Biking connects us; we bike to commute to work, school and even shopping. Some of us bike alone to experience the wonder of Wisconsin’s great outdoors. We also connect through biking together on group rides to make friends and explore new scenery. Bike trails bring us together – for transportation and companionship.
As the only statewide bicycling advocacy group, the Bike Fed works to connect cyclists in all areas of Wisconsin to a better biking experience. We do this through safety education, epic rides and advocating for better cycling and pedestrian initiatives.
In 2022, we have focused on Connectors and Connections as means to show the universal affection we hold for our great state, particularly while experiencing it on two wheels! We identified Connectors: key projects across the state that cyclists value; and Connections: people on the ground in these communities, policy makers, business leaders and others to help advance our collective goals for cycling.
And we have been effective! Here are some important wins we have achieved in the quest to connect people via biking:
- We convened a Council of Advocates to offer representatives of all Wisconsin counties the opportunity to engage to improve cycling throughout the state. Representatives of 57 counties (nearly 80%) participated in the quarterly meetings.
- Cyclists responded in droves during the DNR’s open comment period about potential enhancements to outdoor recreation opportunities at Granite Peak in Rib Mountain State Park in Marathon County. The two plan options featuring more bike paths received such favorable ratings that as the DNR proceeds with its plan, it is aware that the vast majority of users and stakeholders want more bike paths in the park.
- Two important projects received significant funding from the 2022 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) that enhances opportunities for safe, non-motorized transportation. Both of these projects will soon be headed toward completion.
o the Wagon Wheel Trail in LaCrosse received a $4,010,400 award
o the Highland Bike and Pedestrian Path in Ozaukee received $999,212
- The Bike Fed successfully advocated for options to give cyclists year-round, off-road access to the Stewart Tunnel in Dane County while preserving its historic integrity. The DNR is now seeking funding to restore the tunnel trail with corrugated metal piping.
- We supported advocates for the Peace Trail in Rock County who successfully received the remaining $40,000 needed from the County complete the trail to connect Beloit and Janesville.
In September we co-hosted with the Office of Outdoor Recreation, the first ever Healthy Community Summit to share all things outdoor recreation and biking, including the positive health, wellness and economic benefits for people and communities. We attracted nearly 200 business owners, active transportation commuters, trail enthusiasts, policy makers and those committed to healthy living to collectively uplift Wisconsin’s outdoor industry and make our state a better place to ride a bike and enjoy the great outdoors.
With your support, the Bike Fed can continue to advance cycling in all parts of Wisconsin. This work improves the experience for cyclists, creates more sustainable transportation alternatives and showcases the beauty of our great state.
We thank you for your consideration to make a year-end contribution to the Wisconsin Bike Fed to build upon these connections.
Amelia Kegel, Board Chair
Kirsten Finn, Executive Director
P.S. If you’d like to save your cash for the holidays, please consider a convenient monthly donation. And if you’d like to double your donation, please check to see if your employer will match your gift.
CWA Photo credit: Nick Musson