2013 Bike Related Events- February Edition

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!
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FEBRUARY

Feb. 1st– Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin’s Winter Carnival
Ray’s Indoor Bike Park
8365 North 76th Street
Milwaukee, WI
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
Mt Ashwabay
32525 Ski Hill Road
Bayfield, WI
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
Madison, WI
EVP is providing delicious coffee to morning commuters! 7-9AM
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Monona Terrace
Downtown
Madison, WI
Enjoy FREE lunchtime yoga from 12:00-12:45pm.
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Location & time TBA
Madison, WI
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
Madison/Middleton, WI
Director of the Madtown Maidens Alleycat and yoga instructor, Kiersten Kloeckner, is leading a Yoga for Athletes class from 6:30-7:15AM.
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West Washington & Cap City Trail- Train Depot
Madison, WI
Coffee for commuters 7-9AM
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Brittingham Beach House
Brittingham Park
Madison, WI
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
Madison, WI
Enjoy bacon on the bike path courtesy of Planet Bike & the Greasy Gears bike dance troupe. 7-9AM
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Great Dane Brewery
Downtown
Madison, WI
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
Madison, WI
Just Coffee provides beverages to commuters 7-9AM
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Machinery Row Bicycles/Dream Bikes
Madison, WI
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!
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Machinery Row Bicycles
601 Williamson St.
Madison, WI
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
Madison, WI
Enjoy coffee on the bike path on your way to/from your destination! 7-9AM
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Brocach Downtown
Capitol Square
Madison, WI
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
Waukesha, WI
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. 25thCOMMUTE: A Bicycle Commuting Workshop, Part 1
Redamte Cafe
449 State St. Upstairs
Madison, WI
Join us at Redamte for a panel discussion detailing the health, economic, environmental, and social benefits to cycling.

Feb. 27thYou Never Bike Alone Movie Screening & Discussion
Redamte Cafe
449 State St.
Madison, WI
Enjoy a screening of You Never Bike Alone while enjoying coffee and treats. Stick around after the movie for a group discussion.

Cyclo-cross Nationals- Days 1 & 2

One of the many reasons I love working in the bike industry is that I get paid to hangout at events like Cyclo-cross Nationals. This is Madison’s second year hosting the USA Cycling/UCI event and it’s much colder and snowier than it was last year!

Day 1 included non championship races for men and women as well as my personal favorite, the single speed races. While most of my day included watching over the Cycle Ops sponsored warm up tent, I did have time to escape and shoot some photos.

The men’s 30-39 race was a must see as one of my co-workers was competing. He didn’t quite podium, but still had a good place in the standings.

Day 2 was the masters series. These are the folks who have been racing for a LOOONG time. Well, most of them at least. It’s always inspiring to see someone 60+ get out there and rage. Especially on an icy death trap of a cross course!

Today I spent a little more time visiting some of the other exhibitors. I chatted with the guys over at Trek. They have some swag they are giving away like cycling hats and cowbells, so be sure to stop by and say hi to them! Trek also has a sweet corn-hole game set up (aka beanbag toss). Oh, you can also enter to win a Cross Rip. It’s their entry level cross bike.

Later in the day I wandered over to the Skratch Labs food truck. They are dishing up some tasty, yet healthy meals for everyone. If you get a chance, stop by and try a sample of their hydration mix. It’s made with all natural ingredients and tastes AMAZING! I trained with it all summer long and LOVE the stuff. It also doubles as a great hangover remedy 😉

Shortly after, I stopped by the Knog tent. I can’t remember the gentleman’s name who was working it, but he’s pretty much their only US employee. Knog is based in Australia and has done so well that the company doesn’t need a giant team of reps to travel around, so it’s just one guy and a tent. He gets to travel all over to cool events and showcase the latest Knog gear. If you see him, stop and chat with him. He’s a very friendly dude.

Some other spots I checked out were the Felt tent and the Stan’s No Tubes tent. Felt didn’t have much going on except for a few cross bikes. I was hoping they would have showcased a little more product, but they were probably more focused on supporting their riders. Stan’s had a sweet set up with repair stands, bike parking, a nice product display, some trainers. Pretty legit stuff.

Inside of the main food tent was Twin Six. They have some limited edition swag for sale and some product catalogs showcasing their 2013 line up. I had wondered by there two days in a row, but unfortunately they were a little standoffish so I just ended up walking away. Bummer as I really like their gear. I seem to think that if someone is showing interest in what you have going on, you should drum up conversation. It’s just good business practice, rather than being standoffish or complaining loudly about how you dislike your most recent job performance review. Sorry, but it’s true.

The overall selection of food is pretty decent. There’s the Fine Italian Beef stand (Chicago dogs, Italian dips, etc.) , the Wisconsin food stand (cheese curds, brats, etc.), a (must have) Southwestern/Mexican food stand, a coffee stand (great chai latte), and the Skratch Labs truck. Nearby is also Pasqual’s and the Draft House. All are great options for the hungry spectator!

