option leaving from Revolution Cycles Madison or a shorter 17 mile route option starting from the Glacial Drumlin Trail head in Cottage Grove, WI. Madison area riders will also have the option to forego camping for an out and back ride to and from the trail head.

Ladies’ Revolution, Spoke Haven, and Bell Joy Ride- Madison riders will arrive at a group camp site at Sandhill Station in Lake Mills, WI. The ride itself is FREE to participants, but there is a $5 daily or $25 annual trail use fee for Glacial Drumlin. There is also a $10 fee for anyone opting to camp to help cover expenses of the site.

More information on the Madison area CycloFemme ride can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/586568414839869/

More information on the Milwaukee area CycloFemme ride can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/965124386911696/

Madison CycloFemme Photo Dump

We had a fantastic time at the Madison CycloFemme ride. There were 35 riders at the event total. Not bad for our very first one! The event coinciding with Mother’s Day always seems to be a gamble as far as attendance, but we were glad to see over half of the actual RSVP’d women attend.

The weather was in the low to mid 40’s and a bit chilly, but we made it all 18 miles with no issues! Lots of riders were new to the group environment, but seemed to enjoy themselves. It puts smiles on our faces thinking that we have given these women a chance to experience cycling in a fun and social environment.

CycloFemme will hopefully open the door to more events like this and maybe even a recurring Sunday morning monthly ride. We want to thank all the women who came out to the event. It was a pleasure meeting all of you and we hope to see you in the future!

A HUGE thank you goes out to the Froth House and their staff for hosting us. We also want to thank Saris Cycling Group for donating a parking rack for us to use at the event as well as a Bones 3 rack for the raffle. Thank you’s go out to Hoo Ha Ride Glide, Team Luna Chix, and to everyone who helped promote the event.

Last, but not least, we have to thank CycloFemme and Girl Bike Love for creating such an amazing movement to try and get more women on bikes. We’re grateful for the effort and the inspiration.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women (who are mamas) in our lives and go ride a bike!

Machinery Row Ladies Night

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As most of you know, Machinery Row hosted a ladies night last Friday. Yes, it’s taken almost a week for us to post about it, but please forgive us. Our lives just got slightly busier with both of us enrolled in some schooling outside of our regular full time jobs!

It’s also coming down to the wire getting training in for the Almanzo 100 and we haven’t even scratched the surface of a decent amount of base miles. Yikes!

Back to ladies night…it was awesome! The actual event didn’t start until 7pm, but we showed up early and there was already a decent crowd of ladies there. Each preregistered attendee got a swag bag from Profile Design with some goodies in it. I ended up taking home a pair of socks, a sample of Enzo’s chamois cream, a small fitness towel from Trek, and some great literature on upcoming events as well as some new training facilities in town.

The food/beverage spread was impressive. NessAlla Kombucha (brewed right here in Madison) served some of their tasty Peach Blush kombucha mixed with champagne. The food was provided by the Weary Traveler, owned by Madison restauranteur and cycling enthusiast, Chris Berg.

Team LunaChix were there promoting Lunafest and their team. They also brought along their infamous mini Luna bars. I grabbed a handful of those as I was leaving!

Trek bicycles had their newest women’s clothing designer there. She was asking opinions about some new products as well as colors, etc. Me and a few other ladies chimed in and gladly gave our opinions. I could talk about that stuff ALL NIGHT. If a company sends out a rep to ask women’s opinions on products, that’s a good sign!

There was supposed to be a rep from Terry as well as CEP, but I didn’t see anyone from either company, that I could tell. They could have been mixed into the crowd.

During the event there were a few smaller workshops in a separate area from the general retail space. We didn’t spend much time in them as it was subject matter we were already familiar with. Good info for new riders though or for folks looking for get a refresher. (Info on clothing choices, safety, training for health reasons, etc.)

The sign up for Madtown Maidens opened up early, at the event. We were the first ones to officially sign up! We hope that other ladies follow suite ūüôā Kierstin, the head maiden of the race, was at the event as well. We also ran into some folks from the Wisconsin Bike Fed as well as Speed Cycling, the ACT Ride, and a couple of different yoga studios. Again, it’s great to see folks coming from all different groups and organizations to support an event.

At the event there was a raffle for anyone in attendance. Each person received two raffle tickets to put in a pint glass to try to win a prize. Prizes included things such as a road bike fitting, bib shorts, a Timbuk 2 bag, yoga classes, indoor spin classes, a massage, and swag from various companies. Sadly we didn’t walk away with any of the goods, but the LunaChix really swept the raffle!

The overall attendance was probably a 100 or so ladies. Add a few guys in the mix who decided to join their significant others. The abundance of Machinery Row staff also made it pretty packed.

Overall I think everyone did a fantastic job. The event was a lot of fun and it was nice to connect with some new people in the cycling community. The event definitely showed there’s a need for more women’s events in the area. We hope to work along side our local shops in helping foster the community of women cyclists and athletes.

We’ve learned there will be regular women’s group rides at Machinery Row. This isn’t really new, but they’ve sort of re-branded them as the LunaChix had always done rides on Thursday nights leaving Machinery Row. Still pretty cool though. We’ll try and keep the events page updated with those as they happen throughout the summer.

Our post event ride home led us to some treats. We figure since we had a finger food dinner, that some Greenbush Doughnuts would probably be okay. If you don’t already know…beer, doughnuts, and burritos are what fuel cyclists!

Thanks once again to Machinery Row, the LunaChix, Trek, NessAlla, and the Weary Traveler for being such great hosts.

For the Ladies: Madtown Maidens Alleycat/Ride

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 ūüôā

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!