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The 2016 Wisconsin Bike Summit will be held on Saturday, May 21st in La Crosse, WI at the Radisson Hotel.  The Summit is scheduled to complement the UW- La Crosse Extension  Midwest Active Transportation Conference to be held on May 20th. Registrants of both events will receive a discount.

We are pleased to welcome our featured speakers –   Mayor Tim Kabat will provide Opening Remarks and our Keynote Speaker is Dr. James Longhurst, Associate Professor of History at UW-LaCrosse and author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road.

The Agenda for the day is as follows:

8-8:30am  Registration

8:30 to 9:00am  Welcome Session: Opening remarks by Mayor Tim Kabat, Dave Cieslewicz and Dave Schlabowske

9:15 to 10:15am  Session 1

  • Moving Active Transportation Forward Together - We all know the benefits that strong active transportation systems can bring to communities and to our state. But how do we move the needle in advancing policies that make walking and biking safe and fun? Over the past year, healthTIDE has been engaging partners from across Wisconsin to address this question, and campaign plans are taking shape in two specific areas: Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School. You’ll learn about coalition efforts to date and participate in a process to uncover how you can connect to this aspiring movement to advance active transportation priorities.
  • Marketing Your Community as a Bike Tourism Destination - The Wisconsin Department of Tourism exists to promote Wisconsin as the #1 destination for FUN in the Midwest. Learn about utilizing Tourism’s consumer website “” to promote your community, event, trail, or company. Earned media, social media, literature distribution, and marketing grants will also be discussed. Marquette Michigan has become a mountain bike destination. Learn about the holistic approach Marquette used in marketing bike tourism and the economic effect its providing to our community. Over the last few years Travel Marquette (CVB) has worked to educate our non-profit event organizations and community to speak with one voice on a variety of bicycle topics, and spreading this “one voice” will help the entire Midwest region.
  • Adapting Bikes for Children with Physical Disabilities - the Power of Possibility - Variety, in partnership with Brent Emery,bike shop owner, former US Olympian and “bike whisperer”, seeks to ensure that children with physical disabilities are able to ride bicycles by providing adaptive bikes that are customized for the unique needs/abilities of each child. Come learn about this unique and exciting program.

10:30 to 11:30am Session 2

  •  How to Social Media: Sharing your Organization’s Story- The key to social media success is based on building relationships and promoting both your partners and the content that aligns with your brand. For both organizations or individual professionals, we’ll outline the basics of how you proceed from building followers, engaging with partners, and posting original content on Facebook and Twitter. While the recipe for success is the same regardless of your experience, please join us if you are newer to social media for organizations and want an overview of the building blocks, or simply to better understand how social media works.
  • Better Living Through Trails - This presentation explores the positive relationships between communities and their trail systems. Trails as community assets can improve quality of life and livability in a community for both the biking and non-biking members, and can attract significant tourism dollars in addition in increasing overall quality of life. With statistics and case studies, participants will learn how to turn a quality community trail system into a destination trail system, and learn how to effectively market a trail system. This presentation is a great way to show the community that cycling clubs are concerned with the health of the local citizens, the health of local green spaces and the health of the local economy.
  • Senior Cycling: Getting senior citizens back in the saddle for health, rehab and fun - Come learn about trends in cycling for senior citizens and people recovering from life’s challenges.The session will cover accessibility on the move, as well as storage, road safety, getting to the store, social riding and senior groups, health benefits, and adapting the cycle to the rider.

11:45 to 1pm  Lunch

Join us for our Keynote Speaker, cyclist and historian James Longhurst, as he tackles the question of why most American cities are still so ill-prepared to handle cyclists. In his new book “Bike Battles,” Longhurst brings together traditional policy research with pop culture to give a deeper account of the history of sharing the road in America.

1 to 2pm Session 3

  • Bike Skills and Drills - Bring a bike and helmet for this on-bike class. Bike handling, crash avoidance techniques and emergency stopping will be taught along with helmet fit and the ABC Bike Check. This is same training the Bike Fed’s Share & Be Aware Ambassadors receive and it’s perfect for those who want to educate themselves OR learn these safety skills to teach to others.
  • Using all the Gears for Economic Development and Community Benefits -The session provides an overview of the history of a Waukesha County bicycle-pedestrian facility that originated as a small railroad serving area stone quarries, with a discussion of phased acquisition and development of a 16 mile regional facility. It will also include a description of community cooperation and connections, a discussion of the wide variety of funding used from 1978 to 2016, and the results of the generation of economic development activity and community benefits.
  • Outdoor Recreation as an Economic Development Tool - Join a discussion of the mission and vision of the Outdoor Recreation Alliance and their work in the Driftless Region.