I have to say that this year’s set up is much better than last year’s for the event as a whole. The flow of everything makes more sense and the expo is more visible. I’ll be sad to see Cross Nationals leave Madison. Hopefully we can bring it back again in a few years.

Check out  photos below of Day 1 & Day 2. I sadly won’t be able to make it out tomorrow, which really sucks because I want to watch the women’s races. I have a lot of in office work to catch up on though, but I’ll be back out on Saturday!

One last thing to note is that the Saris/Cycle Ops shanty is now in the expo. It got dropped off this afternoon and it looks KICK ASS! Go find a photo of it on the Cycle Ops Facebook page. It has a beer pong table and everything!

Enjoy!

-Cass

Cap City Trail Recon

Madison often boasts that its bike paths are cleaner than the streets after a large snow storm. That’s usually the case when referring to the Southwest Commuter path, Madison’s most used bicycle path that runs through the isthmus (downtown).

We can’t really say that for the Capitol City Trail. For those not familiar with Madison’s route set up, the Capitol City Trail is a route that extends past the major SW Commuter Path and heads out to the South Eastern burbs and then back into Madison near the Alliant Energy Center. (You can then continue back into downtown or ride the lake loop through Monona.)

It’s not maintained as regularly as our beloved SW path, but is still a nice ride. Today I decided to take a journey on it to not only get a lunch ride in, but to also report on the conditions. Starting from the Verona frontage road the trail was hard packed snow and ice. Not terrible, but not amazing either.

Riding downhill was a little sketchy in some spots, but overall it was decent conditions. Hardpack is a lot of fun to cruise on with knobby or studded tires. The overall view was very beautiful. The path is surrounded by trees on either side, so it doesn’t melt as fast as some of the other  trails. The trees looked untouched and there is still significant snow on the ground around the trail.

capcity

I did happen to come across some ruts, skate ski tracks, loads of animal poo (seems folks think they don’t need to pick it up in the winter?), and even a frozen possum that seemed to have passed somehow on the path. (poor thing)

The new studded tire (I only use one on the front right now) performed amazingly on the hard pack. It cruises a lot faster and smoother than on dry road, that’s for sure! In areas that had deeper snow or a bit of slush, having a loaded back end helped greatly. I have a fairly heavy saddle, a rear rack, and a half loaded pannier when I ride. I treat snow commuting much like snow driving. Keep weight in the rear, take it slow around corners, keep eyes on the trail to pick the best line of riding, and if I start to fish tail or slide…just power through it and DON’T PANIC or hit the brakes!

stud

I rode about a 3 mile stretch of the trail before I had to take to the streets to hit my destination. From the point of where I started to ride the trail, all of the offshoots had been plowed or cleared to some capacity, but for some reason the junction I needed to ride up wasn’t. I had to hop off and do a minor amount of trudging before I could get back on the bike. I’m glad I had my Bogs on! (They make for great winter riding boots btw. Future review?)

roadblock

A minor annoyance in an overall pleasant ride. It seemed like the maintenance crew just kind of decided to call it good enough.

I’m considering checking out the trail conditions in a few days after the weather warms up. Forecasts are calling for up to 40 degree weather, so there may be some slushy conditions ahead for daily path riders.

On my way back to work I decided to ride on McKee, which was not as pleasant as the ride on the trail. I didn’t have much time to enjoy the scenery, but it’s a straight shot to the work place. There was a huge headwind and my studded tire made the bike ride like a slow moving tank. Cars were also not feeling very  generous when I was trying to avoid chunky snow debris in the road.

If you’re looking to hone your winter riding skills with a serene environment, I would highly suggest checking out the Cap City Trail in the next couple of days before the snow starts to turn into muck!

Side note: Today I decided to wear regular poly/cotton socks, Bogs, regular stretchy skinny jeans, a short sleeve Road Holland jersey, the new Surly long sleeved jersey, my Patagonia down jacket, Ibex balaclava, Pearl Izumi long finger gloves, and my helmet. In the morning when it was 19 out, my thighs were the only part of me that was cold.

During lunch and on the ride home I was pretty warm up top so I unzipped the top two layers and wore the balaclava as a neck gator. I probably could have dropped the down jacket, but I wasn’t in the mood to stop and take it off.

I’m happy to report the PDW fenders kick ass and I have no issues with interference like I do with full length fenders. I also removed my usual Crank Brothers Candy pedals and installed the VP Vice flat pedals. They have an awesome, wide platform with tons of grip. There will be full reviews as the season progresses.

Also, a BIG shout out to all the new followers. We’re happy to have the support. Please e-mail us with suggestions, comments, etc. We want to continue to improve upon the site 🙂

-Cassandra