2016 Cycling Resolutions

I not only like making New Years resolutions, I typically stick to them. Just ask my former friends if I kept my 2012 resolution to stop being so nice. Seriously though, my coworkers and I at the Bike Fed take our organizational resolutions pretty serioulsy. You can review our 2105 resolutions in this blog post and see that we did pretty well. We clearly didn’t have a safer year in cycling, but we can check most of the other items off as done!

Below I have last updated most of last year’s resolutions and added some new ones for this year. You will see as you read that I find it is difficult to separate where cycling is part of my personal life versus my professional life, so I hope you don’t mind if my 2016 New Years resolutions are a mix of both:

  • This year we resolve to expand our equity efforts and have formed a Wisconsin Bike Fed Equity Council to make recommendations to staff on how to increase diversity in everything we do, including adding greater geographic diversity to our equity initiatives too in 2016. Last year we launched an official Bicycle Equity Program. We continued our core equity programs (Safe Routes to School, Smart Trips, Valid) added Ciclovia MKE, The Polish Moon Bike Ride – Polaco Luna Paseo, Southside Bicycle Day, expanded our mobile bike repair to both the Layton Boulevard West and Walnut Way neighborhoods and hired Mirtha Sosa as our south side community bicycle coordinators in Milwaukee. We added Michael Johnson to our Board of Directors. In the rest of the state, other Bike Fed managers and staff from our key programs sought greater community involvement for women, youth and people of color.  This year we are also proud to be hiring Ammar Nsoroma to help with equity rides since he has already done such a fabulous job with the Milwaukee area Red, Bike & Green Rides. Finally we are bringing Ayesha McGowen (and hopefully Rahsaan Bahati) to the Ride Across Wisconsin and will contracting with Dream Bikes to help with ride support for RAW.
  • We are also proud to have hired Wendy Hanisch to expand our ride offerings around the state. We have already added the fun, free Spring Classics Series and are working on a many other smaller member-led regular group rides that will leave from Bicycle Friendly Businesses around the state. Stay tuned for more on those rides, the Equity Council and Wendy in blog posts to come soon!
  • 10,000 Facebook likes: We didn’t quite get there last year, but it is definitely within reach for 2016! We resolve to reach 10, 000 likes in 2016, so like us why don’t you?
  • Update our Bike Fed website to include a better calendar of Bike Fed events, and a page to register bikes and track stolen bikes so shops can have a one-stop place to check when someone comes in to sell a suspicious used bike. Check and check on this one, but we resolve to add a better calendar of Bike Fed classes and the new free member-led group rides.
  • Expand our mountain bike program to include monthly MTB advocacy calls with local groups around the state and set a statewide MTB advocacy agenda for 2015. We can check this off thanks to Matt Gissibl, our resident dirt tester, and help from many of the IMBA chapters around the state. For 2016 we resolve to add a full fledged MTB resource section to our website and continue to work with local trail groups to support their efforts to create purpose-built trails.
  • Move our state bike summit to a new city. We held our summit in Appleton in 2015 and for 2016 we resolve to hold the Wisconsin Bike Summit in La Crosse.
  • Complete the State Bikeway Network Study. This study will make general suggestions for an integrated network of connected bikeways, signs, and a map. It will also suggest a catalytic project such as the Route of the Badger or some other high-profile trail network we can set as a high priority. This project is under way and we resolve to work with the WDNR, the WisDOT and the consultant to finish the project and recommend a catalytic project as part of that study.
  • Get the improperly designed speed bumps removed from Selig Drive by Miller Park: This is a very personal goal since one of my friends died last year after he crashed at one of these speed bumps. I understand the Stadium District installed them with the best intentions to stop excessive speeding and street racing, but the design is dangerously wrong for a road with a posted speed limit of 25mph.
  • Start a 10,000 Mile Club: Before I started working for the Wisconsin Bike Fed, between commuting, errands, racing and recreational riding I rode my bike 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year. Since I started working as a professional bicycle advocate, I typically only ride about 5,000 a year because I spend too much time working behind a computer. For 2016 I resolve to ride 10,000+ miles again, and start a fun club for other Bike Fed members to hit similar goals. I considered starting a smaller challenge as part of the National Bike Challenge, but I want this to be just for Bike Fed members only, sort of like how the Harley Owners Group have mileage clubs of their own. I haven’t figured out all the details yet, but I am open to suggestions in the comments below. Maybe we allow members to submit any official form or records of their miles, like Strava, Garmin, Endomondo, National Bike Challenge, etc. Everyone gets some sort of recognition (sticker, patch, etc.) and is entered in a raffle to win some fun prizes.

