15-year event now a fund-raiser for the Wisconsin Bike Fed
For the past 15 years, cyclists in Milwaukee have informally met, all decked out in jolly St. Nick garb or dressed as other favorite Christmas character. That idea has since spread to other communities and states.
Dave Schlabowske, one of the original organizers now working for the Wisconsin Bike Fed which, starting this year, will put on the Santa Cycle Rampage as a fund raiser. The Santa Cycle Rampage has attracted hundreds of riders in recent years, requiring an organization like the Bike Fed to take the reins and acquire necessary permits and event insurance.
The event will officially start at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, December 5, from Cranky Al’s Bakery at 69th and North Avenue in East Tosa. The ride will be a slow, six-mile group ride down North Avenue to the Lakefront Brewery with no stops for alcohol.
The website for the event lists several sponsoring cafes in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa where riders are encouraged to assemble. Seven coffee shops and bars are also listed as sites for “post-Rampage parties.” Those locations can be found at www.wisconsinbikefed.org/events/santa-cycle-rampage.
The Bike Fed event announcement encourages Milwaukeeans, regardless of where they live, to participate as they wish. The Bike Fed will sell the event T-shirts and beanie hats to anyone, regardless of whether they participate in the official ride.
“Hopefully the number of businesses who welcome Santas continues to grow over the years, and there are even more people riding around in Santa suits in every corner of Milwaukee, getting more people to try riding bikes in the winter and spending money at local businesses to boost our economy,” the event website states.