A couple of days ago, Shea, the Entertainment Coordinator (and my favorite Milwaukee superhero) for the USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals, stopped by the office to drop off some cool posters to promote the race and other fun events she has organized. The nationals are being held January 9-13 at Badger Prairie Park in Verona. I went to the last nationals (also held at Badger Prairie Park), but I only made it to watch the pros on Sunday. I have regretted only going the last day ever since because I missed all the other fun stuff that was planned. One of my 2013 New Years resolutions is to spend more time there this year. After all, how often do we get to host the national championships? So this time I am going Friday night and spending the weekend there.
If you can’t take that much time, you will have to pick and choose between all the action-packed racing and this great schedule of fun Bicicle Festivities, such as a happy hour, polka band, pro racer meet and greet with mussels, frites and Belgian-style beer, Bicycle Go Go Dancers, and the Bicicle Shanty Competition.
Shea Schachameyer, described the Shanty competition this way: “This competition isn’t just for your run-of-the-mill ice shanties like your grandpa used to build. We’re looking for people in the Madison-area to really flex their creative muscles and think outside of the normal shanty box. While this is the first event of its kind in Madison, Art Shanties have been popping up across the Midwest with both artists and ice-fishermen wanting to highlight the rich tradition and add a little flare out on the ice. Inspiration for Bicicle Shanties can be found by looking up the Art Shanty Project in Minnesota, which has been thriving on the ice for years now. With Madison having a pretty solid community of ice-fisherman, it’ll be exciting to see if this event takes root and becomes a local tradition like it has in other locals. Either way, it’ll be fun to see what peoples’ imaginations will dream up this year!”
The Bicicle Shanties will be judged in three categories: Best Overall, Most Bicycle Themed and Most “Wisconsin.” All participants will receive goodies for their effort but winners of each category will receive an award and variety of prizes donated from local Wisconsin business including but not limited to beer, cheese curds, frozen custard, gift certificates and bike swag. The awards ceremony will take place the morning of Sunday, January 13th at the race and will conclude with a special performance by the Greasy Gears, Madison’s self-described “girlicious gang of bicycle-ridin’, go-go-dancin’ fiends.”
If you really want to get inspired to build a great Bicicle Shanty, check out the video of the bicycle-powered Shanty below! But even if you can’t build a shanty, with all the fun Bicicle Festivities and top pro racing, how can you not go?