Riding to Indian Lake County Park- Video


I’ve had a few days off between my old job ending and my new job starting. I decided to do a ride that I’ve started several times, but never completed because honestly it was a pretty boring route to ride solo. Thankfully my old co-worker Simone had reached out to see if I was riding yesterday and she joined me for the 40 mile loop to a local outdoor hot spot, Indian Lake County Park.

The route goes up the Highway 12 bike path which goes North of Madison up towards Sauk City. The trail itself terminates before you actually reach Sauk City, which is a bit sad. I’m hoping more land easements will come to connect the entire route to make it more direct. The nice thing about the trail is it is a great way to access some beautiful state natural areas and parks such as Devil’s Lake State Park, Indian Lake, Pafrey’s Glen, and the Merrimac Ferry with its quaint views.

We took the Highway 12 trail up to its end on Raul road, which we found was named something different than what was on our map. Raul took us across Highway 12 and around to Matz road, which spit us out right on Highway 19 across from Indian Lake County Park!

The park was absolutely packed when we arrived, no surprise there as it seems people are finally rediscovering the outdoors thanks to the Covid 19 pandemic. A bit frustrating as someone who enjoyed these places prior to the pandemic, but happy that it will hopefully encourage the state to invest in more natural areas and do some upgrades to some places that need a serious face lift.

The restrooms were open thankfully, so we took a snack/bathroom break, filled our water bottles, and rolled back home. On the way home we stopped into my new home shop Wheel and Sprocket. I needed some more nutrition and ended up picking up some Floyd’s of Leadville CBD recovery gummies as well as some new flavors of Stroopwafels from GU. It also gave me an opportunity to look around the shop and get familiar with some of the products we carry and see how busy the shop was still on the weekends.

I ended my ride in a local park where I shot a good portion of a sort of chat to the camera style vlog. I do a little taste test of the snacks I picked up, talk a bit about life, and a little bit about some of the new gear I’ve been trying out. I’m looking to experiment more with this style of video to add a bit more of my personality versus just talking about a product. We’ll see if I can keep up a regular schedule. It may be tough with starting the new job and I start a new Marketing course through my school this week as well.

Next weekend I am planning on doing a sub 24 hour overnight as a part of the annual Swift Industries Campout event. Almost all of the state parks are booked up, but know from past excursions that if you bike or hike into a state park, you can’t really be turned away. The other option would be to just stealth camp somewhere in the area, which shouldn’t be too difficult as it gets darker early and I’m planning on testing out my bivy set up and bringing my hammock as a back up.

Assuming the weather cooperates, I’ll try to capture that adventure on camera as well!

As always thank you for reading, watching, and supporting the site. Stay safe and sane and of course…EAT WELL, BIKE OFTEN!

Cassandra

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One Chapter Closes & Another Begins!

I’ve been waiting to make this announcement as I wanted to respect my current employer, Fitchburg Cycles. Tomorrow is my last official day there though and I feel it’s time for me to update those who give a care on where I’ll be headed!

I’ll be joining the team at Wheel & Sprocket Middleton as a Store Manager. I’m nervous and excited for the new opportunity. I’ve spent a cumulative nearly four years working with Edwin and the folx at Fitchburg Cycles. I considered it my home shop, even when I wasn’t physically in the shop working. I’ve held many events there, took on a lot of responsibilities that kept the shop running (purchasing, social media management, and running the sales floor), and learned so much from my time at the shop. It was a bit of a revolving door of employees during my four years there, but will for sure miss my most recent co-workers.

It will be a bittersweet ending of my time there, but I know that it was time for me to move on. For those who aren’t familiar with Wheel & Sprocket, they are a Midwestern regional chain that was founded in 1973. Chris Kegel was the longtime president of the company until he sadly passed away in 2017. I had the pleasure of working with Chris during my time at Saris managing the silent auction and assisting in planning the annual Saris Gala. I also had ties to Chris and his family during my time as a board member for the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation.

Throughout my time at Saris and the Bike Fed I had met Chris’s daughters  Amelia and Tessa as well as his sons Noel and Julian. Noel has taken over as president of the company while Amelia heads up the events and marketing. They’ve grown as a company within the last few years with expanding to new markets such as Middleton and Evanston, IL. They’ve also been expanding and updating their locations in and around the greater Milwaukee area, making for clean and modern looking shops.

It’s nice knowing that while they are a “chain store” that they are still owned and run by the Kegel family. Wheel has a great reputation outside of their shops for giving back to the community. They sponsor a number of local charity rides, started the Chris Kegel foundation which provides funding for cycling infrastructure projects, and they donate funds to a lot of cycling non-profits. Their ride support is always a welcome site when rolling up to a cycling event as they always have great mechanical support.

My hope is once our world gets back to normal after COVID that I’ll be able to join an event or two as it’s always something I’ve enjoyed while working in bike shops.

chriskegelfoundation.org

Another aspect I’m excited about with heading to a new shop is I get to work with some new brands. I have a lot of love and respect for the brands I worked with at Fitchburg Cycles, but I will get to now sell brands like Salsa and All-City who make some fun bikes and products I’ve been a fan of for many years.