The list above is mix of my personal and professional cycling goals for 2016, but they are not written in stone. If you have suggestions on what you would like to see the Wisconsin Bike Fed do this year, please comment below. I’d also like to hear our readers personal cycling resolutions, so share away and Happy New Year to all y’all!

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

12 thoughts on “2016 Cycling Resolutions

  1. Please expand the equity work to include getting physically disabled people on adaptive bicycles so they also can enjoy the freedom and empowerment that bicycling has to offer and the physical and spiritual benefits they will receive on a bike. Wisconsin can lead the way on this groundbreaking work.

    • Thanks for the suggestion Dr. Waters, but don’t you think the Variety Children’s Charity and Emery’s already do a pretty good job at that? The other thing that worries me about entering that area is it requires some pretty specific medical knowledge and access to a huge bicycle parts supply and fabrication facilities. We have been discussing starting a Cycling Without Age program, like they have in Oshkosh. That seems like it would allow us to impact a much larger number of people who currently can’t get out on bicycles with just one new specialty cargo trike and a good volunteer program.

  2. A worthy list! I love the idea of a bike registration database, moving the bike summit to a different city and section of the state each year, and the 10,000 mile club, which perhaps would include 1000 and 5000 mile clubs, too. Keep up the great work for Wisconsin bicycling.

    • Thanks Mike, we actually already have the stolen bike registry up if you didn’t notice. It is in the upper right hand corner of our page. And yes, moving the Summit to Appleton was a big success. This year’s Wisconsin Bike Summit will be Saturday, May 21st in La Crosse. We expect another big turnout particularly with spring riding an option in an El Nino year.

  3. Would you consider starting a bike sharing program where someone with multiple bikes could donate a bike to a new rider or anyone who does not have the funds for a new bike?

    John S

    • Hi John,

      We kind of already have a program like that. People can donate bikes to our Valid Bike Shop, our mechanics give them a tune-up and we either use them for our fleet of 150 bikes for our Safe Routes to School Program, or if the bikes are not the right type for that, we sell them at very low prices to people of need. We find it is better to sell a good bike at a low price than to give them away. It also helps cover our costs for the tune ups. You can donate bikes at either our Milwaukee or Madison offices. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Great list that hopefully helps to move the state forward. I would like to see access to the existing trail system year round. We have a beautiful network of trails that keeps getting better every year but they can only be reliably ridden 3 seasons. There are many cyclists that have been commuting by bike all year long, I for one have gotten rid of our second car and rely solely my bikes for transportation. The Oak Leaf Trail has been consistently plowed all winter but the Hand Aaron Trail never receives the necessary winter maintenance. The problem is that there isn’t a real, safe alternative to those that work out west and rely on this access to safely ride to work. I have been forced to ride on Bluemound at night and it is very dangerous.

    Keep up the great work.

    • Roger,

      The City of Milwaukee plows the Hank Aaron from Selig Drive to 3rd and Pittsburgh, even though it is a State trail and really the responsibility of the WNDR. The City does this because the state does not fund winter trail maintenance for the local WDNR office, even though they signed an MOU agreeing to do so. The Bike Fed have been working with the City on other ideas to get the rest of the trail plowed because it seems hopeless to try to get the state to allocate the funds for it. The HAST is actually in City of Milwaukee Right of Way. The City also owns and maintains all the bridges along the trail. No offense to the local WDNR staff, who do as much as they can with a very limited budget, but the trail should probably just be a City of Milwaukee Trail if the state doesn’t want to maintain it, and then the City could plow all of it. Either that, or the state should budget the funds, probably about $50K per year, to plow it all.

      The only other alternative would be for a licensed private contractor to volunteer to plow it. But we don’t ask for volunteers to plow our roads or highways, so why should we ask for someone to plow our trails.

      • Thanks Dave for your reply. I have found another option for my commute that is much safer. I would be in full support of the City of Milwaukee taking over the HAST, it just seems to make sense.

  5. why is it so hard to commute to surrounding Madison communities? Even Sun Prairie is difficult to get to which is by no means a small community. And anything smaller than that like Cross Plains or Rio or Waunakee? I live just north of Madison in the Town of Burke, and wish highway CV and wheeler road had a proper bike path, and wHeeler road was just repaved! what can be done for us northsiders to improve biking in our area?

    • Hi Al. Each municipality and the County have separate thresholds and budgets for both road reconstruction/repaving and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Most bike and ped improvements happen when the road is being reconstructed or repaved. Unfortunately, coordination between the municipalities is not always the best. Are you looking to see more on-road facilities like bike lanes or more multi-use paths?

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