Madison Bike Winter and Women & Bicycles Madison Want to Teach You How to Ride in the Cold!

There’s not one, but TWO fantastic opportunities for Madison area cyclists to learn about cold weather riding. The first is Madison Bike Winter’s Annual Fashion Show. The fashion show is open to the public and is being hosted at Machinery Row Bicycles.

The show starts at 5pm this Sunday and is BYOB!
Fashions covered in the show will include everything form high-tech, top notch new items from a variety of manufacturers to great D.I.Y style outfits and finds from your local thrift store.

Click the photo for more info!

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The second event is being hosted by the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Women & Bicycles, and Spoke Haven.

Join us November 12th (Wednesday)
7pm at the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Madison Office

There’s a Women’s Winter Bike Panel consisting of ladies who work in the local cycling industry or have extensive experience with year round bike riding.

Topics covered will include clothing choices, accessories for on the bike, what types of bikes work best for winter riding, and any other topics attendees care to talk about. There will be a short introduction and overview from each of the panel members, then the rest will be open discussion time to allow for a range of questions.

Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for all attendees. There’s also a small raffle package that each attendee will automatically be entered to win with some bike related goodies to get you on your way to riding through the winter!

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Surviving Below 0 Rides

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Don’t be caught out in the cold looking like this guy!

Here are a few quick tips on how to survive riding in below 0 temps.

1. Cover any possibly exposed skin with Vaseline or Aquaphor
In negative degree winter weather it can take literally a few minutes for frostbite to set in. A thin coating of a petroleum based product on your skin will help put a barrier between you and the freezing cold. It also helps retain moisture so your skin doesn’t get dry and peel.

You can kind of equate it to getting a bad sunburn. OUCH!

2. DON’T WEAR COTTON!
Cotton does a really good job of holding in moisture, that’s not what you want when trying to stay warm and dry. Look for a base layer made of wool or a good synthetic that draws moisture away from your body. The benefit of wool is that even when it’s wet, it’ll keep you warm.

3. Try to wear or at least carry 3 layers worth of clothing.
Ideally you’ll want a good tight for your legs and a base layer for you torso. Find a good mid layer that insulates, but can also still breath. Your outer most layer should be some type of wind resistant pant/jacket combo. A jacket with pit zips is nice to help regulate temperature.

4. Cover your head.
Wearing a balaclava or insulated cycling cap, or a wool stocking cap under a helmet is the best way to go. Balaclavas are usually the best option as they cover more skin and help keep the neck warm as well. The head and feet play a big role in keeping your core body temp in check. Be sure to make sure each of them are properly dressed.

5. Goggles, goggle, goggles.
Did you know your eyes basically survive off of water and body moisture? In freezing temps anything wet will freeze. This includes your eye balls and it’s not fun riding with icicles forming on your lashes and your lids sticking together!

Pick up a pair of cheap ski goggles if you expect to do any riding below freezing. Basic sunglasses simply don’t cut it.

Those are our tips for the day. There are many resources available out there for winter bike riding. We quite enjoy BikeWinter.org. It’s a great resource for learning how to survive the cold while riding. There are also lots of fun local events posted on there for a number of cities. Madison had its own chapter of Bike Winter and Winter Bike to Work Week.

Have fun everyone and please, stay warm!

Biking Into Winter. Biking with Friends.

Saturday’s ride was full of fun, full of adventure, full of great food, and of course full of great conversation. Saris Cycling Group was our meeting point and there were about 8 of us there a little after 10am. We all grabbed a little coffee (we’ve recently invested in a 2.5l carafe), chatted, then headed out on Military Ridge Trail. We picked up 2 other riders on our way out and went westward into the great headwinds.

Since the ride was so last minute we weren’t expecting that we’d have more than 5-6 riders, but we had a nice group of 10! The two gentlemen on the ride were outnumbered with 8 of us chatty ladies, but they seemed to enjoy themselves.

Most of the group.
Most of the group.