I’ll still get the opportunity to sell Liv and Giant, which is exciting and they are wonderful bike brands. Some other brands that will be new for me to sell include Ortlieb (some of the nicest pannier and bike packing gear on the market), Kuat racks, Terra Trike, Tern, Yuba, Felt, and another 4 lettered brand that lots of people know. I shall not name them at this time due to their association with the police bike issue, so I’d just rather not go there. I’m trying this whole if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. It gets me into a little less trouble, but for those who know me…I’m pretty candid about my thoughts and opinions on things.

The opportunity is awesome and I’m excited to getting my feet wet with learning their systems, the new products, the new brands, and meeting a new customer base! I know some of my existing regulars will likely come see me at the new shop and I look forward to exposing them to some new offerings as well.

I don’t know that I’d write much about my day to day job as I tend to like to just talk about my bike, reviewing products, and the rides I’m doing. If anything cool pops up though I’ll be sure to share about it.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading and as always EAT WELL, BIKE OFTEN!

Cassandra

Half the Road

Half the Road is a newly released documentary written and directed by Kathryn Bertine. The film includes interviews with a wide range of cycling professionals, governmental leaders, celebrities, and other representatives within the cycling world all discussing the gender inequality taking place in the sport. Not only is the nature of professional cycling discussed, but the sports industry in general.

Women are severely lacking in the sponsorship and media support that male sporting events and athletes have garnered for years. Half the Road bravely dives into the world of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and gets to the root of the issue on the topic of inequality in the sport of cycling.

If you enjoyed the trailer and would like to watch the film, Wheel & Sprocket is hosting a viewing in Milwaukee on May 1st. Please visit the Facebook event page for more info.

 

Wisconsin Bike Summit & Saris Gala Review

The last two weeks were a whirlwind of bicycle madness! I spent two whole weeks prepping the Saris Gala silent auction on top of the many months leading up to event working on donation asks and promotional efforts.

Not to mention that the Wisconsin Bike Fed decided to host their annual Bike Summit the same day as the Gala. It was a good call, but made for a pretty stressful planning of both ventures. I was asked to present on the women’s panel by Kierstin of Two Wheels From Home/Madtown Maidens, she’s also on the Bike Fed Board. I COULDN’T SAY NO!

I'm talking with my hands.
I’m talking with my hands.

For the women’s panel I decided to talk about how to increase the population of women cyclists by hosting rides and events. It’s a topic I felt comfortable with and hoped it would open up the floor for the following presentations as I had to go first. I was among some pretty awesome ladies including India Viola from We Are All Mechanics, Jillian Imikoski  from the Bella Donnas, and Kelly Peterson from Madison Bike Polo. Below are my slides from my presentation and I obviously went more in depth with my topics than what was listed.

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Each presenter was limited to 15 minutes on their topic, but I could have talked for at least an hour on hosting events. I love event planning and promotion, so I geek out anytime I get the opportunity to share my passion.

Unfortunately once my presentation was over I had to make my way back to Saris to get set up for the gala. I’m really curious as to how the other presenters did. I guess there’s always next year!

From what I did see, which included Mayor Dave’s opening remarks and the general layout of the summit, the event seemed to be a great success. There was a show of hands for first time summit attendees and the majority of the room were first timers, including myself. There were tables from different Bike Fed supporters including one from Saris Cycling Group, Fyxation, and of course the Bike Fed. There were a couple of others, but I was short on time and didn’t get to investigate.

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From mayor to citizen and now executive director. It’s Dave!

One of my favorite takeaways, besides presenting of course, was the awesome new t-shirt they were selling at the Summit. Chris Aalid has done some fantastic work in the last few months for the Bike Fed. Keep up the good work my friend!

I couldn't quite capture the colors with my phone, but you get the idea.
I couldn’t quite capture the colors with my phone, but you get the idea.

Onto the Saris Gala. The Gala for me ends up being mostly work, but I still enjoy every minute of it. Setup starts along with the work day at 8am and continues right up to the start of the event. Part of my job was setting up tables, placing linens, staging all the silent auction items aka merchandising, placing bid sheets, and making sure all the volunteers knew what their jobs entitled.

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Rachel is perfecting the art of placing linens.
More tables, more linens, more lights!
More tables, more linens, more lights!

The whole event went really smoothly. Registration for volunteers and attendees was quick and easy. The overall flow around the room was great. The food was fantastic (thanks Lombardino’s!). Phil and Dave were great presenters and Pat Gallagher was (as always) a fantastic emcee.

Overall I think it was a great success and the total dollar amount raised (as of right now) is estimated to be close to $108,000! That’s the most any one Saris Gala has ever raised, so thanks to everyone who opened up their wallets and helped us make the event the best damn bike party in the state!

Extra special thanks go out to everyone at Wheel & Sprocket. They made all the registration and check out go so smoothly. Amelia & Julian we’re super helpful and we always appreciate everything they do for the event.

I also want to thank my team of silent auction volunteers! You guys are the best crew ever and I had so much fun spending the night drinking, laughing, and talking up item auctions with you! Theresa, Nic, Sarah, Lisa, and Keri…you’re all rockstars 🙂

Sarah, Nic, Theresa, Cassandra, Lisa, & Keri
Sarah, Nic, Theresa, Cassandra, Lisa, & Keri

Rachel also deserves an extra special thanks for being my work wife and keeping me sane during our two weeks of being stuffed in a conference room with bags and auction items surrounding us. We made it through!

The 10th year anniversary of the Saris Gala is said to be the last. I’m sad to see it go, but am looking forward to a possible break for next fall.