The 2013 Volunteer of the Year award for Wisconsin Bike Fed celebrates the work of Jeremy Gragert representing Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Jeremy is the founder of the Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance, Inc., organizing a united voice for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders in the Eau Claire area. CVTA’s large list of priorities has gotten them very involved with the city’s Bicycle / Pedestrian Advisory Commission and looks very critically at improvements they can make to roads when they are reconstructed, especially if they are slated for improvement in the city bike plan.
Jeremy’s biggest project of the past year has been the creation of a bicycle map for the Chippewa Valley, including detailed on and off street bike routes within the cities of Eau Claire, Altoona, and Chippewa Falls, and the Village of Lake Hallie. He has been working with a team of volunteers to vision the scope of the map, work with local municipalities, and ride and map routes together over the past year. They are hoping for publication of the map by Summer 2014 in cooperation with the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
Jeremy’s volunteer work with the Wisconsin Bike Fed intensified by working with former Bike Fed Western Region Director Matt Andrews and many others to increase the Bike Fed’s impact in this region. Jeremy’s volunteering helped Eau Claire’s first major Bike to Work Week effort this past spring. Thursday nights in Eau Claire had Jeremy and others providing valet bicycle parking at downtown summer concert events with well over 50 bikes parked a night.
In September of this year Jeremy was able to organize a book tour stop for the authors of Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State, where he set up several media interviews for them along with appearances at UW-Eau Claire and downtown Eau Claire that totaled over 50 attendees. UW-Eau Claire is working to create its first bicycle plan and in 2013 was named a Bronze level bicycle friendly university. Jeremy led a group of a dozen volunteers to count bicycles entering the central campus at UW-Eau Claire from the four major entry points, and found that over 1,200 people entered campus by bicycle between 7am and 1pm on October 1, 2013.