Military Ridge was fairly dry with a few gummy spots where larger ‘cross tires came in handy. Everyone was either on a road bike or a ‘cross style bike. The headwinds all the way into Mt. Horeb were pretty intense. The pace was around 11mph until we got closer to the town, where there was more tree cover. The open prairie and marshy area outside of Verona can make for some tough riding. While the route is flat, you basically can’t coast due to the winds being always at your face. Needless to say, we earned our lunch.

The group debated a bit as to where we’d like to eat. The plan initially was to go to the Grumpy Troll, but others were interested in going to Sjolinds Chocolate House. We ended going to the Troll for lunch as they serve alcohol. Bloody Mary’s needed to be had after that ride!

The Grumpy Troll
The Grumpy Troll

The Grumpy Troll has a fantastic Gluten Free menu and fully stocked bar. We highly recommend stopping in! We have plans on going again, but with a trailer in tow to stock up on growlers.

Sjolinds ended up becoming our dessert destination. We had said goodbye to 3 of our ride crew as they had other commitments, but the rest of us were more than happy to spend a little extra time drinking hot chocolates and tasting all the treats Sjolinds had to offer. It’s basically a candy store for adults. Lots of high quality chocolates, caramels, cakes, pies, and delectables.

Checking out the treats at Sjolinds.
Checking out the treats at Sjolinds.

Once we had our fill of treats, we decided to head out. The ride back towards Madison was extremely easy. The tailwind was incredible and we were going 15-17mph vs. the 11mph on the way to Mt. Horeb. All was going really well on our way out. Lots of fun conversation and friendships being formed. Each of us came from different backgrounds, but all found common ground and enjoyed each others company. It’s always exciting to see a group of people mesh so well.

The only negative thing that happened during the ride is that Cassandra had a bad crash. She skidded out on one of the wooden bridges, hurting her right forearm and pelvis. Luckily after a few minutes of being curled up on the ground, she was able to get back up and walk her bike to the next nearest road.

Cassandra's road rash. It looks a lot less scary in this photo than it does now!
Cassandra’s road rash. It looks a lot less scary in this photo than it does now!

Luckily one of the riders, Jackie, had her significant other on the phone to come pick us up. George had met us in Mt. Horeb by car and joined us for lunch. We were very lucky that he not only was able to come pick us up, but also had a Saris Bones rack on the back of his car for bikes! It was a bit of a bummer to have to end the ride early, but the rest of the ladies stuck around until we were picked up and were able to finish out the rest of the ride.

We really appreciated the NO RIDER LEFT BEHIND policy. They kept us in high spirits while waiting to go home. It’s amazing how awesome of a group this was and we can’t wait to get back out there and see our friends again.

Cassandra ended up going to urgent care once we picked up the car. Nothing ended up being broken, but her right forearm is cut up pretty bad and really swollen. She also has a really badly bruised pubic bone. There are also some pretty gnarly bruises on her left inner thigh, lower left back, and on her bum. Pain medicine, ice, and lots of rest are keeping her from feeling too terrible. She can’t wait to get back on the bike!

Word of advice kids, don’t ride over rail trail bridges one handed! She skidded out and hit the side of the bridge while trying to put something in her vest pocket. Ouch!

Overall we’d say this ride was 100% AWESOME. Hopefully we can do this route again or something similar in the future. We have no shortage of rail trails in this area and have a number of small towns outside of Madison that offer great food options!

Welcoming winter by bike is a great way to stave off the seasonal slump, so get out and RIDE.

Check out some additional photos below of our adventure 🙂

Video: To bike or to dogsled, that is the question…

Every now and again you stumble upon something that just makes you think, “oh, that is so (insert city name here)!”
This video encompasses that for us…so Madison, it hurts!


Seriously though, if the snow keeps it up…we’ll all be hopping on dog sleds to get around!
Generally we won’t post this kind of stuff, but it’s a little hard to resist!

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.