Bike Week Blog: Bratcakes

The first wheeled vehicles appeared 4500 - 3300 BCE in the late Neolithic Era.

A very early wheel. No spokes to break. Never got out of true (or in it).

The first bicycle-like vehicles appeared in the mid 19th century.

The bratcake first appeared at a Bike Week commuter station in Madison five years ago.

As inventions go, the wheel is fine, the bicycle is a perfection of the use of the wheel, but the bratcake is the finest achievement of human kind.

Invented by engineers at Saris, the Madison-based manufacturer of bike racks, the bratcake wraps a Wisconsin bratwurst in a pancake. When Wisconsin maple syrup is applied (sparingly so as not to drip all over one’s jersey) perfection is achieved.

A modern bicycle wheel, the second best human invention ever.

This morning’s wonderful early summer weather on the shores of Lake Monona made for an excellent Mid Bike Week event. While final numbers are not in yet, encouraged by last years mark of 900, Saris bratcake officials were going for 1,000 served.

Securing the record would be great, but it would really just be syrup on the bratcake. It’s the spirit of innovation that we celebrate here. Is there nothing we cannot do?

And tomorrow? Bacon.



The Saris Bratcake and coffee in a bike travel mug. The end goal of the human perfection project.










The Madison Bike Fed staff after eating bratcakes: Chris Aalid, Martha Laugen, Sarah Gaskell and Gabe Chapman.



About Dave Cieslewicz, Director Emeritus

Dave Cieslewicz served two terms as mayor of Madison where he set the city on a path for Platinum status as one of the best biking cities in North America. Before that he started his own nonprofit, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, which focuses on land use and transportation policy. He has been an adjunct professor at the UW Madison's Department of Urban and Regional Planning where he teaches a class called Bikes, Pedestrians and Cities. He pronounces his name chess LEV ich, but nobody else does.

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