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February is known as the month of Valentine’s love. Spring is also the time when riders set goals for cycling challenges to come. One epic challenge riders from WI, the Midwest, and across the country are preparing for is Bike Fed’s Ride Across Wisconsin (RAW) in August. Two cyclists from Iowa are among the riders already planning their 2024 RAW adventure. 

Deb Wood and Jeff Bradley have ridden RAW before and are getting organized to do it again this year. Here’s what they shared with Bike Fed member/volunteer writer Doug Freeman…

“We love RAW, and a lot of our friends love RAW – it’s contagious,” Deb says. “We have a few friends who rode the first RAW, more friends who did it later, and even more friends who are setting it as a goal this year. It’s an attainable but challenging goal that we can get behind. The years when we haven’t done it, we’ve been able to ride and train with our friends who have signed up – it elevates everyone. Riding and training for RAW is a good carrot to focus on to stay healthy. It gives me a reason to have Jeff help me plan our training and manage my energy. He’s very good at that!”

Aside from the obvious health benefits of training for a distance ride, joining with friends to prepare for RAW builds great camaraderie. “Connecting with kindred spirits – and folks from your past – is one of our most favorite parts of RAW,” Jeff explains. “The bus ride from Milwaukee to La Crosse was the best intro to the ride. The overnight stop in the Dells during the ride and a visit to a classic supper club were sweet rewards after a day riding together.”

“Of course, the beautiful scenery and great route are something we look forward to with every RAW,” Deb says. “Plus, you have the option of trails or road, which we took full advantage of last year! A great choose-your-own-adventure experience.”

“I’ve ridden bikes my whole life, so this is a natural fit. And I love Wisconsin, so that’s a bonus!” Jeff says.

Along with offering a challenging, epic event for cyclists, RAW also helps raise funds for the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s work to build a better, more bike-friendly Wisconsin. “Participating in RAW doesn’t even feel like supporting a non-profit, but our reason to support the Bike Fed is because we feel that having safe places to ride is important,” Jeff explains. 

Deb adds, “Many of us would be lost without places to ride – the Bike Fed helps make that available for all of us.”

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.