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The passing of Hank Aaron has been felt across the world.  The loss of Mr. Aaron is acutely felt by Wisconsinites as he not only was a cherished local sports hero but someone deeply invested in the community.  For people on bicycles, we are reminded of his contributions to our society via his namesake trail in Milwaukee County.

Over the past decade The Wisconsin Bike Fed has been collaborating with the Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail to ensure Hammerin’ Hank’s legacy lives.  Together we have worked to provide bicycle programming to ensure that young people from communities of color have access to the Hank Aaron State Trail and the opportunity to explore their community by bicycle.

"Hammerin' Hank" Aaron speaking next to a Hank Aaron State Trail sign

The Hank Aaron State Trail is not only a means to get places, but also a launching pad for transformative experiences. Working with a group of young people this summer, longtime Safe Routes Instructor Barb Blick reflected on a public space located along the trail, “We walked our bikes to what we now are calling our magic parking lot. It’s behind Mitchell Park Domes and, at this time, is blocked off with boulders so there are no cars and no chance of cars – very reassuring. Gabi, our non-rider, got on her bike and started to ride, just like that.” Once Gabi was riding, they hit the trail and had great experiences full of pedal power.

For more stories like this and to learn more about how the Bike Fed and the Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail adapted during Covid please visit our visual story and read this press release for more information.