In Milwaukee, June 6th through the 10th is the official Bike to Work Week organized by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. Because Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett was invited to the White House, he has to miss leading his annual bike to work with the mayor day ride. Given that change, the Bicycle Federation has changed the ride start time and route a bit. As of now, the Tuesday Ride will change from “Bike to Work With Mayor Barrett” at 8:30am to “Critical Mass Production – Power Suit Ride” at 7:30am in which people are encouraged to dress business formal as part of a competition to win a cool New Belgium Brewery Fat Tire Ale cruiser bike! So you can’t draft off the Mayor, but you can win a bike if you dress up and get up a bit earlier, which seems a reasonable trade.
There are more details about that ride and all the other bike to work events below. In the comments of a previous post, Mark asked why this year’s BTWW poster wasn’t as cool as some of the previous years’ artist-made posters. I could not find an electronic version of Milwaukee’s BTWW poster to download, but the blank template below right is up in several formats on the Bike Fed website so local groups can add their own events. I have added some of the old more artistic bike to work posters below as reference.
I was not involved in any of the planning for BTWW this year, so I can’t say how this year’s poster (above right) was created, but I can suggest that if we want to do our own thing in Milwaukee next year, there is nothing stopping us from making our own bike to work week poster just for the Cream City. Clearly past BTWW posters and the awesome posters for other local bike events this weekend show that there are plenty of talented artists in Milwaukee willing to donate their work for cycling events.
I must admit here that bike to work week has never held all that special of a place in my heart because every week is bike to work week for me, and I work to encourage others to bike to work every day. Furthermore, for many, biking to work is the hardest bike transportation trip to make. I prefer to encourage people to start cycling for transportation with a ride to a cafe, movie or to run a nearby errand. That said, I acknowledge that BTWW and events like the Scott Get up and Ride Challenge do get bike-curious people to try riding for the first time, so they have real value as advoacy events. The Scott Challenge website is powered by Endomondo and is a bit difficult to use, but worth the effort as the goal of logging miles (er, kilometers) on the bike as part of a larger statewide challenge is great. One more example of corporate partners in Wisconsin who really understand the importance and benefits of encouraging cycling.
I suggest that next year we have a grass-roots BTWW in the 414 planning group meet some time in February to discuss a local poster and some local events in coordination with the Cyclists Union Local 52 and MKEBKE. We need that Milwaukee centric level of coordination. To that end, I have added the first showing of the Bicycle Film Fest below even though it is not officially part of Bike to Work Week. It does fall between June 6th and June 10th. Otherwise the schedule below is as the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin has organized it.
Morning Commuter Stations
Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 9:00am
Free coffee, bakery & minor bike repair
Downtown Station: Alterra Foundry, 170 South 1st Street. Mechanic provided by Crank Daddy’s.
Central Station: 1300 West Canal Street (Hank Aaron State Trail near North Emmber Lane). Sponsored by Sigma Group and Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail. No mechanic at this station.
Eastside Station: Urban Ecology Center, Riverside Park, Oak Leaf Trail. Coffee provided by Alterra Coffee. No mechanic at this station.
Friday, June 3rd
5:30pm: Bike Art Show Opening & Ride
Get in the spirit of Bike to Work Week by checking out the opening of a new bike art show. The show is at the Marshall Building, 207 East Buffalo Street (@ Water Street), and the opening begins at 6:00pm. Meet at Cafe Hollander on on Downer Avenue at 5:30pm to ride to the show.
Tuesday, June 7th
The start time has changed to 7:30am!
7:30am: Critical Mass Production – Power Suit Ride
We had a ride planned with Mayor Barrett, but he was invited to visit President Obama at the White House. We can’t blame him for jumping at that opportunity instead of our ride! So rather than riding with the mayor, grab you best power suit, pant suit or three-piece suit for a ride downtown with Milwaukee’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator Dave Schlabowske, City Engineer Jeff Polenske and many other power commuters. The ride begins at North 51st Street & West Washington Boulevard at 7:30am and heads through the Menomonee Valley to the Alterra Foundry. We’ll pick up south side commuters at the Foundry then head to the Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 North Broadway, at 8:45am for a press conference.
WIN THIS BIKE! The best outfitted “Captain of Industry” will be given a sweet Fat Tire Bike courtesy of New Belgium Brewery and Tour of America’s Dairyland race series. Leave the lycra and the business-casual attire at home in the closet!
Thursday, June 9th
5:00pm: Bike to the Brewers
Bike to a Brewer’s game and tailgate with the Bike Fed! We’ll ride to the Brewer’s Stadium, offer tailgating munchies from Whole Foods, and then watch the game. Group rides will leave from two locations at 5:00pm sharp: Alterra Foundry (170 South 1st Street) and Mugshotz (1902 South 68th Street, West Allis). If you miss the ride the tailgate is at Helfaer Field 3B side. Free parking is available at 1300 W Canal st Sigma parking lot if you want to park then ride in with us. Brewer’s tickets are $15 and should be purchased on your own in advance at or at the door. $5 suggested donation is appreciated to cover tailgating expenses.
Friday, June 10th
7:00am: Rollin’ to Work with County Executive Chris Abele
Join us for a ride to work with County Executive Chris Abele. The ride will start at 7:00am at the southeast corner of Kenwood Boulevard and Lake Drive and finishes at the County Courthouse at 901 North 9th Street. We willll hold a press conference with the County Executive at the Courthouse waterfall following the ride.
The series continues the rest of the summer with Better off Dead, White Men Can’t Jump, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Freaks (1930s).
The movies are held at dusk in the Media Garden at the east end of the Marsupial Bridge on the east side of N Water Street at the intersection with E Pearson St.
Saturday, June 11th
11:00am – 4:00pm: Bikes@Work Bike Fair
Celebrate the end of Bike To Work Week with a fun and informative event that will help you lean more about bike commuting in Milwaukee. The day’s events include commuter workshops, bike maintenance seminars, a bike fair with local bicycle businesses and vendors, plus much more! The event will be held at the Urban Ecology Center (1500 E. Park Place).