L to R: Laura Mandella, Joel Brennan (Secretary of the Department of Administration), Alesha Emmert, Kirsten Finn, Governor Evers, and Anne Sayers (Secretary of the Department of Administration).
It’s no secret that bicycling has grown exponentially over the past few years – and Wisconsin Bike Fed has worked hard to support that growth. The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired record numbers of people to ride bikes as a physically distant way to spend time outside. Wisconsin Bike Fed’s goal to make cycling safe, fun and equitably available for all residents and visitors to our state is vital. We promote bicycle tourism through our Ride Guide magazine, website, newsletter, Bike Maps, Bike Summit, Wisconsin Bike Week, and Ride Across Wisconsin.
The Ride Guide is the most complete listing of everything cycling in Wisconsin and the primary source for trip planning for bicycle tourists. The Ride Guide, and the Bike Fed website, feature professionally written articles and amazing photography, along with listings of bike trails and bike shops, to inspire people to travel with their bikes. We work to promote cycling events in communities around Wisconsin. Our weekly e-newsletter shares current articles on cycling events and drives traffic to the website. Durable, full-color, State Bike Maps feature off road and mountain bike trails, on-road infrastructure, gravel roads and bike shops to inspire the ultimate bike trip.
Two annual events promote in-state bicycle tourism: the Bike Summit brings together cycling enthusiasts and leaders in bicycle advocacy and tourism. Bike Week is a statewide celebration that encourages people to experience Wisconsin by bike with events that are motivational and family-friendly.
Ride Across Wisconsin is a 225 mile bike ride across the center of the state. The 2019 event drew over 900 riders, 220 of them from 26 other states. In 2021, a smaller version of the event attracted 400 riders, 104 of them from 17 other states. Grant funds will be used to increase participation from out of state.
Our efforts were recognized by Governor Evers, as part of the $15 million in grants dispersed throughout the state. The investment is a part of the governor’s more than $140 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund investment in Wisconsin’s tourism and entertainment industries.
“Wisconsin’s tourism industry was one of the first and hardest hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic, but our local folks at DMOs [Direct Marketing Organizations] statewide have been innovative, dedicated, and resilient, and it’s because of them that this industry is bouncing back and better,” said Gov. Evers. “I am glad to be using these funds to support their good work, along with our more than $200 million investment in Wisconsin’s tourism industry.”
Thank you to Governor Evers, and to everyone who continues to support the work that Bike Fed does to make Wisconsin better!