Madison Fed Fest 2012: Stormy weather? No problem!

It was a dark and stormy evening.  A chill rushed through the air…

Usually in October, these words set the stage for tales of ghosts, goblins and bone-chilling frights.  Quite to the contrary last Thursday, a dark stormy evening was merely backdrop for intrepid bicyclists and bicycling supporters to celebrate a fantastic Madison-Area Fed Fest at the Capital Brewery in Middleton!

While the skies brought a shiver and threatened rain, the evening was more chill than chilly, more social than stormy, and as any hearty Wisconsin bicyclist would agree – the perfect night for a ride and a drink!

Lucky enough to grab a great ride, and some Capital Maibock for later! (Photo courtesy of Steve Wasmund)

Dedicated riders gathered at the Brewery as our co-hosts from the Capital Brewery Bike Club led a social-paced 12-mile loop.  Thanks to Richard, Kevin and Cyndi from the club for coordinating and leading a welcoming, safe and enjoyable ride!

As the Brewery riders wound their way back to the Bier Garten, a small gaggle of Madison riders with more stringent work schedules hopped into their own group and rode “Capitol to Capital” — heading from the Capitol Square in downtown Madison to the Capital Brewery.  Thanks to Aaron C. for taking the lead with this ride as a prelude to Madison Bike Winter activities which will pick up as the days get shorter still.

Cool indeed! Capital Brewery Sleeveless Jersey - wahoo! (Photo courtesy of Steve Wasmund)

Whether Group Riding, Capital-hopping or carpooling, over 65 revelers converged on the Capital Brewery over the course of the evening to celebrate with food, beverages and cozy fellowship.  Scott and the gang at the Brewery treated everyone to a complimentary pint of beer and the toasty ambiance of a raging fire pit and heat lamps (which became literal hotspots for conversation).  They also generously donated some Capital Brewery schwag to toss into our door prize drawing later in the evening.  Cyndi from the Brewery Bike Club brought munchies to snack on while we waited for pizzas (generously donated by the Middleton Pizza Hut) to arrive, along with pre-ordered burritos from the local Q’doba.  Rocky and Lori from Capital kept everyone’s glasses filled throughout the evening and helped us hand out some fab prizes as the evening wound down, including Capital Brewery Beer, cycling jerseys and Wisconsin Bike Fed gear.

Join the Bike Fed, get a warm feeling in your heart - or is that just the heat lamps? (Photo courtesy of Steve Wasmund)

Throughout the entire evening, a dedicated team of Bike Fed staff and volunteers kept the Bike Fed tent hopping — offering membership and merchandise specials, and reminding everyone of the work we do to move bicycling forward in the state of Wisconsin — work we simply can’t do without your support and passion, and the contributions of generous volunteers!  Thanks to all the new members who joined us that evening and everyone who helped host (or hoist!) the tent!

All told the cold, damp weather was probably the least memorable detail of the evening.   Sub-ideal conditions paled when the lingering party-goers summed up the evening noting in particular these highlights:

Generosity – So many people stepped up to the plate with contributions of food, beverage, time and resources to make this event a great celebration

Safety  – In a time when Madison eyes were focused on two terrible bike fatalities, it was important to remember that bicycling IS safe and feasible in Madison and across Wisconsin, yet it is critical for all road users to Share and Be Aware.

FUN – People get on their bikes in Wisconsin for work, exercise, errands…but most of all, because it’s FUN!

Celebration – It’s important to gather in celebration of our passion and enjoyment around bicycling.  Besides enjoying a cozy evening and tasty beverages, it’s a chance to share in dialogue and link critical connections to make biking even better for all!

Smiles - and Capital koozies - all around! (Photo courtesy of Steve Wasmund)

That’s why the Bike Fed is here for you — to make every ride safer, more enjoyable and BETTER across the state.  And we’re so happy that you are here for us — riding on despite damp weather and shortened days…sharing your passion with the community…and showing up to help us celebrate.
Thanks again to everyone, and we look forward to seeing you before Fed Fest 2013!

About Martha Laugen

Martha is Membership Director at the Wisconsin Bike Fed

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