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Newlyweds Andy and Kris Oleson have both registered for their first Ride Across Wisconsin in 2024 and are looking forward to taking on the two-day 235-mile ride.

The couple has shared their thoughts on cycling and Ride Across Wisconsin (RAW) with Bike Fed member/volunteer writer Doug Freeman in honor of Valentine’s Day 2024…

How did you meet and discover your mutual love of cycling?

Andy: Kris and I randomly met at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours during one of the 2021 Hugh Jass Fat-Bike races. Neither of us were riding that day. Kris was volunteering at the Hammerschlagen zone, and I was there with my new dog to meet some old riding friends and cheer on the racers.

They say sometimes when you stop looking you find what you’re looking for, in our case it couldn’t be any truer! 

Our first “official” date was the Santa Rampage! (Thanks Wisconsin Bike Fed!) We rode our bikes and talked the entire time.  In our eyes it was as though we were the only two on the ride, although we were surrounded by 2400+ other people on bikes.

We found there were so many parallels in our lives, but the one resounding common interest was our love of cycling.

It didn’t take long to realize that we were in this for the long haul, and our relationship grew into a love for each other. So, the next logical step (in our minds) was to get married and enjoy our future as husband and wife. We officially married November 25, 2023.  

We’re lucky to live in Wisconsin as it has such a great bicycle culture, it truly caters to our lifestyle. Whether it be fat-biking in the snow, gravel riding, road riding, or mountain biking, we are grateful to have such great infrastructure that allows us to enjoy our passion.

What inspired you to register and take on the Bike Fed’s 2024 RAW?

We’ve done quite a few epic rides/trips since meeting and are always looking for future cycling adventures.  We had talked about doing RAW early on in our relationship and decided to do the 2024 RAW as one of our big adventure rides this year.  

What are you most looking forward to about being part of this year’s RAW?

We’ve signed up for the two-day 235-mile ride, our goal is to ride it self-supported, carrying our gear with us. 

What would you say to others, regardless of age, to encourage and motivate them to take on RAW?

Kris: I think finding a RAW training partner who you are accountable to is important, and if that training partner happens to be your spouse even better. Our goal is to work together to get stronger, so we can ride longer on the bike with less pain!  We have bike trainers and weights set up in our basement, and our training has started in earnest this month!  Training doesn’t have to be brutal, just consistent.  Also, realizing there are good days and bad days (on and off the bike).  The goal is not perfection. The goal is to meet some amazing people, support each other, and just enjoy the ride!

What other thoughts would you like to share about preparing for RAW? 

Andy: During these cold months having a training goal like RAW is a great way to stay focused, healthy, and active. Having a partner that shares that goal is even better! 

Why is supporting the Wisconsin Bike Fed important to you? 

Kris: I believe that Wisconsin has some of the best biking infrastructure and support, and that is due in large part to the Wisconsin Bike Fed.  They offer safety classes, sponsor fun rides (Santa Rampage), among a host of other amazing things.  RAW is just another amazing accomplishment.  My sister lives in Minnesota and when she comes to Wisconsin to visit, she’s always in awe of the great biking trails and support we have, especially in and around Milwaukee.

Andy & Kris: See you at RAW later this year!

Want to celebrate your love of cycling, WI, and the Bike Fed?

Sign up for Ride Across Wisconsin August 17-18, 2024! Learn more about the ride, options, and discounts.