Last Friday was a great day for cycling in Wisconsin.
As Dave Schlabowske reported in our last blog, the tenth annual Saris Gala was the best ever. We were sold out and the event raised a record amount for the work of the Bike Fed. Over a decade the Gala has raised over $800,000 for the Bike Fed. Thanks so much to Chris, Sarah and Heather Fortune and the whole team at Saris and a special thanks this year to Chris, Julian and Amelia Kegel of Wheel & Sprocket for all of their great work in running registration and check out for the event.
But the Gala was only the finishing touch on a great day because Friday was also the fifth annual Bike Summit. Just like the Gala and for the first time ever the Summit was sold out. Summit goers were able to choose from twelve different workshops. I had to do some running around, but I was able to poke my head into Nick Hoffman’s presentation on Wisconsin bike history and to Prof. Jonathan Patz’s discussion of bikes and public health. Both were terrific.
At lunch Phil Liggett joined us for a brief and entertaining talk and then he helped us present the Advocate of the Year award to Plymouth Comprehensive High School junior Maja Holcomb for her work on the vulnerable users bill. Among other things, Maja appeared before the State Senate Transportation Committee recently in support of the bill. Her poise and poignant story wowed the committee and everyone at the hearing.
We also honored long-time member and bicycle advocate Chuck Strawser for becoming our first Lifetime Member. Thanks to Chuck’s idea we now have a Lifetime Membership category. It’s $1,000 until the end of the year and it will be $1,200 thereafter. So, get yours today! At the Gala Brigit Brown became Lifetime Member number two and we awarded the first Lifetime organizational memberships to Saris and to Wheel & Sprocket.
Later we presented an award for Bicycle Friendly Business of the Year to Shine United, a Madison public relations and design firm that has done so much great work for us, including our unforgettable logo.
I have been on board now for all of three weeks so I can take precisely no credit for any of this. That credit goes to our partners, our members, board of directors and our staff.
At the end of the day we all came away energized by the growing and powerful bike movement in Wisconsin. Thanks to everyone who made that great day possible!