Santa Cycle Rampage Gives Back

Me and Nancy Yarbrough at the Fresh Start Learning office at 43rd and North Avenue.

Many regular readers will remember Nancy Yarbrough from the 2016 Santa Cycle Rampage. The parade of Santas on bikes rolled past her office at Fresh Start Learning and cheered her up so much, she shared a video of her reaction live on Facebook. Nancy heads Fresh Start Learning, a non-profit that works to help victims of human trafficking. She was feeling a little down last year and the Santa Cycle Rampage picked her up.

I don’t know if this ride can get any bigger! I guess we will see on Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2018.

A week or so after the ride, I reached out Nancy and met her at Amaranth Bakery for a coffee. While the Santa Cycle Rampage is a fundraiser for the Bike Fed’s mobile bike repair program, I offered to take donations for Fresh Start Learning on the 2017 Rampage. As you can see by the photo, our generous riders donated $400! That money will go a long way given the cost-effective programs at Fresh Start:

  • $25.00 will help provide purses and personal hygiene items for 5 women
  • $50.00 will provide 10 purses with hygiene items or 10 hours of education and training for a survivor
  • $100.00 will provide food, clothes, and a safe night off the street for up to 3 victims.

This year Nancy even joined us on the ride, thanks to Zu Zu Pedals. They brought Nancy a cool fat bike down from their shop in Port Washington. Zuzu Pedals’ owner Tammy Thompson-Oreskovic saw Nancy’s video after I shared it in a blog post and offered to loan her a bike for the day.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our 2017 Santa Cycle Rampage, and our sponsors of course. It was by all accounts the largest ride we have ever had. I counted about 100 people per block, and the official ride stretched 23 blocks on North Avenue from front to back. Thanks to DreamBikes for bringing up the rear and fixing any flat tires!

Between our sponsors and registration fee, we should net about $20,000, enough to match a private donation of the same amount for our mobile bike repair program. Our mobile bike repair program not only offers hundreds of free repairs in neighborhoods without bike shops, we teach job skills to high school kids and provide them resume building employment.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who supports the Wisconsin Bike Fed, either by joining us on one of our rides,  sponsoring our events, advertising in our magazine, or joining as a member and through donations. One last shout out to our Rampage sponsors. Consider visiting them over this holiday season.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

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