Boulder, Bike, & Brew w/Sarah Hagedon

Have you ever wanted to combine your passion for rock climbing, cycling, and drinking some good local beer? Well now you can and all thanks to Sarah Hagedon.

We had the opportunity to meet Sarah over the summer at a number of bicycle related events. Sarah currently manages the bike valet program for the Wisconsin Bike Fed and works at Boulder’s Climbing Gym. The concept of Boulder, Bike, and Brew is something we were very interested in and wanted to learn more about, so we sent Sarah some questions to learn a little bit more about BB&B and the woman behind it.

Spoke Haven: Who are you?

Sarah: I am Sarah Hagedon. I’m a 23 year old Wisconsin native originally from Stevens Point, home to Point Beer and recently O’so Brewing Company.  I graduated from UW-Stevens Point in Social Sciences with emphases in Women & Gender Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology.  I am interested in feminism, LGBT rights, activism, reading, biking, climbing, learning, and making the world a better place.

Spoke Haven: What is your background?

Sarah: My background in climbing and biking comes mostly from this awesome guy Nathan Brewer that I used to live with. My sophomore year in college he got me really into climbing at UWSP and biking for fun.  Nathan was just awesome at every sport he picked up, climbing, skateboarding, biking, everything, he was super encouraging.  He used to bring me to the UWSP Wall and taught me all about climbing, we would go to Owen’s Rock which is just some crappy spot near our hometowns.  A lot of my confidence from climbing and biking comes from Nathan. He initially got me interested in riding my bike around to class and stuff, he actually sold me my first bike.

Spoke Haven: How did you get interested in cycling?

Sarah: After Nathan and I stopped being roommates I got my first single speed because my best friend Angela Jennings got this pink one and it was way easier to maintain.  My friend and Angela’s boyfriend, Matt (who also works at Boulders and used to work at the UWSP Wall with me) helped me put it together.  This is when I started to get way more interested in cycling.  I lived a further from campus and really needed my bike for transportation.  Matt taught me how to ride in the winter and kept me accountable for appropriate winter dress and lights at night.  The first time I was introduced to cycling in Madison was from the Urban Assault race that Matt made us do.

Spoke Haven: What inspired you to start Boulder, Bike, and Brew?

Sarah: Boulder, Bike & Brew is really just a culmination of my interests.  As a recent Madisonian, I moved here in March, I wanted to combine a social event with the best things in life! Bikes, Beer, Climbing!

Spoke Haven: How did you get involved with the Bike Fed?

Sarah: Initially I got involved with the Bike Fed just as a street teamer.  I knew Tom Klein, the Dane Co Director from the music scene in Madison and wanted to get involved with cool stuff in Madison.  The Bike Valet Coordinator position opened up and it seemed like a good fit.  And here’s my push for volunteers, my position is based on the volunteerism of interested cyclists!  We set up extra bike parking as a complimentary service to cyclists and spread the word about the Bike Fed.  I always need more people to help park bikes and hang out…sign up at http://wisconsinbikefed.org/join/volunteer/

Spoke Haven: What is your current ride (bike)?

Sarah: I currently ride a Stray Cat Bike.  Jeff from Revolution cycles referred me to Travis’ company right when I moved to Madison. I love that its local, Travis climbs at Boulders all the time and sponsored BBB. 

*The model Sarah rides is the Sasha, click on  the link above to learn more about Stray Cat!

Spoke Haven: If you could have a dream bike, what would it be and why?

Sarah: I used to have this awesome vintage Schwinn Beach Cruiser that I loaned to a friend and got clipped while parked downtown a month ago.  So right now my dream bike is to replace my cruiser.  This Cruiser was like perfect too, it had the original headlight and odometer.

Spoke Haven: Where is your favorite place to ride?

Sarah: My favorite place to ride is up and down the Isthmus on the Cap City.  Mainly from the Farmer’s Market or Colectivo Coffee to the Bike Fed office on E Main, to Cafe Zoma, to Boulders, to Olbrich.

Spoke Haven: What do you hope to see for the future of cycling in Madison, what would you like to contribute?

Sarah: For Madison biking in the future I would like to see more fun and social events that are low pressure to get people into riding for fun, potentially we will see a slow bikes movement?? I want to be totally consumed in making biking fun for Madisonians! Stay tuned for more biking events at Boulders.

The next BBB will be September 26th at Genna’s!
www.facebook.com/boulderbikeandbrew

A big thanks to Sarah for taking the time to let us interview her. We also want to thank her for diving right into the Madison bike scene and creating such an awesome event. We hope to see you all out at the next month’s event, October 24th at One Barrel Brewing Company as a sort of pre-party for the Wisconsin Bike Summit!

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 🙂

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!