Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bike to Work Week Promises Group Rides, Drink Specials, Free Coffee and a Dance Party

By Kristina Byas
milwaukee bike to work week
Photo courtesy Wisconsin Bike Fed
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Thousands of Milwaukee cyclists and first time riders will leave their cars at home for Milwaukee’s Bike to Work Week from May 11-17. The week will be filled with an array of bicycle themed events hosted by Vulture Space and Wisconsin Bike Fed that will encourage more Milwaukeeans to bike.

“I’m excited for people to get on their bikes, especially new riders. It creates a buzz and a community. It’s really fun,” said Vulture Space co-founder Evan Pack.

The week will kick off on Monday, May 11 with a morning bike ride with Mayor Barrett starting at 8 a.m. on 51st Street and Washington Boulevard and ending downtown with a 9 a.m. press conference at City Hall.

Later that evening, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., cyclists are invited to enjoy half-priced drinks during the Bike to Work Week Happy Hour 2014 Kickoff at Great Lakes Distillery.

The Great Milwaukee 2014 “Rider vs. Driver” Commuter Challenge will be held on Wednesday, May 13. In an attempt to prove which mode of transportation is faster and better for the environment, founding partner of Colectivo Coffee Ward Fowler will be riding his bike to work, while David Hobbs of David Hobbs Honda will drive his car during the race from Shorewood to downtown. After meeting for a cup of coffee at the Colectivo in Shorewood at 4500 N. Oakland Ave., the two will begin their race.

For the second year, Milwaukee’s Vulture Space will hold their fundraiser, Art for Bike’s Sake, which will take place on Friday, May 16 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. at Anodyne Café, 224 W. Bruce St.

In an effort to support, encourage and educate the public about cycling, bicycle themed artwork from nationally recognized artists will be sold and raffled off during the event. Some of the artists include Rachel Hughes, Troy DiBurgo, Martina Patterson of Jupiter Allen Designs and Jeff Klugiewicz from The Level Below. Food will be provided by Transfer/VIA. The fundraiser will be followed by a group bike ride to a dance party at the Cocoon Room located at 820 E. Locust St.

Several mobile bike repair stations will be set up throughout Milwaukee throughout the week. Some of the commuter stations will be located at Amaranth Café & Bakery, Juneau Park and the Urban Ecology Center. The stations will also offer free coffee to cyclists.

“It’s a nice way to meet people,” said Pack. “I try to get to a different station every day."

Participating in Bike to Work Week will also give Milwaukee residents the opportunity to log miles for the 2014 Wisconsin Bike Challenge. With the goal in mind to build healthier communities and save on gas, WBC participants are able to keep track of their miles biked online or on their smartphone. The WBC begins May 1 and runs through Sept. 30. It is free to sign up and participant will be entered to win bike related prizes.

For a complete list of Bike to Work Week events and other bike related events in Milwaukee, visit wisconsinbikefed.org.

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