In keeping with tradition, you can pick up this year’s Ride Guide from our booth at the Wheel and Sprocket Bike Expo this weekend at State Fair Park in West Allis. Still the most complete listing of every ride, race and bicycle event in the state, yesterday I helped unload 5,000 copies of the second edition of our quarterly magazine from the Ripon Printer’s truck.
We’ve printed the Ride Guide for more than a decade, but I don’t know exactly when it started. Any Bike Fed historians out there remember the what year the first issue was published? What began as a black and white newsprint compendium of events has grown into an 80 page, full color magazine with feature stories and a resource guide to the trails, clubs, and bike shops in Wisconsin.
Of course we mail every issue of our magazine to our members, and we distribute the rest to local bike shops around the state. But since upwards of 15,000 people come to the Bike Expo, the largest such sale in the country, this event is kind of like our Christmas and the our Ride Guide is the Tickle Me Elmo doll.
This year, we are happy to include an advance sample of another great cycling resource, the eighth edition of the Wisconsin Biking Guide put out by the Dept. of Tourism. To wet your appetite, we have included sample maps and route descriptions from Travel Wisconsin’s Bike Guide, which has been out of print for a few years.
This year the Bike Fed worked with the Dept. of Tourism to review their lists of state rail trails, purpose-built mtb trails and gravel trails to help them put the guide together. We have also helped by giving their designer free access to use images from our extensive photo library. Travel Wisconsin Biking Guide will be out sometime in May.
With these two guides in hand, you can begin to fill in your 2014 calendar of adventures, getaways or even your racing season. It takes a lot of work to put together these resource guides, but without them many of our state cycling treasures would remain secrets know only by those who live near them or stumble upon them.
We are proud that every issue of the Bike Fed’s quarterly magazine is printed on Utopia paper, milled right up in Appleton from 10% recycled stock and sustainably harvested forests. Papermaking has a rich and important history in the state of Wisconsin, a history dating back 150 years. While the digital revolution has taken its toll, Wisconsin remains the nation’s leader in paper production and the paper industry is still the third largest in the state.
In part because or our long history as the nation’s leader in paper production, we also have a great tradition of lithography and printing. Between paper, pulp and printing, the industry keeps more than 100,000 people employed! Yes, that’s even more than the 14,000 jobs Wisconsin’s nation-leading cycling economy supports, but is shows how our state’s industries depend on each other.
Not only does the Bike Fed help support our state papermaking and printing industry, the same truck that delivered our magazines was loaded down with printed products for Trek, the Oak Leaf Trail Discovery Tour passports, and MACC Fund brochures. Other printers around the state produce national and international cycling magazines, like the Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag.
We hope our magazine helps you enjoy exploring Wisconsin by bike. You will also find articles in this issue about bike camping, the joys of “getting lost” on a bike as a child, and lots more. See you at Expo or on the next ride.