May is National Bike Month and as such, we're supporting the Wisconsin Bike Fed (BFW) as our Organization of the Month! With Bike to Work week kicking off this week, we couldn't think of a better organization to 1% of our May sales to. BFW is doing incredible work in Madison, Milwaukee and throughout the state of Wisconsin in terms of bike infrastructure, education, and training. As we move forward with our own Bike to Brunch movement at Short Stack, we couldn't be more excited to build a partnership with such an inspiring bike-friendly organization.
What is the Wisconsin Bike Fed?
According to their website, “The Wisconsin Bike Fed is the country's largest, statewide bicycle organization. We work with people from all around Wisconsin to make bicycling convenient, safe, accessible and fun.”
Besides WI Bike Week and riding in general, how can the community stay involved with BFW throughout the year?
BFW has tons of events including the fun Polish Moon Ride in Milwaukee, the challenging ride across Wisconsin in August, and the Saris Gala in October. To find out more, find BFW on social media for frequent updates and event listings.
So what is Wisconsin Bike Week?
Though May is recognized as National Bike Month with Bike to Work week in the middle of it, BFW promotes an incredible Wisconsin Bike Week in June to capitalize on the nicer weather in Wisconsin. This year, WI Bike Week will be June 3-11 and will be filled with bike rides, commuter stations, events, and more! If you’ve never tried to bike to work, bike to the grocery store, or bike at all, this week is great opportunity to get inspired en masse. Short Stack is partnering with BFW for this week as well—so stay tuned for how you can easily participate at SSE during this incredible week.
What’s the Wisconsin Bike Summit?
Each year, the Bike Fed puts on a Bike Summit at a different city in Wisconsin. This summit is a full day of learning: about advocacy, equity and cycling. This year’s Bike Summit was on Thursday May 4th, and Short Stack was fortunate enough to send four staff members to the summit. There were lectures by powerful leaders in the cycling community both in Wisconsin and beyond, raising questions and issues about cycling access and inclusivity, who is included (and more importantly excluded) and how advocacy groups throughout the state are actively working to change those realities. Stay tuned for next year's summit for your opportunity to attend!
What is the greatest need of BFW right now?
More members! Though BFW is already the biggest statewide bike advocacy group in the nation, bigger is definitely better. BFW currently has 7,000 members but are looking to hit a goal of 20,000!
Okay, I want to become a member. How do I join?
You can join here for only $35 which will get you a great magazine, discounts at bike stores and other cool shops (including SSE!) and the deep satisfaction of knowing that you’re making everyone’s ride happier and safer. If you’re interested in a lifetime membership or an organization membership, they have options for any/all of your needs as well.
What is something that BFW does that many may not know about?
Free Bike for Kids! The Bike Fed is partnering with Bike for Kids to get bikes in the hands of kids in the Madison area who might not otherwise be able to afford them. But they won’t stop there. Given the theory that if you give a kid a bike they will ride for a day but if you teach a kid how to fix a bike, they will ride forever, BFW is piloting a mobile bike repair program to under-bike-served neighborhoods around the community.
What are some goals of BFW and how can people get involved to achieve those goals?
The number one goal of BFW is just to get more people on bikes. BFW does that by creating better, safer, happier places—and a more congenial environment—in which to ride a bike. BFW is all about creating and nurturing a community of cyclists to make that happen. So get out there and ride, and invite others to join you. Strength in numbers, people. Ask your workplace to consider making changes to become a Bicycle Friendly Business or provide resources to cycle safely. You can also donate or volunteer to get involved directly.
**Huge thank you to Martha Laugen and Dave Cieslewicz for taking the time to collaborate with us and expand the energy of the Wisconsin Bike Fed to the greater community of Madison, Wisconsin, and the world.