2:15 to 3:15pm Session 4

  • How to Put 32.000 Kids on Bikes - Millions of kids do not have a bike. FB4K is on a mission to end that. With 32K bikes given in the Mpls/St. Paul area, we are now planting chapters in cities across the US and internationally. By the end of 2020 we anticipate giving away 50K bikes each year! Last year we set the Guinness World Record by collecting over 5,500 bikes in 7 hours. Those bikes are refurbished over 60 days, engaging thousands of volunteers, then given away in December. Our desire is to bring WI into this mission by launching in Milwaukee, Madison, and other cities. We have created all the tools for a ‘plug and play’ system that we believe will work in any city. Come find out exactly how you can bring FB4K to your city, putting thousands of kids on bikes for the very first time.
  • US Bicycle Routes in Wisconsin: Planning and Designation - This session will be a combined communication and workshop on the US Bicycle Route System. There will be an explanation the US Bicycle Route System, the progress to date on USBR 30 (Lacrosse to Milwaukee), and of the plan for additional USBRs in Wisconsin in line with the nearly-completed state bike plan. There will be an opportunity for audience interaction and input and development of action plans for implementing four more USBRs in Wisconsin.
  • The Vulnerable User Law in Wisconsin - This year, as in previous years, the Bike Fed is encouraging the adoption of a vulnerable road users (VRU) law in Wisconsin to create a new class of penalties for those convicted of killing or injuring a cyclist, pedestrian, and other classes of road users. According to the Bike Fed blog, “it’s a fight worth having.” Join the panel to hear a discussion on the various viewpoints on the VU bill. Presenters will speak about the background and ramifications of enhanced penalties and redress for VRUs as well as counterpoints to the opinion. There will also be a discussion regarding the process of shepherding a piece of cycling legislation through the legislative process, from initial concept, to drafting, lobbying, introduction, passage, and enactment.

3:30 to 4:30pm Session 5

  • Wisconsin Women & Bicycles Program - In this session, women who volunteer as Roll Models for the Wisconsin Bike Fed program will share ideas and resources to inspire others to continue encouraging women to ride bicycles.
  • The Route of the Badger: Creating a World-Class Trail System in Southeastern Wisconsin - Presenters will provide an overview and update on of the Route of the Badger project, which, in partnership with the Wisconsin Bike Federation, is an ambitious effort to create a 500-mile seamless trail system in southeastern Wisconsin.
  • Crafting the Bike Fed’s state and local policy direction - Help the Bike Fed craft its state and local policy direction. With the legislature out of session, now is the time to plan ahead for 2017 and to set an agenda that we can promote during state legislative elections this fall. Should we press ahead with an aggressive set of policies that are unlikely to pass but which push the envelope or should we scale back and play “small ball” with proposals that could be enacted? Or should we retreat from state government and focus our resources on local governments that are more amenable to our cause? Join the Bike Fed’s Executive Director for a lively discussion.

4:00pm Mountain Bike Ride at Hixon Forest Park

  • Join the Outdoor Recreation Alliance for an afternoon mountain bike ride. The trailhead is located approximately four miles from the Radisson at 800 Milson Ct. Hixon Forest Park. The ride will be an out and back, and once at the park, will start with a long east climb up the Vista trail which connects to Upper Hixon trail system. Vista trail is easy; Upper Hixon trail is intermediate to advanced. All riding levels are encouraged – there will be groups for beginners and for more advanced riders. Mountain bikes are available for rent at Smith’s Bike Shop.

5:00 to 7:00pm Post Summit Gathering at the Charmant Hotel

  • Join the Bike Fed staff and board for a beverage with a view at the Rooftop Terrace of the Charmant Hotel.  Snacks will be provided.

If you want to bring the family, check out these activities they can enjoy while you are at the Summit -

Registration information is available here. Hope to see you in La Crosse!  If you have any questions, please contact Sarah at


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Pacific Cycle