Passing the Baton

Well, friends, it’s been a privilege to share in the success and growth of the Wisconsin Bike Fed these past 8 years. As mentioned in my farewell post earlier this summer, I will be leaving the Bike Fed in September to live in Freiburg, Germany for 11 months with my husband and baby daughter. While I have bittersweet feelings about this big change and adventure, I have nothing but excitement about my successor.

It is my pleasure to announce the Bike Fed’s next Membership Director, Martha Laugen! Martha is no stranger to the Bike Fed. She started in 2012 as our Bike Summit intern, then became one of our Share & Be Aware Ambassadors for the Madison area for two seasons. She has also filled in during times of transition as Membership Coordinator.

Martha (center) and I (right) at the 2012 Fed Fest

Most recently, Martha has been growing the bike share movement as the City Manager for Madison BCycle. She will be bringing her many years of experience and knowledge about bicycle advocacy to the Bike Fed. Please join me in welcoming Martha! She has officially begun her tenure today. She and I will ride tandem as Director until I finally hand off the baton (er, give her the pilot spot?) on August 31st. Pardon my mix of metaphors. Bottom line - Martha will lead the Bike Fed’s membership program on September 1st.

I wish Martha and the Bike Fed the best of luck. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the membership program and Wisconsin bicycling.

If you would like to follow my adventures, you can subscribe to my blog, You can expect adorable photos of my daughter, reviews of pretzels and beer, stories of my attempts to speak German, and a smattering of reflections on riding on two wheels in Germany.

Bis später,


6 thoughts on “Passing the Baton

  1. Betsy,

    WBF rocks. I love reading the blog posts.

    Freiburg. Exciting! I’m a lifelong (68 yo) cyclist and wine guy with 20 yrs in the trade and 20 more as winemaker including. 10 vintages of Riesling in the Mosel Kabinett style. I’ve been travelling in Europe since ’68. Recently I took my bike to Frankfurt in June ’10, ’11, and ’12 to visit my colleagues on the Rhein, Nahe, Saar, Mosel, Ruwer and Main.
    My point? DO NOT miss the opportunity to ride from Saarburg to Trier ( with an optional jaunt upstream to Luxembourg) and then on down the 205 km to Koblenz, up the Rhein to Bacharach, Lorch and Bingen. Ride up the Nahe to at least Monzingen. Stay in Bad Sobernheim.
    If you would like any tips on wineries to visit (the quality level is off the charts)let me know. The Pinot
    Noir in this area, The Hunsruck, is fantastic but not produced in much smaller quantities.
    If you’re flying into FRA, Weingut Franz Kunstler (Gunther and Monika Kunstler are the proprietors) is 15 car minutes, 40 by bike, in Hochheim am Main.
    Fruchtig wines are in varying degrees of off-dry, Trocken wines are dry. The top dry wines are labeled ‘GG’, for Grosses Gewachs, meaning Grand Cru. The world’s best dry white wines! The bridge between these two is called category called Feinherb. Not quite dry but not quite fruity. At their best Feinherbs are amazing.
    You’ll be in Baden which is noticeably warmer. As a result, the wines there are more alcoholic than
    those mentioned above and generally not to my taste. However, there are a large number of estates to visit. Weingut Villa Wolf in Wachenheim, east of Mannheim. Enderle und Moll just north of Freiberg (they’re famous hippies who fly the biodynamic flag) is a must (no pun intended, must being crushed grapes.
    Hopefully you interested in and love wine. Swiss wines are quite good, just across the ‘border’.
    Anyway email me if you want more info.

    Have fun


    • Thank you for the great recommendations, Owen! I do enjoy wine and will definitely look into some of the places you mentioned. Thanks again!

  2. We’ll miss you, Betsy.

    Welcome, Martha.

    The Bike Fed has had great membership growth under Betsy’s leadership, bucking a national trend for nonprofits who have mostly seen membership declines. We had about 3,800 members just three years ago and now we’re edging towards 7.000.

    So, nice work Betsy and, hey, no pressure there, Martha.

  3. Betsy,

    I’ll never forget the time spent working with you to benefit the Bike Fed in my capstone class at UW-Madison, or running into you constantly at numerous bike events around Madison. It has been a joy and pleasure meeting you. I wish you the best in Freiburg with your family! I hope to see you down the road :)


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